Tag Archives: Adelaide

Adelaide Teen Portrait Photography – Olivia

Empire Sessions – Adelaide Teen Portrait Photography

Model Reps 2014

Had such a great afternoon with my model reps a couple of weeks ago shooting for my current campaign. The girls were an absolute dream to work with and it was a lot of fun. The weather was very very windy and warm when we arrived for the session but mother nature was kind and everything quietened down perfectly and I could not have ordered better circumstances.

We stated with my makeup artist Collette (Endless Beauty by Collette) setting herself up at the location and getting my lovely model reps camera ready. The girls are all stunning so I think Collette had a great base to start with but she did an amazing job.

So this week here is my first feature model – the gorgeous Olivia. An absolute dream to photograph and gorgeous inside and out.

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Looming teen years

Adelaide portrait photographerAdmittedly I’m not the parent of a teenager .. yet!  I feel it looming though. Like a little black cloud of reality ready to rain hormonal acid rain over our cosy existence.

I’m the proud parent of a beautiful blossoming tween. She is on a pendulum between sensationally sweet and god damn awful. Along with her, my emotions are swinging too. There are times I feel so proud and filled to the brim with excitement over what lies ahead for her. She is bright, creative and affectionate. I can’t wait to see where her life leads her.

There are other times (when I think about it too much) where I already mourn her childhood. The independence that is to come and the bit where I become the most embarrassing person ever put on this earth. In her eyes I’m sure I am already doing all the things that I, as a teenager, swore that I would never do to my own kids.

Mourning her childhood may sound a bit dramatic but for me there is something profoundly sad about the thought that one day, very soon, she will stop seeking me out to tell me about her day and any issues with her girlfriends. Instead she will go to those said girlfriends and whinge about me .. or probably instagram, Facebook or whatever other means the next generation adopt to bond over the inadequacies of their parents. She won’t want to cuddle with me on the couch and ask me to sit on her bed. She will rather stab herself in the hand than hang out with me and would be mortified with herself if she even considered borrowing any of my clothes (don’t forget that I am now the most heinous creature to walk the earth and my taste in everything will be excruciating in the extreme).

It’s hard to imagine when you first have your little babies and they are so needy and beautiful than one day they will stretch their wings … and not doubt try to whack you in the face while they do it. Cause, seriously, parents can be so annoying. I also didn’t think that much about what their world will be like when they take this flight. When you haven’t slept for 4 months and you have spew down your front you’re not really in the headset of worrying about the impact of social media.

I am there now. Not the spew bit .. the social media bit. Back in my day there was pressure to look a certain way. Magazines, films and video clips formed my ideals of what I should look like. That was frankly crap in itself but wholly heck the stuff these kids get bombarded with these days. I know I’m going to sound really ancient here but the racy film clips of the 80’s look like a Wiggles matinee by comparison to current clips. My weekend favourite of putting on the morning music channels has become a no-no in our house (I feel like I might as well subscribe the kids up to a porn channel and be done with it). Models that survive on little more than kale and fresh air but spruk about their healthy balanced diets (no mention of the twice daily workouts either)

And parents, who hasn’t had that morning after, when you remember that you are too old for being out past midnight and have vague recollections of the night before. You recall when you used to do this often and thank frick that no-one had mobile phones and instant access to video back in your day. The good old days when you could make a knob of yourself, and save it being at a wedding reception, chances are there was no video footage and even if there was it certainly wouldn’t ever make the internet. These days you can have a social following like a Kardashin before Adelaide portrait photographyyour bestie has got around to holding your hair.

I really do think today’s teenagers have got it pretty tough. So much pressure and it coming at so many angles. There really is no escape from negative messages that the world tries to hardwire them with. How can there be when the world is in our lounge, our bedrooms, our entire lives. Don’t get me wrong I have a deep and passionate relationship with my phone but I’m old enough to have a good snort when I see photoshopped images and ridiculous magazine covers. My sweet little tween is soon going to launch herself into all this ugliness and there is not a damn thing I can do to stop it. I can only sit back and hope that we as parents have given her enough common sense, confidence and self respect to navigate the teenage years and survive. I’ll also be making sure that she knows that while I’m going about my day, being the most embarrassing mum on earth, that I will be there every step of the way when she needs me and that our nest will always be her nest too.

