This Is Where The Story Begins

The next few entries of this blog are going to be some of the most personal that I have ever shared.  You see, these entries are about where I have come from, what motivates me, and where it is I plan on going.  A journey and a destination.  This is where the story begins.

A number of years ago now, I commenced down a path that I set for myself, and commenced studying Nursing.  Three and a half years of my life, in which I gave my all, but also had my doubts.  Six months in, I had a crisis of faith, and considered that it wasn’t what I wanted to do, in my heart of hearts.  But in the back of my mind, I heard my dear father, saying ‘you must finish everything you start’.  Years later, he confided in me that he wished that I had followed my intuition, as it was the one thing that he would have been happy for me to quit on, as long as it was in pursuit of what was in my heart.  Since my years in school I had always loved the written word; I had read and read, and written more and more, and sincerely, I would have loved to have studied Journalism and Photomedia, as my heart had lusted at that six month mark.  But the world had other adventures in store for me.  So I continued down the route that I had started.  I finished my Nursing degree, and commenced working on a General Surgical/ Radiology/Oncology/Breast Cancer Care Ward.  It was intense, but it was wonderful.  There I cared for many patients, and many linger in my memory bank.  But none more so than a wonderful, charismatic man of advanced years who was succumbing to cancer.  He was the first patient I cared for that passed away, and it was one of the hardest things I had to deal with in my short career at that time.  I learned innumerable lessons from this moment, about my chosen career; about how important my role was to patient, and family; about myself, and where I fit in the world, and how I saw it.  I still remember him, and his family, ever so fondly.  This was the first moment that I really discovered the enormity of life and death, and the living and the departed.  Caring for someone on their deathbed, someones beloved one, is just as much an honour as any I have experienced, and I continue to this day (yes, even in the maternity field), to feel this way.

As time went by, I continued working within realm of nursing, on a Neurosurgical Ward and Emergency Departments.  I spent time in the city, and in the rural health settings.  I gave it all, and decided I wanted to work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).  To do so, I was going to have to study Midwifery.  So I set about on another eighteen months of studying.  And I was swept away.  The RFDS was now a far away thought.  I don’t think there are any group of words that could succinctly describe the privilege and honour it is to assist and witness new life enter the world.  It is equal parts joyous, inspiring, heart wrenching, and heart breaking.  I’ve cared for women, and families from many walks of life, in private arenas, in public care, and none of it really matters at then end of the day.  Maternity care is highly politicized.  But even that doesn’t matter.  The whys and hows don’t even matter.  What matters is that a little life has entered the world.  And to witness that very moment when someone falls in love, that is what matters.  Sure, you can see people in love everyday, at weddings, at restaurants, anywhere you like – but they’re already in that state.  Not to say that it isn’t beautiful.  But to be there at that exact moment when someone falls deeply in love – there is no other moment like it.  To see that moment, when a mother and father look down at this little life, and fall head first, with reckless abandon in love.  That is an honour.  It is a privilege, and it helps to solidify exactly what life is about.  There have been many times I have wished that I could have stood, with camera in hand, and captured those moments as they played out.  Which is why I decided that I wanted to work at two of my loves – photography and birth.  It has taken me a while – because I’ve had to grow confident within myself, and my ability, and in obtaining that level of confidence, I decided I needed more guidance, and therefore went back to University.  All of it was to work towards moments like I plan on sharing.  I have had the very good fortune to have photographed two births of a wonderful lady, who has kindly agreed to let me share these sessions.  I do so hope that you will continue down this road with me, and see exactly how beautiful life is in these moments that are hidden behind walls.

 

kvanviersenbirthphotog1

 

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Mel17/06/2014 - 7:12 pm

Wow kelly! You have described the most in depth feelings of a nurse. But more so, you have put in to words the exact reaction I had when first meeting my two beautiful children. Although I am not a midwife, as a registered nurse in the rural setting, I too have had that enormous privilege of first witnessing parents meet their true love for the first time. You have an amazing gift and I am sure there will be many more beautiful moments like this that some very lucky women and men will be more than happy to allow you to be part of.

