A Thousand Words

by Lori Dwyer on June 28, 2012 · 20 comments

Please don’t underestimate the intrinsic, irreplaceable value of family photographs. And I tell you this from heart breaking experience.

One of the only photos I have of all four of us, my whole family together, is this one here– and I’ve Photoshopped it to within an inch of it’s pixelated life, because it wasn’t a great picture to begin with.

You know how it is, I’m sure– you’re always behind the lens of the camera; and if you’re not, your husband is. And you have all the time in the world– you don’t need to get a professional shoot done now, not just yet, not until your youngest grows out of that baby phase and looks a bit more like herself…

And then your husband dies, or God forbid you lose one of your children, or maybe they lose you… and you curse yourself for not investing the time and money in something so ridiculously simple that has so much lifelong potential.

Kristen Cox Photography

When Kirsten, one of my readers, offered to immortalize the new shape of my family– just the three of us– I couldn’t say no. I’ll confess my anxiety peaked at the thought of trying to control my two little darlings while they run absolutely feral (“Chop!! Do not strangle your sister!! Bump– put that studio umbrella down, now!!!”), I still couldn’t say no… because I know, now, exactly how much I may regret that choice later.

I needn’t have worried so much. My kids did run absolutely feral, as per their usual dispositions. And rather than curbing that, Kirstin worked with it. Knowing that we spend a lot of time in our garden, that’s where she led us; and then she let us do our thing. We checked on our chooks, played and chatted, patted our cats, had a tea party in our fairy garden.

The story of on our days, just an average day, what we do every day. A story of a mum an two kids and their lush green backyard, captured in frame after frame of unique photos that don’t feel posed or forced…. because they’re not. Kirsten specialises in telling stories and making whole families comfortable– as you can see, she manages to photograph the very essence of human relationships, without leaving the slightest ripple on their usual balance- you tend to forget she’s there as she snaps away, and- as you can see- you end up having fun.

I love these shots. They’re backed up on my PC, Cloud and external hard drive, and the CD is stored in the box–of–things–to–grab–in–case–of–fire; so we don’t need to worry about the Internet eating them. And I’ve added a liberal amount of op–shopped frames to the already overstocked walls of my TinyTrainHouse.

I know it’s strange, difficult to understand, but this feels like proof in full colour– proof that we are surviving, rebuilding, that you can’t spot that big hole my husband left… because we’re filling it with ourselves all the time.

In honor of family photos being one of those that are so important but not a priority when really, there’s grocery shopping and daycare and blogging to think about; Kirsten Cox Photography is giving away one family, kids or newborn photo shoot, plus ten 5 x7.5 prints from the session; to one lucky RSSAHM reader. Based in Byron, Kirstin visits Sydney every three months to do photo shoots. she focuses on telling a story and capturing natural moments; rather than posed, stiff, uncomfortable studio shots.

Due to obvious geographical constraints, the t’s and c’s here a little different than usual– look sharp.

To enter, upload your favorite picture– of you, your kids, your dog, a tree, whatever– to the RRSAHM FaceBook page, then leave a comment on this post saying you’ve done so, with a valid email address attached.

Entry is open to Australian residents who live within the Sydney, Northern Rivers or Brisbane regions. If you are outside these reasons but would like to win the package for a friend who resides within these areas, feel free to enter.

Kirsten will be given the winners details and contact will be between the winner and the photographer from that point. The shoot must be arranged within six months of winning the prize.

The photo on the FB page that amazes, amuses, bemuses or confuses me most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

Opens Friday 22nd June and closes midnight AEST Friday 6th July.

The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email with their postal address, or the prize will be redrawn.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Tamsyn July 5, 2012 at 9:29 am

These photos are just gorgeous Lori, I'm really happy for you that you have them.

The last time my little family of three had a decent photo taken together was the day Max was born (2.5 years ago). With another one on the way I think its time we got some more taken!