 

 

 

Teen Photo Rep Instagram Competition

Adelaide Photographer

Adelaide PhotographerSo once upon a time there was a lovely High School Senior who dreamed of being a superstar. She imagined a time when she could get her hair and makeup done, throw on some uber fashionable outfits and have a photo session where she looked and felt amazing. She pictured how her friends would ooooohhh and aaahhhh and be suitably jealous at how incredible her photos were. They would look sadly at their smart phone selfies and then they too would dream of being featured on a website and on social media…….

This could be your reality. There are 3 spots up for grabs to be my next Teen Representatives. This means you get a full 2 hour makeup and photo shoot. A pre-shoot catch up to talk through clothing, accessories and overall look and feel for the session. A get together afterwards to pick out your favourites and 3-5 digital images to share (low res and watermarked). All this is free, zilch, zero, a big fat “no cost” to you. All you need to do is enter the Teen Photo Rep Instagram competition, be picked as the winner, then bring all that personality to a really fun photo shoot.

Make sure though that Mum, Dad, Great Uncle Pete … whoever it is that calls the shots at your place is okay with you potentially being a superstar. It may help to push the fact that a parent/guardian should come along to all our catchups and the session so you and I can share the experience with them.

So if you are an Adelaide High School/Graduating Senior (16-19 years) jump onto your Instagram account, upload an original image of you. Make sure you follow @kellidphotobox and #rockyourempire. Share the comp with your friends and keep checking the hashtag #rockyourempire to check out your competition and for winners names. If you want to keep up with all the news from Kelli D Photography you can head over and like my Facebook page

For more information on the role as Teen Rep click here

Good luck!

 

Living with Epilepsy [Adelaide Photographer]

Bianca - Living with EpilepsyDeclan and Bianca Henderson

My Mum’s Moment photography session was something I dreamt up to give something back to a someone who has had a rough ride. When I came up with the idea it was in the lead up to Mother’s Day and decided it was the perfect opportunity to treat a deserving mum. The one special thing I can offer someone is the chance to have some nice family photos and I particularly wanted to offer this to a mum that wasn’t really in the position to treat themselves. With the help of Collette ( Endless Beauty by Collette) and Jacki (Jacki’s Hairdressing), both mum’s who work hard also running their own businesses from home, I was able to offer this opportunity to Bianca Henderson who has an amazing family but one who has also has to endure ongoing hardship. This post is about Bianca and her husband Adam but also about Declan.  I hope you stick with me here as I attempt to do justice to their situation and hopefully bring some light to Declan’s rare condition.

After gaining some glossy straight locks and superstar makeup and frankly, looking very glam Bianca and myself (me looking not so glam) headed to the Henderson household for photos and to meet husband Adam and young Declan. During these hours we spent together my mind was frankly blown by the extent of Declan’s condition and the complications and battles that come with it.

EpilepsyDeclan’s condition first came to light around the age of 3.5 years when inexplicably he was suddenly unconscious at childcare. And so a nightmare began. More seizures followed however his test came back clear. It took a heartbreaking 18 months until Declan’s condition was diagnosed as an extremely rare and severe form of Epilepsy known as F.I.R.E.S. Unlike other forms that affect one area of the brain, with F.I.R.E.S there are multiple parts of the brain being affected. Not only does this mean that there are so many physical repercussions it also means that the condition is inoperable. Where would you start when so many areas of the brain are firing during one of his seizures?

Declan was now having multiple seizures daily and including the many different types. Simple Partial Seizures (I’m not being flippant- that’s what they are called) though to Tonic-Colic seizures resulting in loss of body control and consciousness, vomiting, just to name a few symptoms. Apart from being terrifying for family to see, the resulting fall often causes terrible injuries and can be fatal in themselves.

