Precious lives

Deb Ellis shares with you  –

“When faced with a member of your family being diagnosed with cancer or any uncertain illness or injury, it’s very easy to be pulled in to the ominous world of fear and in many ways we shut down. The illness becomes the focus, the doctors, the diagnosis, the options, the outcomes. And while all of this is significant, it’s important to remember your family member in more ways is still the person they were before the diagnosis and to bring our focus to life, to living.

In reality we are ALL dying. Dying is part of life and we can learn to undertake the process better.

When my Mum was recently diagnosed with breast cancer for me it became a priority to take time to capture the love we share as mother and daughter, her as a grandmother, but most importantly her as a woman, a mother, a partner and lifelong friend to my Dad. To capture the amazing love and respect they share for one another.

However, the final decision to have the photos done was up to mum, because as much as I wanted to do this, it was more important that it was something she wanted. And deciding when she wanted to do the photos before or after her surgery.

Allowing the person to be in control of these decisions is very important, and letting go of our own needs and expectations is equally important. Not just decisions about photos, but decisions about their surgery and treatment options.

I am so greatful that mum said yes to photos… And that Dad (who really doesn’t like having his photo taken) also positively took part. The heightened emotions for all of as at the time means these images will always remind me how precious we all are to each other.

Mum is recovering well and we will face each day with optimism and gratitude for the joy and love we share with each other as family.

Special thanks to my beautiful friend Liz for making the time at short notice to come and be the one to capture these precious images… Wouldn’t have wanted it to be anyone else”



When Deb contacted me and told me that her mum, Glenys had just been diagnosed with breast cancer I was deeply saddened, but when she asked me would I come and do photos for her mum before surgery it was the very least I could do. On the afternoon that the photos were to be taken the rain came pouring down as I drove from Shepparton  to Euroa. As I neared the town, I rang Deb who was racing from work to collect Meg and meet at her parents’ house. To save time as the clouds gathered heavier and heavier I ran to the shops for Deb and grabbed some wine and nibbles for her family. But nothing was going to stop this special family session. I arrived not sure how I would find everyone after the recent news but I was totally overwhelmed to find them so joyous, so happy, joking around – making the most of every moment. It was so beautiful. We only had about 15 minutes to photograph outside, but we made those family photos happen and then they gathered around the kitchen table and swapped travel stories, chatted and laughed some more. The love and support that this Glenys and Peter and their family share with each other was is very strong. The support that It was so beautiful to see.

Glenys, Peter, Deb, Meg and family I am sending you lots of love and strength xx

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