Angela Gallo is a doula and birth photographer who is on a mission.
Gallo is a mother of two living in Australia who is seeking to change society's perceptions of the birthing process. She not only assists women in labor, but also photographs them in their rawest, most intimate moments.
"People are bombarded with negative information that is almost always exaggerated or inaccurate," she told The Huffington Post. "[T]hose resulting anxieties catapult them into a system that is banking on their fear or self-doubt. We've sterilized childbirth, taken the humanity out of it ... I want every expecting mama who finds these images, to think, 'Oh, hold on. This isn't the birth I usually see. Maybe I don't need to be afraid. Maybe I can do things differently. Maybe there is a better way.'"
Gallo, who just received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Annual Photo Competition held by The International Association of Birth Photographers, captures the "transformative" experience women go through in her work.
"Birth, to me, is one of life's truest 'human' experiences," she said. "To be able to capture those few moments where a baby can exist between two worlds, and where I can play a part in a room thick with some seriously powerful energy and love. It is literally a dream."
Gallo is currently raising money via an Indiegogo campaign to help finance a six-month project where she would travel around the globe to photograph pregnancy and motherhood in various cultures.
She sees a shift happening in the way people view labor and birth around the world.
"Perception changes dramatically from place to place, person to person," she said. "People continue to believe that pregnancy and birth are terrifying or gross. I have to delete comments from my page on a daily basis. And yes, it gets frustrating. But in general the response is overwhelmingly positive. I certainly feel a huge paradigm shift in the making."
Check out the stunning photos of women in labor and giving birth below and head to her site for more.