Once again this year I’m privileged to be the official photographer for the Benny Wills gala night.
For anyone that doesn’t know about the Benny Wills foundation you should really pop over to their website and have a read http://www.bennywills.org/
Their story is not only incredibly sad it also is tremendously inspiring. To lose a child to a fatal brain tumour would have to be one of the hardest things to go through in your life but to come back and create a foundation dedicated to the research into the very brain tumour that took your son’s life shows tremendous courage and strength.
To stand there and photograph these incredibly tough parents while they discuss the lives and the process of how this hideous disease takes the lives of their children is heartbreaking. To have to live through that and to know that once your child is diagnosed death is only six months away, I cannot imagine what they would go through. 🙁
It is for this reason I donate my time to this event as I believe that with time, money and the advancement of technology they will find a cure or as a minimum extend the life of these poor children so they can enjoy some additional time with their loved ones.
If you like to book a table or buy some tickets you can do that online and I urge you to come along as it is really a fantastic night.
Some of you might remember the other week I photographed a memorial for gentlemen that was killed in a motor vehicle accident. This was a tragic event one that rocked hundreds of people in our community and one devastated family.
Have a look at this photo. What do you see?
I took this photo at the beginning of the memorial when the gentleman son Christopher was walking around on stage oblivious to what had become of his father and oblivious to the reasons they why they found themselves inside a church on this day.
To watch his little boy walk around and one point walk over and touch the projected image of his father on the stage was something very moving. The innocence that lives within this child was obvious this day and is a part of me that is envious while also saddened the situation this young boy now faces.
He will never know the hurt and pain goes using a parent losing his father but he will also never know and truly understand the love Brian had for him. He will never see how proud his father would be of him as he progresses through the different stages of life and he will never see the look in his father’s eyes when he tells him, he loves him.
He walked over to me during the event as I was sitting on the floor in the stage, I gave him a polite way even a smile and then before you know it while I should be taking photographs of the event I found myself giving Christopher high-fives and playing pattycake, before one of his family members rounded him up to taking back to his seat.
As with any memorial and passing of someone that is dearly loved it is an emotional time and one that we all experience at some point in our lives.
Someone asked me how do photographers react and deal with photographing such events. The answer for me is quite simple, we deal with it in the same way other people at the event do. We mourn, cry and laugh at the joyful stories that are shared at these events.
Photographing memorials and funerals might seem like an unusual thing to do right!!!! And I get that. Some families find closure and some use it as a healing process, while others see it as a way of documenting the life of someone that has passed.
This little man in this photo has a full life ahead of him, one that I know will be full of joy and love, he will be surrounded by family and friends and people that love him and will take care of him, however this doesn’t come for free!! The financial burden on this family in the coming months will be great as they get over the passing of their loved one, adjust to the reduction of income and being a single parent.
The family started a gofundme page where you can donate money to help this family and give them a kickstart over the next few months.
I would urge you to support this cause as I know their immediate family gives back to the community more than they take. They have supported the youth of Canberra and close friends of mine and for that I can not thank them enough.
I have dedicated my photography career in the pursuit of capturing the very essence of what I am photographing so as to bring the “forever memories” back to life. Through this, I now have the ability to share my years of experience with you through my on-line courses.
“Yes, I was very pleased with the photos. I was hoping for a nice family picture but ended up with so much more...I love the story behind the photos (like the fake laugh!), hence me ordering a number of the candid ones. My mum is visiting at the moment and she picked a few for herself too which is great."
Alanna GregoryBredbo NSW
"BTW thanks very much for the special gift, kids love those photos!!! And will find a use for the voucher if I can."
"Fantastic Brendan, I'm very much looking forward to receiving them!"
"So many people have said how amazing you were on Saturday and that you are such an amazing person :)"
"They look amazing! Thank you I'm very happy with my final photos."
"Hey Brendan, thanks for the photos - they're fantastic. I gave Jenny (the girl in the photos) her copies and she was very happy. Thank you very much!"
"I've been dancing since I was three years old. For me, dancing is how I express the depths of who I am, each fluid movement allowing me to tell a story about an emotion, a time or a person.
What I loved about Brendan was his ability to capture that expression, story, and reveals more about me that a simple happy snap."
Sarah KateDance Instructor
"We loved the passion and artistic angles Brendan Maunder put into our photos from the National capital championships, the service Brendan provided was 10/10 and the comments we got on the photos after we posted them on our fan page was overwhelming"
Andrew Buswell and Kelsey PincerInternational Dance Instructors and Winners
"Brendan I just saw a few of the wedding photographs they are just beautiful. The ones you captured of the moment I realised the music playing was from our wedding day are so special I cried seeing them a beautiful moment captured by you. I cannot thank you enough and look forward to seeing them all later this week when I sit down with Jodi and Jamie. Thank you x"
Ali RaybouldMother Of The Bride
"Thank you again so much for all the did on the day, having you there made it so much more personal "
"Lookin great, mate! I can't wait to see what you got yesterday. Also, we all really enjoyed your company; and I'd like to extend a permanent invitation to you to remain as our series photographer from now on "