A gifted lifestyle session in Sydney: Donna


“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.

You need to be able to throw something back.” — Maya Angelou

I truly believe in paying it forward, or throwing something back as Maya puts it. The one thing that I have to throw back is my photography. It’s been my plan to gift sessions to those who may not be able to afford it but so deserve it. Those who are survivors of domestic violence, those who are sick and dealing with illness, and those parents who are champions for the children. They have the world on their shoulders, and deserve a little gift. I say little, but I put a big effort into these sessions; I’m emotionally invested. I feel the importance of the session and the images that we create together. I’m hoping to gift more sessions this year, and this post is to put it out into the world.

This is one of the last sessions that I did last year. It fell into place quickly and only happened as I’d had a cancellation just that day. It felt like serendipity when I received a message from Mel asking about a family portrait session for her friend. She requested a quote as she wanted to raise money for a portrait session for her friend who has stage 4 cancer. She explained that Donna was a midwife delivering babies for 16 years and the mother to three children. My heart ached, and I knew that it was a session that I could gift, to throw back.

We were both free on the upcoming Saturday, and Mel lovingly organised hair and make-up for Donna. She spent the day taking her to the appointments and come with her own family to the session. I could see how much this session meant to everyone, and at times it was stressful. We all wanted perfect photos, but I knew my role was to bring calm and help them focus on one another rather than the camera. At times, I suggested they close they their eyes, and breathe. It was during these moments of calm that I felt their deep love and the images are my personal favourites.