Thanks for giving me the push I needed to get some organised :)


Glowless @ Where’s My Glow June 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

These photos are so amazing, Lori. I held my breath looking at them.
There are two photos that I know of, of my family of five before we became a family of four when my sister died. A nurse took them at a doctor's office, knowing what might just be around the corner. They're not lovely photos, my poor mother looks exhausted and my sister looks like a skeleton… but they are lovely to us and are treasured.


Spagsy June 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I get it Lori. I so "get" this. As I went through my photos looking for photos of my Dad after he passed unexpectedly I cried and cried and cried because I could not find recent photos of my dad with my younger sister or brother. He friend wanted to make her a scrapbook for her birthday and I could only offer pics that were 15-29 years old. I felt horrible


Sarah June 29, 2012 at 10:48 am

Just uploaded mine :)


Bin June 29, 2012 at 7:14 am

You have just inspired me to find a photo voucher we were given when we bought our house and book in a time to use the dang thing! Great photos too!


Vicky June 29, 2012 at 7:13 am

Have posted a photo. I'm moving to Brisbane in the next three months. I have so few photos of me and my kids together.

Love the photos of you and your babes. They are gorgeous.


MichVee June 29, 2012 at 6:36 am

Hi Lori, just wanted to say how beautiful your photo's are. I LOVE photo's, and I know the importance behind them. My brother passed away aged just 12, and because I was just 4 at the time, I have no recollection of him. But I have photo's with him, and it shows me, that yes, I had some beautiful moments with him. Thankyou for sharing, it is a beautiful post. xxx


Anne June 29, 2012 at 3:33 am

That last photograph of you and your daughter is just perfect. There is absolutely nothing missing in the essence of your relationship with your children, I can just tell from these pictures. Enjoy them, they're beautiful!


Miss Pink June 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Entered. This was hard. I have so many beautiful pictures of my kids that I cannot share, obviously, but I like that it gets me thinking about lots of other things around us because I can't share them. Simple things, like a tree and it's colours in Autumn, that may not exist in 50 or 100 years. Things that aren't often recorded.


katie pook June 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to enter your competition.


Melissa June 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Beautiful, beautiful. So wonderful to see you smile.


A Dose of Dannie June 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Lori ~ These photos are just divine! your smile ,your kids smiles just beautiful :-) xxxx


Grace June 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Gorgeous photos, Lori. All your smiles are truly magical. x


Kel June 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Have popped a photo up there – we're in Darwin but I'm entering for my friend who lives in Brissy with her hubster and 2 girls. I think this would be awesome for them :)


Lisa H June 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Gorgeous photos Lori. It's lovely to see the three of you smiling and just enjoying each other. I think 'filling the hole' is perfectly natural, normal and good. And it goes hand in hand with healing. x

Great comp too. I haven't had professional photos taken of my kids since they were small so I'll be entering! :-)


Karen June 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Love your post!
I am posting a fave to your FB page!
We are moving from St. Louis to Brisbane this month!


Denwise aka Denyse Whelan June 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

So beautiful…. The pictures are both real and magical. Loved seeing them.
Thanks so much for sharing
Denyse xx


E June 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

Can I post a few.. I can't pic a favourite!! Sorry.. I may have posted 3 and mentioned another :-). But one is a favourite one with me and hubby (the mentioned one) one is a favourite one of a tree, one is a favourite one of my family, and one is my absolute favourite of our family dog :-)

the funny thing is that they're all (well the ones I posted) taken on my andriod phone, it just seems to be the only thing available when I want to take something!


iSophie June 28, 2012 at 10:23 am

I totally get it. We just had a photo shoot done in November, the only time all 6 of us have been in a photo together. No one was crying, everyone was looking at the camera, and smiling. AMAZING!

I just did a post on our Darkest Days, when son number 3 almost died. I have put up alot of photos, even though they bring back so many memories and it was awful taking some of them. But I wanted them, whatever the outcome we would want photos, not at the time, when it was all fresh and painful, but now, 3 years later I am really glad we did take them.


Zoey @ Good Googs June 28, 2012 at 8:52 am

Photo posted. I love these photos of you and the kidlets! Just gorgeous!


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