all i want for christmas … the winners

After much deliberation, Michelle and I couldn’t decide between the top two contenders for our free portrait session with $500 print credit.

While ALL of your submissions warmed our hearts and were a delight to read, there were two families whose stories melted us and we couldn’t help but give them both a free portrait session for Christmas.

Here’s the story of the first family to win, as told by Danielle:

Although I would REALLY like to win this awesome prize myself… I would LOVE to win for my much deserving sister-in-law and really brighten Christmas for her and her beautiful kids.

She is a very strong person and devoted mother, the kind of person who would drop everything to be there for her friends and family.

Unfortunately, she has had a really tough past couple of months, having had to come to terms with the break-up of a 13 year relationship with the father of her four children. As well as recovering from a recent traumatic home invasion/personal attack which has led to having to move the entire family 2 weeks before Christmas.

This is something that I know they would all love and treasure for years to come and a luxury that they could never afford to spend on themselves. I am hoping that these photos could be the first pages in a new and happy chapter of their lives.

We share that hope, Danielle 🙂

And now to share a brief excerpt of the second family’s story, as told by Robyn:

You know the kind of family that just seem to have lots and lots of things go wrong? Well this is that family. Originally the health problems were with the dad (I believe that is ongoing) but more recently the mom’s health has been very problematic. She’s been in and out of hospital, and they’ve had financially difficulties as well. They finally got a house recently which was a boost but they are such a sweet Christian family and I know they’d love one of your portrait sessions but wouldn’t be able to afford it.

I copied and pasted the following from a group on Facebook called “Pray for Shazz” which has more info:

Time Line
2006 – Thyroid Cancer
2006 – Thyroid Cancer second operation
2006 – radiation treament
2007 – diagnoised with Lupus
2008 – Huge Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) with permanent damage to her left leg. It will always be 30% bigger than the other leg.
2008 – Mass removed from uterus (found not to be cancer)
2009 – diagnoised with Melanoma (on leg with DVT)
2009 – Melanoma site is infected and not healing. May need a skin graft.
2009 – living in temporary accommodation… looking for a house

There have been other difficulites that are not mentioned including her husband’s health and the death of her mom from pancreatic cancer, followed by her dad moving overseas. So essentially they were grieving the loss of both parents.

There’s just so much pain and struggle and triumph in this family’s ongoing story that we couldn’t ignore it. Sharron, there’s a free portrait session waiting for your family too.

Thanks so much to everyone who told us about their families, or about other families they love! It was a pleasure to read through your emails. I’m sorry we can’t have more winners!

Happy Christmas Eve, everybody 🙂

25 December 2009 - 9.35am

Kelly Burstow - My sister will love it. Thank you so much! x

24 December 2009 - 9.05pm

Robyn - That is so wonderful Luke and Michelle, thank you! What a lovely giveaway, thank you so much for doubling it! I hope you have a lovely Christmas 🙂

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