For Declan his seizures were so frequent and so debilitating he and his family where pretty much living in hospital and at one point they were advise that pallative care was the next step.Epilepsy

F.I.R.E.S is so rare just 3 people in Australia have this form of Epilepsy. Little is know about it and there is also little support for the sufferer’s specific needs. Declan and his family spent long period of time interstate to have tests and eventually Declan was given the opportunity to have an implant known as a VNS (Vagal Nerve Stimulator). Think a bit of circuitry implanted to trip the misfiring of Declan’s brain. This procedure itself took 12 month to be fully up and running as each bit of the circuit board (so to speak) had to be turned on individually.

This implant has improved life for Declan and his family immensely and has enabled him to spend more time at home and out of hospital. Unfortunately this is as far as technology can go to help him. The VNS is not life saving and Declan survives on a multitude of medications which come with their own side effects.

EpilepsyDeclan’s rare Epilepsy has effectively seen him suspended in time mentally, so despite him heading towards his 10th birthday he remains in many ways a 3.5 year old boy. Added to this he has compulsive disorders, autistic traits, and many, many, seizures daily. He easily tires and needs to spend much of his time in a wheel chair. He is not able to swallow well and he and his parents are also facing a new battle trying to keep weight on his small frame. If this can’t be achieved he will need to have a feeding tube (or button) to deliver food via the abdomen.

Today I met Declan on “a good day”. A good day is just two seizures and a happy Declan. He was charming, and gorgeously smiley and so very patient with the strange lady that came to take pictures. He was affectionate with his lovely parents and I think he may well have stolen a bit of my heart.

EpilepsyI met Declan on a good day and I was still blown away by the level of dedication and care that he requires. It is impossible to comprehend how exhausting his care must be on a financial, mental and most importantly emotional level. Declan’s frequent seizures, means he sleeps fitfully and cannot be left alone. Not to sleep, not to hang out washing or do simple chores around the house. He needs to be assisted with eating, toileting and dressing. All the things you take for granted when your toddler moves past this stage. As with any child, Declan has his favourite activity. In his case it is playing the Wii and generally does not go anywhere without the Wii hand piece. Declan does not have the motor skill to actually play but his young mind, teamed with his compulsive and autistic traits means, somebody must be playing the Wii so he believes that he is playing. You will notice that the remote features in many of the photos. Watching Declan watching the activity on the Wii you can see the joy and excitement it brings him and on simple observation this activity seems endearing but is also a stark reminder of his level of understanding. It is also makes for a repetitive day for carers.Epilepsy

Declan attends a disability school a couple of days a week where he has fantastic care and dedicated Grandmother Heather is a big support but Adam travels with work and apart from that Bianca gets just 4 hours a fortnight of respite care. Declan requires a special wheelchair which reclines to support him during seizures and when he is too exhausted to stand anymore. The chair requires a fairly lengthy process of dismantling it to enable it to be put in the car. I would say it probably requires some sort of engineering degree also but that was just my take on it. I’m pretty confident that Bianca and Adam have the process down to a fine art. But regardless, Declan is heading towards 10 years old and lifting his dead weight during a seizure would be a mammoth task for Bianca. They are currently fundraising so that they can purchase the specialised vehicle required to be able to fit Declan’s wheelchair in without disassembling.

You can visit and support their facebook page here to find out more.

The future for Declan is precarious and a life long dedication for his parents and family. He will never be able to have a traditional education as we know it, hold down a job or live by himself. The damage to his brain at this point means that his current state is permanent and could worsen at any time.

Epilepsy

Despite the battles they face there is such huge love between Bianca, Adam and Declan and I felt so lucky to be witness to it and to be able to get some photos of them all. Bianca looked beautiful and I only wish she was in a position to have been swept off for a lovely night out while she looked so amazing and more importantly felt amazing. Declan was exhausted by the end and could barely stand and had to seek refuge in his wheelchair but I can’t thank him enough for being so lovely.

