Lennart Nilsson, a Swedish photographer, spent 12 years taking pictures of the fetus as it develops in the womb. He used conventional cameras that had macro lenses, a scanning electron microscope and an endoscope. He ‘worked’ literary in the womb and used a magnification of hundred of thousands. The first photo Nilsson took was in 1965.
Beginning in 1953, A Child is Born took a total of 12 years to complete. LIFE magazine published The Drama of Life before Birth, a cover article of 16 pages containing Nilsson’s photographs. 8 million copies produced sold out in a few days. Along with the moon landing and John F Kennedy’s assassination, the article is still among some of LIFE Magazine’s most important stories.
Around the same year LIFE magazine published his photos, Nilsson published ‘A Child is Born‘. The book became a huge success too, especially among expectant mothers and connoisseurs of photography. It received lots of praise by many, who described it as providing simple and accurate scientific explanations of the complicated processes that take place during development.