Back in 1963 a young photographer named Lennart Nilsson decided to attempt a first of its kind photoshoot of a human pregnancy – from the inside. The revolutionary project, titled: ‘A child is born’ took over 12 years to accomplish, but the patience was worth it. The result, a stunning set of photos depicting the stages of pregnancy from the moment the sperm meets the ovule and until birth, was a breakthrough in macro photography and won Nilsson international fame.
In 1965 while Nilsson was working on his project, LIFE magazine published an article containing 16 of his photos entitled ‘The Drama of Life Before Birth’, The unique photos in the article led to all 8 Million copies of the magazine being sold out in just 4 days, and until this day this article is considered one of LIFE magazine’s top 3 stories, alongside the Kennedy assassination and the moon landing.
In the same year LIFE magazine ran its article, Nilsson’s full book of pictures was first published with the appropriate name ‘A Child is Born‘. Ever since, and for 40 years the book has sold tens of millions of copies worldwide in over 20 countries, the book was published in 5 editions the latest of which in 2009. Here are some photos from the book