My fear with these photos is that I have done these as a lovely memento for Bianca, Adam and Declan so for the most part they are the pick of the shots and in two dimensions don’t truly capture Declan’s condition. They show a gorgeous boy (which he is) but down play the severity of his disabilities. I’m also acutely aware that I got to meet Declan when he was having a relatively positive day and that this is not what life for the Henderson’s look like very often. I hope that if nothing else I can help the Henderson’s shed some light on this rare and devastating condition, and provide them with some photos to remember Declan’s good days on those that aren’t quite so shiny.

You can check all the photos from the session in the slide show below

 

Bianca’s Moment [Adelaide Photography]

Bianca's Moment [Adelaide Photography,

Mum's Moment Adelaide PhotographyLast week I got to spend a fantastic, and eye opening, afternoon with an amazing family. As you have all been so avidly following my posts (right?) you will know that I decided to run a little project in the lead up to mother’s day and get people to nominate a mum who has it pretty tough and would be really deserving of winning a bit of a pamper and some photos. I had some amazing letters but Bianca Henderson was chosen as the recipient of the package. Bianca is mum to Declan who has a rare form of Epilepsy. It was so great to meet Bianca and then her husband and Declan. To do Bianca’s family justice I’ve split this story into two parts and will share the family photos in a second post so firstly I will focus just on Bianca’s Moment.

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After
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Before

Bianca’s afternoon started with some hair styling by the lovely Jacki Hann (Jacki’s Hairdressing) who was being very shy and hiding from the camera but did a lovely job of making Bianca’s hair a glossy mane. I am always in awe of the job hairdressers do with the straighteners as I can never ever achieve this with my own hair. I blame low dexterity and patience. Here is a bit of before and after action of Bianca’s locks.

 With her hair done we whizzed Bianca off for a makeup session with Collette (Endless Beauty by Collette) where Bianca had to sit patiently, unable to see the work in progress, until the big reveal at the end.  This has got to be a little disconcerting when you can hear a camera clicking away. I can’t thank Jacki and Collette enough for donating their time and expertise for this project and making Bianca look so beautiful. When I came up with the idea for this project I wanted to give a mum a break from the ordinary and felt like we achieved this.  As you will see below Bianca looked incredible and I think it’s safe to say that it was not how she usually spent a Sunday afternoon.

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Finding time and yourself

Autumn 2014-10Phew, it’s been a busy May. It has gone so fast and so packed with action but I can hardly remember what we did. Just an exhausted blur at the moment and that underlying nagging of all the things I still have to do and the list of things I had intended on starting but didn’t. Sometimes it all seem quite overwhelming.

Like most mum’s I struggle to get my work/home life balanced, mostly because I generally work from home unless I’m actually shooting. Being a work at home mum is a pretty tough gig. Yes, there is the huge advantage of flexible hours and I can do it in my trackies, but it requires a lot of discipline. Leaving the house to work gives you a sense of separation and purpose that I think working from home doesn’t give you. When I’m working from home, I think “Oh I’ll just throw a load of washing on” and then my brain enters the “Holy crap … I’ve got a hundred things on this week” zone. I’d better also do that grocery shopping, and iron that shirt, and Billie has a friend coming to play on Tuesday so I need to have healthy snacks, notes to go back to school, present for the party on the weekend, bills, vacuuming, cleaning, zzzzzzzz…….. Don’t get me wrong,Autumn 2014-12 I know everybody has these things to get done, and working mum’s run around madly doing them during lunch breaks and on weekends. I’m getting more at the mind-set of working from home that makes us (certainly me) feel like we still have to do the whole job of a stay-at-home mum as well as trying to work from home. It takes a lot of discipline and understanding from family and friends to support you working on your business through the day, especially when you are not yet bringing in the big bucks. Getting respect for trying to BUILD a business is a different thing. Money is the one currency that people understand. If you head off to work and receive a salary then you are contributing and receiving validation. When you are working from home, when the housework is falling behind because you are busy trying to build your business, but you’ve only made $200 this week, well, this comes with reservations about the value of it from others. They are not seeing the bigger picture – just the bills and the piles of unfolded laundry.

