SEEN Woman #9 – Alanna

Tonight I would love to share Alannas story with you. I am sure it will resonate with many Mothers out there.
From an early age Alanna has been a mother figure. She didn’t have the easiest start in life and ended up helping care for her siblings for many years.
Through school she was bullied but always kept thinking someone else out there has it worse. She believed if she could work hard and achieve her goals this would show her siblings there is a better way of life out there but you have to work for it.

As she grew older all she ever wanted to be was a mother to her own child. She wanted to feel the ups and downs of having someone that was all hers and someone she could show how amazing the world can be. In July 2016 this dream came true and she welcomed a baby girl into her arms. This baby girl gave her everything she had ever dreamed of. A love like no other and she felt on top of the world. She finally had what she had always wanted.
Then after a few months the feeling was still there but she started to feel guilt with it. She was finding being a ‘Stay at Home Mum’ seemed like a dirty word.
So when her baby girl turned 1 she decided to start work again. She found a job with some wonderful ladies and soon started to enjoy having adult interaction again.
But the weight of being a working mum soon took over and she struggled through each day until she couldn’t cope anymore and had a breakdown.
She went back to being a SAHM Mum and while she loves her baby girl slowly began feeling more and more invisible.

By sharing her story Alanna wants other Woman to realise that they are not invisible. Being a Mum whether stay at home or a working mum means you are doing a fantastic job but it doesn’t mean you have to forget about yourself. If she can help 1 woman realise they are not alone then she has accomplished what she set out to do. As she knows the feeling of being unseen all too well.

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SEEN Woman #8 – Leane

Leane’s story is the hardest one I found myself writing.
How do I sum up the woman I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing in a fewĀ  simple paragraphs?
Why you may be thinking is she harder than the others?
Because this story will be her legacy one day.
Leane is terminal. One day she will farewell this earth and knowing I can share just a small part of who she is is almost overwhelming.
But…
This is why I did the SEEN campaign. For the chance to help woman find themselves again and like who they are.
Leane’s daughter Aimee contacted me and asked if I would consider her Mum as a SEEN applicant. I of course said yes and sent through the information.
I didn’t expect to get a response but thankfully Leane took a chance with me and told me her story.
Leane has been a Professional Chef, has a Guinness World Record for longest time calling BINGO, and is heavily into supporting the Surf Life Saving Surf Boats. When she talks about the boats her face lights up. You can see this is something she really loves and is something she can still participate in in some form even though she is ill.
Leane has also not eaten since 2012.
Leane has a rare illness called Systemic Scleroderma Syndrome.Ā  It is an auto-immune disorder that attacks her internal organs and tissues.
She is alive today due to her willpower to consume what fluids she can and keep surviving. But surviving comes with a cost.
She is in constant pain and the feeling of being a burden weighs heavily on her. There is nothing Drs can do except monitor her as an interesting specimen as her condition is usually only found in autopsies.
In her application she told me she is glad she feels invisible, as this helps her hide away and not feel like such a load on her family.
Well I couldn’t have that!
So I invited her into the studio and was ready to show her what an amazing person she is. I wanted to show her that she is more than an illness. She is still Leane and has every right to want to be recognised and seen for herself.
After her photo-shoot she took the time to message me
“Just wanted to say to you Carley that I had the most wonderful day on Tuesday. I have not felt so happy as I did when I left the photo shoot in a very very long time. My husband said to me later that night it was the first time in ages that he had come home from work and I was smiling when I was telling him about my day with you. Thank you again so much.”
Thank you Leane and Aimee so much for taking a chance with me. It has been a pleasure and I look forward to a few more adventures together soon šŸ˜€042-capturedbycarley043-capturedbycarley044-capturedbycarley045-capturedbycarley046-capturedbycarley047-capturedbycarley

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SEEN Campaign Woman #7 – Tania

We spend a lot of our lives are spent taking care of others. Whether it be children, husbands, friends and/or family we are usually the first ones there, giving all we have so we know that lives of those we love are a little easier for a moment.
In doing this we very often forget who we are and forget that we need to take time to look after ourselves as well.
Tania is a mother, wife, carer of 2 loved ones, employee and even volunteers for the RFS.

Her days are planned out so she know exactly who needs what at what part of her day. Very little of her days are focused on herself. So much so that this year she took her very first solo trip to visit her sister in Perth. She was weighed down with a lot of guilt but with the help of her family and husband she went away and had an amazing time.

Tania very much loves her family. She especially loves being with her grandchildren and enjoying the simple innocence that they have. She is always taking photos and her experience in my studio in front of a camera was a first for her.

We discussed how when she saw this campaign she knew she had to try this new experience. She believes that you never know when an opportunity presents itself how it may change or improve your life. Sometimes you just need to do it. Even if you feel sick with nerves take a deep breathe and try it. You never know where you will end up ā¤

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