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Look what Santa brought…a winner!!

Whoosh.  Giving really IS Awesome.  Wow.  What a contest.

Here was the challenge:

Nominate a married couple who you think could use a little photo love-in. Two people who you think deserve a year-round reminder of their love, beauty and fabulous relationship, for a  natural, “engagement-shoot-like” photo session with me.  The idea is for it to be fun in the experience, bring them closer, and leave them with fabulous photos that will reflect their current relationship for touchstones in their day-to-day lives. It’s not based in a huge life event like a wedding.  It’s based on nothing, which is the most important thing of all.  Just for them to remember that ‘nothing’ is everything.

I had a number of phenomenal entries.  It was not easy to choose!  Here is the touching, heartfelt and generous winning entry below.  I think once you have a read, you’ll agree.  These guys should have this photo session!!!

Here it is:

I simply could not resist entering my daughter and her husband who were recently reunited after having spent the last two years going through the immigration process of bringing Rafael to Canada from Mexico.  Witnessing how they survived living their marriage long distance, with only daily phone calls and emails to sustain them. Their emotional pain of the forced separation tore at my heart always and often I wondered how they could keep it going, day after day, never knowing if and when they would be together again.  I felt such a deep admiration and pride in both of them for their determination to stick it out.  My little granddaughter missed her daddy so much and it was heartbreaking to see her tears so often at night when kissing her goodnight and her repeated questions of when was her daddy coming and always the same reply of “soon” but never really knowing how long it would really be before he would be allowed to come.  Then finally, Rafael arriving in Canada late September and now witnessing this young couple finally being able to truly be a family together for the first time in 7 years as their first few years were filled with separations and travelling back and forth between Canada and Mexico because of neither having legal status in the other’s country.  Seeing the love between them, yet also seeing on my daughter’s young face particularly, the deep lines of sadness, anxiety, bitterness and worry that those years etched onto her perhaps permanently.  Seeing them struggle through the pains of learning to live with one another again, to open to one another, after having to contain and control so much of their feelings for fear of not being able to be together and afraid to anticipate being together because of the immigration hurdles….it all has taken a huge toll.  Even though the love they have for one another is so deep, so true, the healing from their ordeal all takes time and that is why I entered them into your contest Catherine…because I think this would help them through this time of healing.  I have admired your photography for your ability to capture the love that exists between two people and I think that were you to capture this for Ilona and Rafael, that this could help them see that yes! finally they truly are together, and that all the waiting and longing were all so very worthwhile…that they survived, and that this is now their time!

Thank you everyone for your very important entries.  I hope this holiday brings all the love, blessings and closeness to the couples you cared to nominate.

Merry Christmas everyone.

With love,


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