I over commit myself because I want to be it all. I feel like I need to have the perfectly kept house because I am at home but I also want to build my beautiful business and grow as a photographer, as that makes me happy and I feel has been waiting in the wings for far too long. I want to be the absolutely best mum out there and volunteer at school, go on excursions, cook wholesome meals, let them experience the sports/ventures that might fill there souls down the track. I want to feel like I am contributing to the household income and being a great wife, but in doing so I always feel like I am doing a half job of everything. It appears (despite what my pants tell you) there is just not enough of me to go around. Certainly not enough hours in the day for me to get all my ideas off the ground.

Feeling so short on time made me conscious of how I was spending my time and what was bringing me down. I guess also with my youngest heading to school next year it feels like a natural progression to start thinking about what I want my future to look like. So in the last 12 months I have tried to concentrate more on where I need to be and felt I had a lot more direction, and have spent less time accommodating everybody outside my family. It has come at a cost as not everybody likes change. Some people’s roles in my life have reduced and some awesome people have entered it. It’s all about being myself and being allowed to change and welcoming all that comes with it.Autumn 2014-3

I have no regrets. In fact I feel stronger and braver because of it. The people who fill me up are with me and I feel like I am on the right track. I feel like I am starting to find out where I am headed. This does make me scoff a little at having to pick subjects at school for my future .. in year 10 … at what.. 14 years old? #noidea. It’s taken me another 26 years to work out what I want to be when I grow up! And even then I’m pretty sure that’s going to continue to evolve. In the mean time I am doing the best I can, loving my children, enjoying my business, trying to be the best version of me.

Autumn 2014-9So I am working on surrounding myself with positive people who support the journey and are on one themselves. Nothing better than sharing a ride with someone else right? But I still haven’t found those extra hours in the day so now I’m working on my ‘no’ muscle. Someone posted about this recently and it hit a chord with me, the concept of using this muscle more often. Only accepting work and commitments that I feel connected with and excited about.

I’m also working on time blocking my diary. This is not a new concept but not something I have exercised at home.  I live by my calendar but I only have been putting in work/school/kindy/sports/social commitments. For this day forth (sounds official right?) I am putting exercise and kids time in my calendar. I am time blocking those suckers in so they are not the things that gives way to everything else. It’s in the diary as a commitment. So by blocking in some “official” time I get a bit for me, work and a big chunk for my kids and hopefully a bit more balance all around. Time to stop putting myself last – it’s exhausting and not really any good for my family either. Grumpy, tired mummies are bad news.

My husband has been studying so I recently blocked out some time to take the kids to Mount Lofty Botanical Gardens. It’s become one of my favourite places and absolutely in its element in Autumn. This weather recently has been incredible and it seems amazing that we were up there in May … in t-shirts, but I’m not complaining. We had so much fun playing in the leaves and the extra sunshine does wonders for the soul. It reminds me how awesome the journey is and how lucky I am to have all the incredible things I have in my life.signature-with-red2

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Mother’s Day: Bianca and Declan’s story

Mum's Moment Adelaide Photography

Adelaide Photo Session Giveaway

Mother’s Day is nearly here and so my Mum’s Moment project is coming to an end. It is going to be really tough to pick one mum to receive the photo session and pre shoot shimmer up.

Mum’s always seem to put themselves last so I hope that this Sunday you all get a bit of pampering and your families remind you how important you are and what an awesome job you are doing in this extremely tough job called ‘motherhood’. If your day starts steering towards the norm, time to pull up the reigns, scream “whoa nelly”, sit somewhere comfortable and demand to be celebrated. In saying that, my mother’s day this year will consist of standing on an oval for the morning watching my son play football, followed by celebrating my youngest’s birthday. This year her 5th birthday falls right on mother’s day making it a bit of nightmare trying to organise a birthday party (will be on a bit of a delay). But we will share the 11th and I will enjoying watching her enjoy her big day.

