SEEN Campaign Woman #6 – Sam

Sam would have been my most nervous SEEN lady to come in. She kept apologising which I instantly connected with as I say ‘sorry’ a lot when I am anxious as well.
Even though she was nervous I am so proud that she came in anyway.
She did something unknown and totally out of comfort zone to find herself for a moment.

Sam is a busy lady. She has 4 children, works in Aged Care and also studies at University. She met her husband in high school and fell pregnant while completing her HSC.
As the years progressed it was a cycle of working hard and having children.

This year her youngest started school so she had the perfect excuse to start thinking about herself. So she took a big step and enrolled to study at University.
Now she mothers, studies and works nights and sometimes even sleeps in amongst all that.

As I was photographing Sam there was one image that caught my eye. As I sorted and edited this image made me feel like I know her for her. She must have felt the same as she chose this as her forever image.
It is not shown here as it is part of the upcoming SEEN exhibition so will be shared in the future.

Thank you Sam for being a part of this campaign. I think you are amazing and cannot wait to show you off at the exhibition ❤

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SEEN Campaign Woman #5 – Lucy

Our teen years are when we grow and transition into an adult.
It can be a messy and confusing time and for some, it can be even more so. Tonight’s story is shared from Lucy.
When Lucy was a teenager, her father was diagnosed with cancer.
Just as she was starting her biggest growth years, she had to deal with the heartache of watching her father go through this journey.
He was diagnosed when she was in Year 7 so she had a lot of disruption in her school life. The other kids didn’t know nor understand so she received a lot of negative responses from the other kids not understanding what was going on.

After 10 years of battling her Dad made her 21st birthday to celebrate with her, then sadly died less than a year later.
For the last few years it has been just her and her Mum. Growing together in their new life they were thrust into.
She describes her Mum as her rock. Dad is her hero and Mum is her rock.

She was a part of this SEEN campaign to help other teens out there know they aren’t alone if one of their parents are battling cancer. She encourages them to ask lots of questions.
Don’t be afraid to talk and discuss things with your parents. It’s ok to be scared but don’t try and hide.
When it gets hard keep support around you.
Parents, friends, school teachers, counsellors, Kids Help Line… Whoever you are comfortable with, get it touch with them and get it off your chest 

 

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SEEN Campaign Woman #4 – Jess

Tonight we are meeting Jess.
I have known Jess for many years and have photographed her several times. Each time we have come in contact it usually revolved around her family so when she applied for the SEEN campaign, I looked forward to getting to know Jess as Jess.

On the outset you would take her as a strong, confident woman that has it all together. In part this is true but underneath there is a more vulnerable woman that I had the pleasure to meet.

Jess has dedicated her whole life to her husband and children. With a husband that works away most of the time and 3 boys constantly needing attention (including 1 on the Autism Spectrum) Jess often feels very invisible. When I asked her the last time she felt SEEN she replied with her wedding day. Which was 11 years ago.

Over the years Jess has struggled with depression and has actively sought help for this. Now thanks to medication and a great psychologist she works hard each day to not just appear the confident person but to actually feel it inside. She strives to be recognised as herself and not just a wife, Mum and daughter.

With her SEEN photo Jess told me “I put my print on my dressing table to remind me that I can smash it today.  And when I see it at night, it reminds me that even if today wasn’t so great, tomorrow is another day.”

Jess applied for this campaign to help spread awareness and start conversations. Just because you are struggling and need help that is nothing to be ashamed of. Seek the help you need, take it day by day and start to enjoy who you are.

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