When gazing at a very premature baby, you can’t help but be struck by both the fragility and incredible strength of these tiny beings. The paper-thin skin and feeding tubes signal weakness, yet the heaving, tiny chest fighting for every breath shows fierce tenacity. This touching photography project is a tribute to premature babies, from a photographer father whose own two premmies taught him what hope really is.
Inspiration comes in many forms, and often the smallest things can teach us the most. And that’s the case with premature babies, who are too soon for this world, yet adapt to become part of it. For anyone who has ever laid eyes on a premmie – the moment literally takes your breath away. Watching that frail baby grow into a robust toddler and child is a journey that is much more of a slow burn, but no less breathtaking.
“Before this event I knew pretty much nothing about prematurity. So I decided that this photo project would help make people know more about this topic. I decided to make pictures the way I would have wanted them to be when my first born child was at the hospital for many long weeks,” he tells Babyology.
Red also had a second premmie baby, and he says his photos, which show strong, resilient children holding black and white images of themselves as babies, are designed to inspire.
“A big message of hope to parents going through tough time. I wanted the pictures to say: ‘Hey, look, they’ve also been there and look how awesome they are now’.”
Some of the images are emotionally-charged, like this gorgeous photo of Noah, who holds a picture of himself with his twin sister. They were born at 32 weeks – his sister Victoria died at one-month-old.
The images are spreading like wildfire across social media, as parents across the world find solace, hope and strength in the project. Red says, “I thought the image would have an impact on those who know about prematurity. I am amazed that they have such an impact on others.”
He tells Babyology that some of those he photographed have reacted emotionally, but were grateful for the images.
“The ride was difficult for them.”
If there was ever a visual depiction of the miracle of life – it’s this moving photography series.
(Images courtesy RedM)