My last mum to be featured for Mum’s Moment is Bianca. She has another one of those life stories that leaves me in awe of people and amazed at their coping skills. Bianca is mum to 9 year old Declan. At the age of 3.5 years Declan had a seizure which resulted in him being diagnosed with an extremely rare epilepsy syndrome called F.I.R.E.S – Febrile Infection Related Epilepsy Syndrome.

This condition is so rare that it only affects 1 in every 1 million children worldwide and I have to say I found it really difficult finding straight forward information about it (non medical lingo). Even on the Epilepsy Australia website I couldn’t find anything specifically on F.I.R.E.S describing the syndrome, reinforcing the fact that it is something that needs to be brought to our attention. It may well be there, but the fact that it was hard to find says that few people are aware of its existance. Previous names include AERRPS, DESC (Devastating Epileptic encephalopathy in School-aged Children), and NORSE (New-Onset Refractory Status Epilepticus)

What I do know is about how it has affected Declan and his family: “Declan’s epilepsy has left him with many challenges in daily life. Declan has daily seizures, global development delay, speech and communication difficulties, coordination problems, behaviour issues, autistic traits, and many side effects from medication. Unfortunately Declan is not a candidate for brain surgery. Instead he has had a VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator) implanted in April 2012 to try to help him get better seizure control”

What causes F.I.R.E.S is currently unknown but it seems to affect more boys than girls and comes to light between the ages of 3-15. Treatment involves a heck of a lot of medication to manage seizures, but which appear to not be super effective.

Watching your child suffer this type of condition must be heartbreaking and the effect on the whole family completely life altering. Bianca has been nominated by an ex neighbour and friend Nicolle, who wrote and told me that Declan’s epilepsy has left him requiring a wheelchair and with him heading towards 10 he is getting too heavy to be lifting in and out of their car. So at the moment the family are heads down trying to fundraise so they can afford to purchase a modified vehicle suitable for Declan’s needs. It would be magic if you could support the family in this important and life changing venture. Having a wheelchair friendly vehicle would open up so many avenues for them. The are selling entertainment books and they have a facebook page to support the families venture http://www.facebook.com/drivingdeclan and if you love a good quiz night they are holding one on the 26th July at West Adelaide Football Club $10 per person, 10 to a table. Link to the event is as follows https://m.facebook.com/events/520139371425598

Thank you so much to Nicolle for nominating Bianca and bringing Declan’s story to me and I wish them every success in their endeavour to raise money for the vehicle.

Just as a little side note … and because I learnt all sort of things on the epilepsy web site (http://www.epilepsycentre.org.au/) here is something important we should all have some idea about that gives you first aid information specific for someone have an epileptic seizure. First aid poster

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day when your arms are empty – Mum’s Moment Project

Adelaide Photo Session GiveawayThis project is moving me beyond words but I’ve scraped up some with the help of an email I received from Sarah. The email threw me, as things do that you’ve never had to consider for yourself, but there was absolutely no question that I should feature it as this weeks nomination for my Mum’s Moment Project.

Sarah wrote to me nominating her friend Kellie but she wasn’t sure whether Kellie would be eligible, even though Sarah felt she should be. I could not agree more so here is Kellie’s story.

Around ten months ago Kellie delivered a beautiful little girl who was still at birth. [Just typing this sets off the tears]. She and her husband have tried for a number of years to fall pregnant and had to endure two miscarriages early in previous pregnancies. So you can imagine that when their little “miracle” made it through the first trimester, then the second and then full term that they where ecstatic. At just over 38 weeks Kellie became aware that she had not felt any movement for a while and was hit with the devastating news that the doctors could no longer find a heart beat. Then to endure the torment of birthing her beloved baby girl [Abby] and the bittersweetness of getting to see her and hold her …… and then have to say goodbye.

