Photographer Mateus André captured black-and-white photos of 3-month old Brazilian babies Maria Clara and Maria Eduarda Oliveira Santana; conjoined twins who are awaiting surgery to separate them.

Mother holding her conjoined twins
Credit: Mateus André

Stunning. That's the right word to describe a new set of baby photos that are unlike images from any shoot you've seen.

Family photographer Mateus André captured black-and-white photos of three-month old babies Maria Clara and Maria Eduarda Oliveira Santana from Brazil. They are conjoined twins who are waiting for a surgery that will separate them.

According to the photographer, the babies' 20-year-old parents, Denise Borges Oliveira and Caique Santana Ramos dos Santos, have many financial hardships and other difficulties to endure, and are receiving little governmental aid. As you might well imagine, the family struggles, according to André, but remain optimistic about the future.

The photographer connected with the family after seeing their story on the news. André had only brief contact with the family on the day he took the pictures, but remains in contact with the father by way of WhatsApp. The pair stay connected about the surgery, and the girls' health.

Brazilian parents holding their conjoined twins
Credit: Mateus André

"Childhood is something that fascinates me a lot, and photographing the extreme [nature] of this condition fascinates me even more," the photographer told via email, explaining it gives him pause to ponder the intensity of the human condition, and that his aim for the photos is to demonstrate through photography a challenging situation that people rarely see.

"I intend to broaden this project and continue photographing more conjoined twins and children with other physical and mental disabilities," he wrote. "[I] always dedicated myself to social photography, portraying mainly children from the neighborhood where I live."

Brazilian conjoined twins
Credit: Mateus André

He hopes that these new set of photos can draw attention to people's struggles. "All of us have the right of living with dignity," he said.

Conjoined twins from Brazil
Credit: Mateus André

Alesandra Dubin is a mom to one-year-old boy-girl twins. She's also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on FacebookInstagramGoogle+ and Twitter.