I have something to share with you. Something that has kept me up at night, has taken over my mind, my house, my relationships. It’s something that started off so small and is now a blinding star, unmissable.
I have something to show you, to offer you, to reveal to you….
The heart of five very real, and very different women.
It began after Rosie was born; it was an overwhelming emotional tug at my heart whenever I thought about my mother and the loss of my brother. Despite losing her baby, she had to keep going. She didn’t have the option of crawling under the duvet and shouting “I’m not doing this anymore”, she didn’t have the luxury of grieving. I will never know how much her heart hurt, the un-shed tears, and thoughts that kept her up at night – I am truly grateful for her strength.
Mum, you are incredible…In the darkness I create, you will forever hold the candle for my escape.
It was this realization of a mother’s love that began to unfold in my mind, bringing forth an idea.
The day-to-day of parenting never ceases to amaze me – the constant struggle to put everyone first – and I realized that there must be millions of stories across the world of parents who wake up each day with a heavy, breaking heart that has to take a backseat because the family needs to be cared for. Thus #RosesForThorns was born, a series focusing on mothers who continue parenting despite their everyday thorns and the tragedies of life that never really leave them, the cloak of subtle darkness that sits heavily on their weary shoulders. It was to be a celebration of their strengths, and an acknowledgment of their pain.
I originally thought of just shooting a few portraits of the “Roses” but when I ran my ideas by Tam Braun from Tapestry, she took this tiny light and coaxed out the sun. We realized that this was going to be one blogger series where words were actually not enough, we needed to take these powerful stories and give them images; we needed to bring the words to life, to show other mothers out there that they are not alone.
Choosing the ladies who would be my Roses was pretty easy as I knew little bits of pain from the posts that these women had shared already…getting them to say yes was my biggest worry as I was going to be asking them to give me everything, all their scars, and we were going to take their stories and make them experience it in images. That’s a tough ask, but they were so wonderful, jumping on board without hesitation.
At first, I didn’t want to focus on myself, I hadn’t thought about revealing my past in the series at all but Tam persuaded me that I also needed to be included and from our initial meeting and numerous voice notes, we began to put our ideas into motion.
The process was intense – location scouting, dress fittings, vendor meetings and then the shoots, five Saturdays in a row, with another coming at the end of December. To say I’m exhausted is an understatement, and it wasn’t without its tragedies BUT, it’s been the most wonderful experience and I’ve worked with some real warriors.
I will be sharing the series in January 2018 and I’m so excited for this passion project to be seen by you all; If this series touches the heart of just one person, if it helps bring to light hidden feelings and wounds that need to breathe, if it allows for freedom, inclusion and healing, then it will all have been worth it.
This post is really to set the scene and, more importantly, offer my gratitude to the people who made #RosesForThorns happen.
To the Roses who agreed to take part, you are bloomin’ amazing and I am honored that you said yes and were so open about your feelings and past. By expressing your vulnerability you have allowed others to do the same.
To the incredible vendors, without which, the concepts would not have been so magical, or so perfect:
Magpie Calls – bespoke crowns and accessories – Tarah, you saw my mood boards and instantly connected with my ideas. Your beautiful creations are so inspiring and wonderful to behold – you’re an absolute jewel.
Website | Facebook | Instagram
Epanouir Flower Studio – floral creations and veiling – Coral, from the moment we met, you offered us the most beautiful and warm heart. Your emotion is your gift, your crown.
Website | Facebook | Instagram
My Pretty Vintage & The Events Co – Props and vintage items – Angie, you are gold. You embraced our concept and shared so deeply your own story, encouraging openness and a deep sense of peace.
MPV – Website | Facebook | Instagram
TEC – Facebook | Instagram
Jacoba Clothing – Dresses – Anna, your dresses make women feel like Queens and that is one of the most amazing characteristics of your business. You let me invade your space on numerous occasions, allowing each Rose to be dressed in the most fitting, and beautiful gowns.
Website | Facebook | Instagram
Langverwagt – location for my shoot – Juria, thank you so much for opening your home to us, allowing us to celebrate the amazing beauty you have cultivated. Thank you for being so welcoming of us and our vision.
Working with four different Makeup Artists has been an incredible and eye-opening experience, big thank yous to:
Polished Artistry, Kendra (Myself)
To Mr H, thank you for your constant belief in this series and for supporting my late nights and long weekends; for investing in my photography and for telling me to chase my dreams. Thank you my always and ever for being the most brilliant husband, perfect father and my best friend.
Tapestry – Styling and concept development – Tam, there is the gentlest power within you, it is compassionate, loving and embracing. You make everyone around you feel comfortable and you own the power of being able to draw out people’s gifts with grace and ease. I have not the right words to thank you for how diligently you gave up your time for me, how faithfully you listened to my rambling voice notes and answered my late-night weekend emails as if it was nothing. On the days that I doubted myself, you shone a light and pulled me up, encouraging me, inspiring me, and on the days when I was elated, you rejoiced with me. Giving up your weekends for this shoot, despite having a babe at home, I am in awe of you, and also so grateful to Nadim.
Dearest Tam, we met by chance through my photography and I am so thankful for that encounter each and every day. When I was feeling at my worst, you reminded me that everything I feel is valid and that I can simply just be. You deserve a world of sapphires and emeralds, of vintage tea cups and heritage roses. There will never be anyone like you, own that.
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A rose’s rarest essence lives in the thorn.