Needless to say, Kellie has had a rough time of it and Sarah would love to see her get something special and remind her that despite not being able to watch Abby grow up that she is absolutely her mum and absolutely deserves to be honoured on Mother’s Day.

A mother’s love for her unborn child can be ferocious and consuming. All the ideals and plans for the future, all that protective mother lion love that goes into these little beings from the time they are just embryos means you are a Mum regardless of if and how long you got to cradle your baby. Medical science might say otherwise but I believe you are a mum from the moment you pee on that stick or get confirmation from your doctor. If this baby has been long wanted, then he or she has been around in your heart and mind even before that confirmation. You are a mum.

Six babies are born still everyday in Australia. If you or someone you know needs information you can go to http://www.sandssa.org here in South Australia or http://www.stillbirthfoundation.org.au. Both websites offer support, information and you can donate to help find a cause for stillbirth and support bereaved parents.  Sands South Australia supports not only families affected by stillbirth but also miscarriage, neonatal death, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy and genetic/medically advised termination. Any parents or family that have suffered the death of a baby from conception into infancy.

I know a number of families who have suffered the death of a child and know that unless you have walked in those shoes you just can not imagine the pain, anguish and emptiness that comes with life without their little people. We can have sympathy for their sadness and grief but never understand what each day brings for those parents now. Thank you so much to Sarah for nominating Kellie and bringing her story to us. Undeniably Mother’s Day is going to be extremely tough but I hope those around Kellie, and all the Mum’s that have endured the nightmare, honour them as the Mum’s they are.

If you would like to nominate somebody you can do so here:

Introducing Teagan – Mum’s Moment Project Giveaway: Photo Session/Hair/Makeup/Nails

Mum's Moment AdelaideThis week the new entry into my Mum’s Moment photo shoot is Teagan. This deserving mum has been nominated by her own mum Linda, which I love.

Teagan has had a very rocky road of late and was diagnosed with breast cancer last year when she was just 27 years old and with a baby boy only 14 months old. She was diagnosed after finding a small lump on one of her breasts. The lump was removed and doctors performed a sentinel node biopsy. Teagan’s world turned upside down when the results from the node testing came back positive for cancer. She went from enjoying her little boy and planning another pregnancy to having to organise to have her eggs frozen and schedules of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Further testing for Teagan has also shown that she is a carrier of the BRCA1 gene which means that a precautionary double mastectomy is also on the cards to ensure long term survival.

“The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are two mutations known to be associated with hereditary breast cancer. Women who carry these mutations can also be at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.”

“If you have a strong family history of breast cancer – that is two or more first-degree (mother, sister, daughter) or second-degree (grandmother, aunt, niece) relatives on the same side of the family who have been diagnosed with breast cancer – there is a chance your family may carry a breast cancer gene mutation”

“While breast cancer is considered a woman’s disease, it can affect men and the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations can be passed through the father’s side of the family as well as the mother’s.”

[http://www.bcna.org.au/about-breast-cancer/breast-cancer-family]

Her treatment has been successful and things are looking good for Teagan. She and her partner Geoff are looking forward to being able to add another little person to their tribe, however it’s obviously been a traumatic experience and Teagan’s mum would love to see her receive something a bit special and a chance for some photos with her Geoff and little boy Jack.

If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer make sure you speak to your GP and keep a regular check on your own breasts. For more information you can check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation website which has a wealth of information and support.

And, as it happens the wonderful Aussie music legend Chrissy Amphlett has left her legacy this week with the launch of the I Touch Myself Project. Chrissy passed away a year ago, having battled Breast Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis.

