Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

April 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

 

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

Many people are unaware of childhood heart disease (CHD) – and its prevalence in Australia.

Some startling statistics:

  • Eight babies are born with a heart defect in Australia every day. That is almost 3,000 every year.
  • Childhood heart disease is the single biggest killer of children under the age of one in Australia.
  • Approx half of children diagnosed with heart disease require surgery to correct the defect.
  • Each week more than four Australians pass away as a result of a congenital heart defect.
  • It is estimated that 32,000 children (under 18 years of age) are currently living with CHD in Australia.
  • Some children acquire heart conditions during childhood, e.g. cardiomyopathy, Kawasaki disease or as a result of rheumatic fever.
  • A disproportionate number of indigenous children suffer from acquired heart disease – often as a result of rheumatic fever, which is prevalent in many communities.

HeartKids are striving to increase awareness of childhood heart disease through various campaign and advocacy programs. 

At HeartKids, they receive no government funding and rely heavily on the donations of the general public as well as sponsors.  Heart Kids would like to acknowledge our generous sponsors by thanking them for their ongoing support.

Click here to find out how you can help in the fight against childhood heart disease.

 

 

My Involvement as a Professional Photographer.

 

I was approached many months ago by Julianna Suranyi with the intention of capturing her story

 

As a Photographer, i am a Visual Story Teller - and this is a story worth telling. Julianna is now a 42 year old woman and mother of two grown boys. She no longer fits in the description of "Heart Kid", but once you are part of this family and have travelled the path that she has, you soon understand her passion and drive for those who are beginning their journey. 

I have never met a woman with such amazing determination as Julianna and I believe she is the person who can bring exposure to this disease. 

I have been involved in some great projects over the years that are always for a good cause. I am a generous, empathetic person who believes in giving to the greater good. If through my photographs we can shine a light on this disease and give the families who have been dealt this card through no fault of their own, some exposure emotional and financial support, then i am humbled to be involved. 

 

Have you been touched personally by Congenital Heart Disease?

Unfortunately i have been touched with Congenital Heart disease and it is only recently. My cousins beautiful daughter was born 7 months ago with the condition. We have travelled the journey with her parents, 2 older brothers and her during these past difficult months and i have documented her in a beautiful, love and Tulle filled photoshoot with my camera, in their home and also in my Professional Portrait Studio on the Gold Coast, for the family.

She has almost weekly emergency trips to the hospital with the resuscitation team working hard on her little body. Her surgery has been postponed due to illness, and is now scheduled for the 4th May. We have all of our fingers and toes crossed that she is able to have the surgery to ease the strain on her heart. If only all of the love that surround this precious girl, could heal her. the Heart Kids Organisation has been such a great support during this time.

 

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

Portrait Photographer Gold CoastPortrait Photographer Gold CoastStudio Fascino

Mum wears a Anatomic Heart pendant. Given as a gift from her Husband.

 

Portrait Photographer Gold CoastPortrait Photographer Gold CoastStudio Fascino

 

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

What were your expectations prior to the day of Julianna's Photoshoot?

I knew from the moment i spoke with Julianna that we had a connection. We chatted on the phone and had many late night conversations over Facebook and email messaging over many months prior to the shoot day. As the idea's went back and forth, we would both get goose bumps and a few tears, i knew what we would create would be just perfect. I asked her lots of questions about the disease and how it has impacted her life, all of this goes into a visual bank in my mind to marinate. I gave Julianna homework and a shopping list of props to bring with her on the day.

 

I am an emotional being and a deep feeler and this comes across in the images i create. I am always looking for that micro-expression that pulls you into the image. A look in the eye, the slightest tilt of the head.

1000 words in one image. No need to explain, just look deep into the images i create and you will “feel”.

 

How did you feel on the day during the process?

The day was emotionally charged, which i was prepared for. I knew if i was to create a powerful image, i had to keep my emotions in check. I also knew it would be hard for Julianna to expose her feelings in such a raw and honest way, but i was also humbled that i was able to capture it. The studio was filled with such a loving and emotionally supportive energy that day, i wish everyone outside of that space, could have felt it.

