I was encouraged recently to tell my story and the compelling reasons behind why I am so incredibly passionate about what I do.
It's not a story that I am ready to tell - yet, but it made me stop and think about all the women and mothers that I have met over the years. How amazing each and every one of them are. How each of them have their own amazing story to tell...and an idea sparked. This spark quickly turned into a flame.
A collection of images captured by me (Sarah), partnered with words written by the women themselves.
Someday it will come together as a book, but for now each of these stories stand alone, and International Women's Day is the perfect time to launch the concept.
Wanted : Women of all ages and backgrounds
Do you have a story to tell? Do you know someone who does? I am looking to partner with women of all ages, with a diverse range of backgrounds, stories and journeys.
I can hear you all now... "There's nothing interesting about my story, it has no value, it's no worse than what anyone else has been through." I call bullshit. I want ALL the stories.
We are Women - Elise, A Journey through Motherhood
About a year ago my gorgeous friend Elise posted on her Insta account about a devastating loss, another baby taken too early (Elise has had multiple miscarriages). Many would feel that social media wasn't the place to talk about miscarriage, but Elise (as do I) felt that it was important to talk about her family's loss so others could benefit. That it might open a discussion.
Elise was the first woman I thought of when embarking on this project. I admire her honesty and open nature and when I approached Elise it all fell into place. I presented her with an idea...a moody black and white image of her at one of our local waterfalls.
It couldn't have been more serendipitous as we captured the image in the week that their baby had been due to come into the world.
Elise, along with her husband and son (Oskar) met me on one of the hottest days in January (it was 40 degrees), a storm was brewing, the sky was electric. We hiked down to the waterfall with Oskar chatting and playing along the way - we even found a baby bearded dragon along the way. At the waterfall the family explored and played together, splashing one another, blowing bubbles, and as time progressed Elise moved over to the waterfall. There was no posing, no script, just a moment captured.
Look at this beautiful, strong woman.
I feel like in motherhood we walk an invisible bridge that joins two worlds.
Our hearts no longer beat inside our chests but are carried around,
and sometimes away, by the children we have created.
I am forever grateful for the child I hold in my arms and I am also grateful for the ones I never will. When the darkness after loss eventually shifted I came to believe I was only meant to hold their souls for a short time, so they could get where they were going safely. A motherhood bridge across two worlds.
They weren’t destined for me in this life.
This place, in this photograph, a little further away and connected by a stream is where I came to say goodbye to the babies I lost. This is the place I let go of their spirits. You don’t ever let go of the loss. There is no getting over it or moving on. There is only moving forward with new shadow and an acute awareness of the darkness that could take your heart at any moment.
On the day of the photo, the waterfall and rainforest are cool and I am completely still. Far overhead a dust storm is rolling in bringing dark skies and chaos. I don’t think anything could more aptly describe the light and shadows of being a mother than Mother Nature herself in that moment.
I choose the light.
Elise - Warrior Woman and Mother of Oskar and angels
Women of all ages and diversity welcome!
I am so very grateful to each and every person/family/couple that trusts me with their story, but especially the women who bare themselves, entrusting that I will capture their story, their pain and their joy authentically.