break-ins & landscapes : a catch up

It seems a little like I’ve absconded from the blog – but in all honesty,and not to glorify the pursuit of busy – but my days have been rather full – my cup runeth over!  It all started with a major hiccup of having our home broken into, which aside from the devastation of having someone invade your space, and things, was extremely time consuming with having to deal with forensics, insurance assessors, figuring out exactly what has been taken, as well as awaiting repairs on our house!  That week was a true nightmare, and unfortunately, it continues to take up a lot of my time two weeks later!  Add to that two final assignments to get through for my Landscapes unit at Uni, and I haven’t had a lot of time up my sleeve!  The upside to all of that, however, was the arrival of my Mother in Law and her lovely partner who have come to visit us from sunny Queensland – which has been wonderful!  We’ve taken a run down to my family farm, and a flying visit down to Esperance – which I have to say, has a firm place as a favourite in my heart.  Such a beautiful and friendly part of the world.  If you haven’t been, I suggest you take a drive, and immerse yourself in all the splendour and beauty that is Esperance.  The only problem with flying trips, is that I didn’t get a chance to catch up with some of my favourite family who live down there….although I’ve now convinced the other half that Esperance is a great place to be!! So we shall be back!  Thankfully, I was indulged in my favourite past-time, and got to take some images of this beautiful space, which is a wonderful thing, considering my final Landscape assignment requires lots of landscape images!  I can’t share too many, as I have yet to hand the assignment in, but here’s a little sneak of what I’m putting together.  Not quite the typical landscape, I know…but I’ve never been one for what would be expected.  If you want to see more images, you can check out my instagram account – until I have the assignment done and dusted, then the sharing will continue!

kvanviersen1

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Wherever Your Heart Is

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” 

Paulo Coelho

I can’t wait to share more from this session.  I love this little family.  They were two.  Then Three.  And now Four.  See what happens when love multiplies.

kvanviersen

xx

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Today, one year ago…

 

I cannot believe that a year has gone by since I last saw my dear sweet Nans.  A whole year, which seems to have flown by, but stood still at the same time.  I can still feel that exact moment of that day.  I had driven home after saying my “see you laters”, believing that I still had another visit.  I remember arriving home after a three hour drive, to call my mum, to see how my Nans was, as my Mother sat by her side with my Father and Brother.  At that moment, I remember my Mother saying that Nans breathing had changed, and unfortunately it did not seem that it would be long…and it was at that exact moment, that I heard my poor Mothers breath catch, as she told me, “She’s gone, Kelly.”  I remember being so angry at myself for not staying, for not being there, as well as so wretchedly heart broken.  But at the same time, grateful that I should have called at that exact moment, and still had a chance to be there in time, although not physically there in person.  My Nans was a woman who had so much substance, and now that time has gone on, I’ve come to realise exactly how important she was at holding our family together; how she was the one that was the glue and the sensibility amongst it all.  It’s funny, how even though you think you know someone, there is still so much more that you don’t, and their true value can’t even be felt, until suddenly they are no longer there, performing their special brand of magic, of which you can never be fully aware.  I always believed she was fantastic, and so much more beyond what I could see, but she was even more than that again.

nans

Times like these, I am so glad I can crawl though my photo albums and reminisce over her.  It has been hard to accept at times, that life goes on.  Life milestones are reached; heartbreaks are had; advice is needed, and yet I cannot call her up about any of it.  Sometimes I have ached to do so, and I’ve imagined what her side of the conversation would sound like.  I think she would know that I loved, and continue to do so.  And I’m pretty sure she’d let me know that I was still loved too.
526660_10151632799728619_1175279102_nRIP my dear sweet Nans.  Until we meet again xxx

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sister

So, I have quite a backlog of work that I haven’t shown.  And these images are from a good while ago!

These two beautiful women, Kate and Megan, are sisters.  They organised this shoot for their mother as a gift for Mothers’ Day.  They organised it in an amazingly elaborate way, to ensure their mother never found out about it.  Great hilarity ensued as the scheme to meet and shoot their session came underway.  Their mother, Jo, was super suspicious….a mothers instinct!  The story was that they were having breakfast together (they even planned out the meal that they would have eaten) and then going to a day long make-up artistry course – which would explain why they had a face full of beautiful make-up when they met later on for dinner!!  See….elaborate!!  What a ruse!  And although she was suspicious, Jo never guessed!  What’s more, I was lucky enough that Kate recorded her mothers response on receiving the images! It was everything you could wish for!  I have to admit, I am a little personally invested with these girls – as I worked for a time with Jo, and occasionally, Kate.  They are a beautiful family – strong, grounded and connected.    As you can see, Kate and Megan are both beautiful!  But more than that, they are gorgeous on the inside too.  They have a vivaciousness for life, yet a beautiful sensitivity to it too.  They’re girls that you’d be proud to call your daughters.  They’re a credit to their mother, and knowing Jo, it’s obvious that she definitely led these girls by example.  I am so grateful, and humbled that Kate and Megan trusted me to take these images for them.  And I have to be honest, if I were able to handpick a sister, I’d pick these girls.
Thank you so much Kate and Megan, you beautiful women, you!
And  a special thank you to the greatest little make-up artist extraordinaire, Kaelee Pini.

 

“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.”
Unknown

 

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