To begin, let this shy, fluffy, gentle soul confess to you that I am nervous of having to show my face. It’s true, but I have to so that I can share with you my own personal story. And isn't it funny how, even though I spend so much time taking photos of others, I personally become so reserved and shy when it is my own picture being taken.
How did I come about taking photos of differently-abled children and adults? My children were quite ill when they were growing up and, as their father worked away from home, I would take as many photos as possible of our 'hotel stays' (as I called them) to show him that it was not all doom and gloom all the time. I started documenting my work and then began sharing the photographs with my children's paediatrician to thank him for his help. After a while he approached me with the incredible idea of creating a book dedicated to the lives and experiences of differently-abled children, which book would provide a way of raising funds to support them.
And so was born the inspiration for the "Touching The Heart" coffee table book and initiative...an initiative which is celebrated annually with a prestigious gala fundraising event. I am extremely proud to be a part of this incredible project, which is a joint initiative of two NPO's - Daniel and Friends Fund and I am Special Ministries. My journey has led me to additional work with Daniel and Friends, as well as with Iris House Children's Hospice.
My heart has been stolen by these children and I am quite content with never getting it back.
On the professional side of this page...
I studied photography before digital and became quite efficient and comfortable in the dark room, developing my own photos. I also worked in the magazine industry for many years before becoming a mom and choosing to change my priorities. Later, once reunited with my camera, which has become an extension of me, I discovered a renewed passion for capturing and documenting precious moments.
There are times when I am as nervous about a first shoot as what my clients are but I am always able to put them at ease. I invite them to sit down and relax and then coax them gently to look into the middle of my lens, as opposed to sounding like a movie director by shouting instructions at them. There have been times when I have climbed into bushes and even up trees to get that perfect shot! I am well aware that, like us, differently-abled individuals are just as prone to 'bad days' as what we are. Or that a child may not even know I am there. But in all scenarios I strive to put the whole family at ease and make sure that I obtain as much information as possible beforehand to ensure that I do not trigger any anxiety in the child.
Children with special needs are extremely close to my heart and capturing your child's cherished moments would be an honour for me.
On a side note, I am also a Birth Photographer. And a proud registered member of SABPA, the South Africa Birth Photographer's Association.
I thank you for stopping by read a little more about my story - I look forward to helping you create yours.