Celebrating Maryea

A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from a lady in Melbourne who told me she wanted a photo session but the day she asked about I was already booked. I was in between client appointments and nearly didn’t ask her this question, but thank goodness I did. I asked “What sort of session are you looking to do – perhaps I maybe able to suggest another photographer for you?” She told me she wanted a session to celebrate her and making it through a tough year. I choked up inside and I knew I had to do this session, so I asked her, “Is there any chance you could do Saturday evening instead?” She told me yes and we made it happen. A few days later we met for her session. We often don’t take the time to do things for ourselves or to honour ourselves, but Maryea did. I admire Maryea greatly for that. What a beautiful gift to herself.

Please take a few minutes to read these words below from Maryea.

“ I recently had the pleasure of spending an evening with Liz Arcus. I had organised a photo shoot with her to celebrate the end of a very challenging year. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer early 2013; two rounds of surgery, five months of chemo and five weeks of radiation.

I had decided I wanted horses involved in the shoot. I grew up with these magnificent animals, we always owned them & they remain intensely special to me. I still ride now. My good  friend Karan lives just out of Shepparton. She owns three horses.  We met when we were 11. (we are 51 now!) I told her of my idea and she was more than happy to be involved. We met at Primary school- we had both engraved our initials (separately) in a wooden desk in our classroom…. Sister Theophane discovered the vandalism & was horrified! Our punishment was to sand back and re-varnish the desk during the weekly sport lesson. We didn’t know each other at all really at that point, as I had come to the school only the previous year. The desk sanding ended up being the high-light of our school-week!! So much for the punishment, we revelled in being perched up on the landing, sanding away and bonding thick and fast over our mutual love of horses. It was the beginning of a strong and life- long friendship .We rode together when we were kids, at every opportunity. My childhood horse is buried on Karan’s family property. We had numerous adventures & loved every minute of it.We still ride today. A  high-light was a trip to the Kimberely in 2008. Seven women rode for seven days covering 250 kms. An unforgettable experience ….

So, the photo shoot…Liz came out to Karan’s property as arranged. My first impression was that I had definitely made the right choice in photographers. Liz is intensely likable, honest and earthy. She went to work, taking photos of myself, Karan and us together. We then went to the stables and got the horses  involved. She asked interesting questions of both of us, as she sought to get to know a bit more about us. The shoot ended up being very cathartic for me; I actually cried a lot which really surprised me. It bought “stuff” to the surface when I least expected it, although horses can do that to you if you have that connection. (They are known for being healing creatures & more people are acknowledging that now, particularly with work involving young offenders.) All this was a very positive experience.

We rode out into paddocks at sunset, which was just beautiful and afterwards went back to the house for a champers. We played music and I cried some more…Casey Chambers, ‘Love like a Hurricane’,  and Helen Reddy’s song ‘I am woman, hear me roar….’ being another source of inspiration during my cancer battles…

I love a positive saying or quote but what helped me this year, were these words….  “If you’re going through hell, keep going…”   Winston Churchill. You do come out the other side. I have completed treatment, feeling well and enjoying my beautiful family and friends. Looking forward to Christmas and a three week break in Gippsland with my gorgeous husband and four children.

So, thank you Liz for capturing my celebration of me! Love & light,Maryea  xxx”

Thank you for choosing me to photograph you. It was such an honour to spend a few hours with you Maryea and Karan. I loved walking and talking, getting to know more about horses, your journey, your friendship and adventures with Karan, and chatting about the wonderful movie – ‘Horseboy’ and chatting about the healing power of horses, singing along with Helen Reddy, laughing, crying and smiling with you and leaving you as sipped champers on Karan’s verandah listening to more music. You are a beautiful positive woman Maryea and it’s lovely to have met you. Sending you love and light today and always, Liz xo

To have your own session or with your loved ones contact Liz liz@lizarcus.com or 0407861303

  • Debbie Bau - Just beautiful, Maryea so proud of you and so happy that you did something to celebrate YOU my love. The photos Liz are just so special and remind us that that its the moments in life that matter not the ‘things’ you have captured a wonderful spirit in Maryea and obviously a special bond with her childhood friend.

    Cheers to you Maryea and I will be charging my glass on Camino to you for you strength and resilience. Enjoy the break.


  • annette (Lee) appleby - Dear liz you have captured a very rare and beautifull moments between true friends, growing up with maryea and her family has been an honour and yes she is my hero. Thanks again for the photos.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Lloyd - Hi Liz, Maryea and her husband Barry, came to live in our crt as a newly married couple. We became close friends and had many lovely times together. Our children were quite young at the time and are all grown up and married now and after Maryea and Barry moved away I was babysitter to their four beautiful children. These photos are just so beautiful and really capture the true Maryea. I am so glad you were able to do this for her. Karen xxxReplyCancel

  • Christine Cussen - Love those pics
    Maryea. They capture your strength and spirit. I use you and your outlook as an example to my dad and many of my friends who have challenges in their lives. You certainly have an amazing presence about you and are always So happy and positive to those you meet. Look forward yo seeing you soon. Christine Cussen Rhonda’s sisterReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Maryea is my sister-in-law. She is such an amazing lady who is so so special. She always looks at the positive side, she’s a true inspiration. Your photos are just gorgeous and you have captured Maryeas beauty and love of life, horse & friendship. It has brought tears to my eyes.ReplyCancel

    • Liz - She is certainly amazing Michelle. I am glad you like the photos of her 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Julie - This lovely lady is my Aunty. She is all and more of what you’ve just described. I haven’t seen her for a while, so this was just heartwarming to see and read. I don’t know you Liz, but the way you’ve described her is perfect. Thank you for sharing, I shed a little tear because it was so touching! xReplyCancel

    • Liz - Julie, I am so pleased you have got to see this. She is a very special lady. Sending you much love xoReplyCancel

  • Hope Copeland - Beautiful Liz, just beautiful. I have goosebumps. What a great session and memories you gave Maryea.ReplyCancel

    • Liz - Thank you Hope. I LOVE the fact she chose to book a session to celebrate her. It was so special.ReplyCancel

  • Tricia King - Just divine. As a child of a mother with breast cancer I know this fight and I know this victory. I know what a challenging year is. Maryea looks awesome and you’ve captured her happiness. I hope she has much happy for years to come. You caught the moment so well. xxReplyCancel

    • Liz - Thank you Tricia. I am a child of a mother of cancer also, sadly my mum did not survive Leukemia, so I love hearing stories of victories like your mum and Maryea. Sending you much love Tricia xoReplyCancel

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