Brisbane Family Photography – Two Precious Little Brothers

A few weeks ago, over a very emotionally charged 48 hours, I was witness to and photographed the fully circle of life. I photographed a wedding, two newborn sessions, a labour and birth, and sadly, 2 beautiful babes who were fighting for their precious little lives, and two very special little ones who had already left us.

I was overwhelmed. It took a lot for me to process emotionally, but I got through it due to the support of my beautiful family, and my amazing family at Heartfelt.

My job doing Brisbane family photography, allows me to be a “people watcher” in the absolute literal sense of the phrase. It is a necessity that I be observant, and respectful and empathetic and that I make real, honest connections with the people who have entrusted me to capture their most precious moments. It is a role that I take very seriously, and one which I am so very proud of. I am under no illusions, I know I am not an amazing photographer. I know I am not the most creative and that I am not doing anything that will revolutionise the industry. I know that I struggle sometimes on the technical side of things, even after doing it for 12 years. However, my “gift” if I have one, is the ability to read body language, and to communicate with people at a deep level. I feel their pain as if it is my own, and their happiness too. I then get to capture it and show it back to them, and hopefully, usually, they get to revere in it all over again, every time they view their images. Sometimes this is a hard thing, when I walk away from a session and take the emotion with me, but usually it is amazing and always it is an honour.

Those of you who follow my work would know that I work for Heartfelt. It is a wonderful organisation of talented and dedicated photographers who volunteer their time to capturing the cherished memories of families who have experienced a still birth or the imminent loss of their beautiful babe or child. I adore the work that I do for Heartfelt. It is not for everyone but I know that I have been given whatever it is in me that means I can cope, and I feel as though it is my duty to use this ability to help those who need it.

Last year, I met a beautiful family during their darkest hour. Their little man, Liam, had made his way into the world much too early. He fought for a few precious hours, but it wasn’t to be. I was the one to take the call that day. He was the first baby I had ever photographed who was deceased. I remember walking into that room and his Mummy looked up from the hospital bed and said to me “I am so sorry, you have such a hard job”. I was speechless. How somebody, in this situation, could be considering how I might be feeling was inconceivable to me, and was an absolute testament to the kind of people that they are.

I went about photographing this perfect little man, ensuring that I captured his last cuddles with his Mummy and Daddy, and all of the perfect details of his little face and fingers and toes. I returned to my car and cried. I came home, processed the images and moved on to my next job.

Fast forward to this year. I got an email from Heartfelt telling me of a project that they were producing – a book full of images captured by Heartfelt photographers and to be available to hospitals and families as a way to show them what we do and the kind of beautiful images they could expect to receive from our services. We were invited to submit images of our most memorable sessions with a brief explanation as to the circumstances surrounding them. Of course, Liam’s session was the obvious choice to me so I went about contacting the family to ask for their blessing to submit the images.

I was overjoyed when they contacted me to say that not only did I have their blessing but they were honoured to be chosen and moved by the explanation that I would be including with the images that I submitted. They also added a little note to the bottom of their email that read:

“…on another note we are well into our second pregnancy and are due to meet our little boy Harrison, one day after Liam was due last year”

Almost exactly one year on, they would be celebrating another momentous day in their lives!

Of course, immediately I offered to capture it for them, as my gift, how could I not?!

And so, last week, I visited their family, this time at their lovely home, and away from the sterile hospital where we had first met. They welcomed me with open arms, and proudly showed me the beautiful canvas that takes pride of place on their bedroom wall showcasing the images I captured for them of their first little boy. I was immediately humbled.

During our time together, we chatted openly about both of their little men, collecting china tea cups 🙂 , and celebrated how blessed they are to have had to precious little babies to cradle in their arms. All the while, inwardly, I was celebrating how blessed I am to have been invited to be a part of it all. They showered me with cups of tea, and home baked treats and lots of newborn cuddles. We laughed and cried. It was truly beautiful.

As I was leaving, Mummy and Daddy presented me with an envelope. They said to me “it isn’t much, but we wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you have done for us, we never could have afforded it otherwise”. I reluctantly took the envelope, I wasn’t there to be paid, but I knew it meant a lot to them and so accepted their lovely gesture.

I’ve just finished editing the images, and  I think these images are beautiful, and I know I made a connection with a family that will be forever remembered, and that means more to me (and hopefully to them!), than anything else. I hope that you can all see and feel it too.


…and introducing little Harrison, such a beautiful blessing for a wonderful family…

Brisbane Family Photography

Brisbane Family Photography

Brisbane Family Photography

Many thanks to Liam and Harrison’s family for graciously allowing me to share their story in the hope of spreading the word about what it is the Heartfelt does.

If you would like to know more about the services that Heartfelt offers, please visit the website on or the official Facebook page at

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  • Eva Van Strijp - Tanya, this is just beautiful! Thank-you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - Just beautiful Tanya!ReplyCancel

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