It was difficult when we got to the part of writing the words on Julianna. Bree and i struggled to get our hands to function as it goes against everything i believe in as a human being. Such horrid words that had such power to hurt. But i knew the end result would be powerfully beautiful. As the tears ran down Julianna's cheeks as we wrote on her skin, It was as if we were using a knife, not a soft felt pen. Our Makeup artist, Bree of Dead Gorgeous Hair & Makeup Styling had to stop at one point as the tears fell from her cheeks too. Something i will never forget. For the Final image I asked the girls to write all of the words that had been said to Julianna in the past days, onto sheets of paper, and to include the first names of the people who wrote them. They started and stopped, ask me if i was sure. I said that it needs to be done. they struggled as well and questioned me a few times. I kept encouraging them to keep going. It was important. Julianna is in the public eye in her profession, and this is what she faces. It is a nasty part of the human race and difficult to read, but i knew the image was coming together in my mind.

 

I ask Julianna to wear an antique 1950's satin Opera coat. Luxurious and comforting. I was very careful not to instruct her how to pose during this image as it needs to be completely natural. She gripped the fabric tight at her chest and sat on the seat. I paused as she took a deep breath, only then did i put the camera to my eye and held it there without moving.

I could feel her emotions and how exposed and uncomfortable she was - but i dare not put the camera down. As the tears fell, i continued to press the shutter button, watching those micro expressions and knowing this was going to be an incredible photograph. After a few more frames, I slowly put the camera down, told her to rest, and embraced her. Thanking her for her bravery. 

 

I do not take photographs, I make photographs. This is what Photography is all about for me.

 

 

Behind the Scenes Images of the Photoshoot day at Studio Fascino

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

How did you feel the process could empower people?

Just by looking at the rawness of the images, it shows such venerability, which takes a lot of strength. As difficult it may be to look at these images we created, it needs to be done. It is only by sharing our stories with each other we can gain an deeper understanding of the sometimes difficult journeys we are on as individuals. We may not understand why, but by sharing we can give support and love.

 

 

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

 

 

 

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

Scars of Grace Image - “Growing up with Congenital Heart Disease had its challenges and mostly away from the purity of just the health aspect. The challenges were more emotional and mentality based.

On the one hand you are seen as fragile.. but on the other you are meant to keep up with the other kids. Technically you should be able too.. but that also means at times pushing yourself whilst being told to not do as much.

As a young child the scars are a sign of "survival" or "warrior" but as you hit teen they are a source of discomfort..mostly for others..

 

We are not "warriors or survivors" we are humans having the experience of the gift of life. Through this campaign I want the little ones and the big ones to know we have our superhero suit...and it's attached through our zipper. That we have the strength and capacity to have full and enriched lives. We can, and will, have the fullest lives we chose to have. 

 

This is not a fight as a CHD adult or child but rather a journey and one we are stronger, more agile and more prepared in life for.

That society needs to stop the taunting as we get older, the preconceived ideas on who and how we are, the judging of how strong we are by our big scars and to give us a space and place to be free. 

 

CHD is the largest killer of kids and yet it's not funded and supported well. We don't wear a bandana and well quiet frankly we don't always look obviously ill...so we aren't as marketable as the other "causes".

 

As I've grown and had more of a public career I have been told time and time again to cover my scars..when I've refused a date I've been jeered at for my scars.. on social media I am attacked for my scars and yet through it all- you never feel you don't belong but you know you don't truly belong anywhere... your not cute and little anymore.. your not completely "fixed" as there will be more surgeries and you know..always know there is fallout from the condition.” Julianna.

 

 

Professional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart DiseaseProfessional Portrait Photographer Gold Coast Supports Congenital Heart Disease

 

 

At HeartKids, they receive no government funding and rely heavily on the donations of the general public as well as sponsors.  Heart Kids would like to acknowledge our generous sponsors by thanking them for their ongoing support.

Click here to find out how you can help in the fight against childhood heart disease.

 

Click here to contact Julianna to support her mission of awareness

The Paranormal Profiler

 

Click here to contact Megan Rizzo of Studio Fascino - 10% of all Photoshoot proceeds booked for Heart Kids Families will be donated back to the Organisation.

 

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Gold Coast Photographer Supports Congenital heart diseaseGold Coast Photographer Supports Congenital heart disease

 

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Megan Rizzo Professional PhotographerMegan Rizzo Professional Photographer

Studio Fascino

 

Thank you to Will Hayes my Assistant, Bree of Dead Gorgeous Hair & Makeup Styling, Julianna, Salvo and their video team.

 


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