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/ Source: TODAY
By Nicole Spector

Thanks to modern medicine, many babies born prematurely are able to grow and thrive as healthily as infants born at full-term.

But the beginning is always a fight for little ones who didn’t get the time they needed in the womb.

Red Méthot, a biologist and photographer in Québec City, wanted to honor the strength of these special babies with a portrait series featuring prematurely-born children holding photos of themselves as newborns.

The kids look happy and healthy now — a colorful contrast to the black and white photos they hold showing them lying in incubators and hooked up to tubes.

Samuel, born at 36 weeks. Shown here at age 5.Facebook/RedMPhoto

The poignant series, which Méthot published on Facebook, is called "Les Prémas," which loosely translates as “The Preemies.”

“I was looking for a way to show [what] great fighters the premature are,” Méthot, whose first language is French, said in an email to TODAY.com.

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The idea initially came from his girlfriend, he said.

Charles-Antoine and Mara, born at 27 weeks. Pictured here at 7.Facebook/RedMPhoto

The 38-year-old photographer initially figured it was too complicated, but came around after giving it some deeper thought.

The topic is close to his heart: Méthot has two children who were born prematurely.

Both are featured in the work.

Zachary, born at 27 weeks, shown here at 2.Facebook/RedMPhoto

“Before [they were born], I knew pretty much nothing about prematurity,” he confessed. “So I decided that this photo project would [enable] people to know more about this topic.”

He found his subjects through personal connections and by asking for models on Facebook.

A couple of adults participated as well, including a pregnant woman.

Olivier born at 31 weeks, his sister Ariane, born at 33 weeks, and their brother Noah, born at 34 weeks. The siblings are now 6, almost 4, and 1.Facebook/RedMPhoto

The series, he hoped, stands as “a big message of hope to parents going through a tough time.”

“I want the pictures to say: ‘Hey, look, they've also been there, and look how awesome they are now,’” he said.

RELATED: Zoe Saldana: Our premature babies were at 'the mercy of our nurses, doctors'

Sarah, born at 34 weeks. Pictured here at 2-years-old.Facebook/RedMPhoto