“Sometimes it’s hard to see the rainbow when there have been endless days of rain.”
Volume two of the Roses For Thorns series will be launched on the 3rd September!
Following my miscarriage in October last year, I was touched and amazed at how many people have faced miscarriage and/or infertility themselves – so many of us don’t talk about it because, well, it’s not exactly a great party starter. We all know at least one person, even if we don’t know their story, that has struggled to conceive or has lost a baby in pregnancy. Yet I still find it to be a topic that doesn’t garner enough “normality” – and what I mean is that many still feel ashamed to share, shamed into silence by the overwhelming stigma that women are women partially/wholly because of their ability to reproduce.
For this season, I wanted to focus solely on miscarriage and infertility and really strip the photography down….to make it almost barren, and more focused on the physical aspect of the women involved. It was less about the surroundings and more about the “Roses”, because I wanted us to see the personal face of the fact that 1 in 4 women will suffer a termination and difficulties in pregnancy.
This series focuses on:
Kathryn Rossiter – Becoming You
Mandy Lee Miller – Pregnant In Cape Town & Ever After
Chenel Kruger – Life With James & Jaxson
Nikki Lincoln – We Are The Humans
I wanted to have 4 very different stories to tell – miscarriage, eptopic pregancys, years with no positive results and countless tears shed. Each and every journey is unique and personal and I hope, by putting images to these women’s heartache, that we can welcome in emotion and sorrow that has been locked away; we invite “me too” moments, and a chance for anyone to not feel alone anymore.
We want, so desperately, for every woman who has ever felt the heavy thud of a broken heart, the heat of unending tears, the emptiness of unfulfilled dreams, to know that they are exquisite diamonds that we cherish and wish to support. Your pain is acknowledged. You are acknowledged.
You are seen.
I see you.
What’s in a name
The concept behind #RosesForThorns stems from the biblical scripture “Beauty for ashes” in which those who mourn, those who live with pain, brokenness and shame will receive a mantle of overwhelming joy in exchange for the burden of sorrow that they carry with them. Even if you aren’t a follower of the Christian faith, I think we can all agree that the idea of letting our despair and inadequacies go and embracing the beauty within, the beauty that so often gets trampled on by our circumstances and darkness, is a welcome relief. It’s a validation.
I am a huge believer of sharing our past in the hope that it will better someone else’s future – when we allow ourselves to grieve, to share our experiences, we give others permission to do the same; we create a safe space in which to let go of the mountain that keeps trying to bury us.
#RosesForThorns is a collaborative blog series that focuses as much on imagery as it does on word. Its power lies in the women who take part in the series, both as Roses, and as vendors who give their time to the shoots. It’s not about my camera skills, X’s dresses, Y’s flowers – it’s a collective movement that aims to give a voice to those who have felt silenced and those who have felt misunderstood.
Whilst I hate the phrase “real women” because all women are real, unless we’re talking about blow-up dolls, these shoots are not about models who look like nik-naks – pain doesn’t discriminate and neither does this series.
I want to keep doing #RosesForThorns for as long as I can hold a camera. Being able to help women show who they are, what they fear, and what they live for, in photos is something I love. It’s difficult to beat being able to show people how beautiful they are not despite of what they have been through, but because what they have been through has made them fighters, it has unleashed gifts within them that might have laid dormant. I will always strive to take your thorns, and make you see the roses that bloom in-spite of them.
Our heartfelt thanks goes to…
This series wouldn’t have been possible without the following people contributing their time and creative genius to the shoots:
Makeup – Kathryn, Chenel & Nikki
NJD Makeup Artistry
Makeup & Hair – Mandy
Smudge Hair & Makeup Academy
Hair – Kathryn, Chenel & Nikki
Hair & Makeup by Putri
And a special thanks to Claire Nieuwoudt from Bowties & Braces for lending us beautiful headpieces, and to my husband – “Just in case you ever foolishly forget; I’m never not thinking of you.”