If you have someone you think deserves to be nominated for the Mum’s Moment Project. Nominate them on the form belowMother's Day mum's moment project

 

 

Mother’s Day: Time to celebrate all the mums and a little bit of Autumn colour thrown in [2014 Adelaide Photography Session]

Young girl and tulle in the autumn vines-1-2Sharing something a little personal tonight on the blog and raising a glass to pay tribute to all the generations of mums

I have a number of things on the go, namely a mother’s day offer and my very special Mum’s Moment Project. If you haven’t checked them out, then I’d love you to follow the links at the bottom to find out more and share. There is a definite theme going and it’s about celebrating mum’s. My Mum’s Moment Project felt like something that had been brewing for such a long time. Too many mum’s, sisters, daughters, aunts having a tough time. I’m not a doctor, accountant or therapist. I can’t offer any medical or financial solutions but what I can do is give them some memories to hold onto which is why I decided to launch this project. And I know how mum’s generally hate to be in front of the camera  so I organised some truly awesome women to help spruce them up before the session. Namely Sheridan Gordon, Jacki Hann and Collette Afar. If you need some sprucing up yourself I firmly suggest you get in touch with these ladies ’cause they are not only amazing at what they do but pretty damn cool in their own right.

Moving along, tonight’s post is very personal and is linked with mums. At the start of this year I lost my beautiful Grandmother. Last grandparent standing on both sides of my family and intrinsic in my life and later on that of my children. I wish they had been old enough to really remember grandparents on both sides of the family but as it stands my maternal Grandmother was the most involved in their lives. Grandma was tiny and quietly feisty, never one to make a fuss or put anyone else out, but somehow still able to hold her ground. Growing up it was my Grandfather who instilled the discipline and yet it is the memory of my grandmother getting cross with me for not finishing my peas that stands out in my mind, maybe because her manner was usually so un-confrontational that this sticks with me (I now do eat peas… just saying).

Due to my parents unwavering care of my grandmother and her undeniable spirit, she was a fixture in all our lives over the years and she lived out over 100 of them.

Hell yes, ONE frick’n HUNDRED!

We are talking letter from the Queen, Prime Minister, Governor, type birthday.

When she finally was taken down after a brave battle following a stroke she was 6 days short of celebrating her 101st birthday. Despite the inevitability of her departure (when you hit 100 you’ve gotta figure you’re on borrowed time right?), it was still such a loss and a sudden conclusion to having four generations often together. Upon her passing, as it happens, there is the unavoidable cleaning up of apartments and personal belongings. This in itself has been a journey for my mother and her siblings. A woman who was born into war, and enduring rationing, an army wife, and a changing world becomes adept at cautious, measured behaviour and fear at showing too much, but in her death her sentimentality has been unveiled with findings that we never knew existed. A saved wedding dress, diaries and letter. Moments into a world we will never experience.

It is these things that make me want to provide a memory box for my children and their children. Things that they are too young to value now but will mean so much down the track. I feel like photos give me one of those outlets to not only show them through my eyes how I see them but having something they can also pass on to their children. The photos taken below are of my 10-year-old daughter. She is so spirited and original and full to the brim of ideas. She is symbolic of all the enthusiasm and idealism of youth. So these photos mean so much to me. They are of my first-born, having experienced a decade here, teenage hormones starting to bubble to the surface, but still so innocent and loving …. and taken at a place that my grandmother would have quietly marvelled over, and some are taken on a quilt that was crafted by my Grandmother, from materials preceding my creation: my mothers old outfits, some of her school uniform, bits from around the old house. Tiny pieces of memory beautifully sewn together and now enjoyed 4 generations later. It is a special thing.

Time passes quickly so take the time to enjoy those around you. They will not always be here. Enjoy what you have. It can be taken away. Love those who deserve your love. They will grow from it. Love those that don’t. They too will be all the better for it and so will you. Be grateful, be kind … you may never know people’s full story. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF. We all have a tale to be told… make sure it’s a good one and worthy of passing on. Live well.

Mother’s Day is more than just celebrating your mum, it’s about celebrating all mums’ so if you have not nominated a really deserving mum for my full photography session plus image, and hair, makeup, nails, I would love it if you could do so below or share the link. Also my Mother’s Day special details are below.

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