I first met Anne when she popped into my studio last December and purchased a gift certificate. She was so sweet and wanted to give this to her mom for Christmas. As it turned out, the best time for Anne to schedule the shoot came in June while her son and his family (her grandchildren) were in town so we decided to combine everyone for a larger extended family portrait. We had the Helsbys (including Dave, Anne’s son) and Anne (Grandma) and Great Grandma Fran. We met in Satellite Beach just out in the backyard behind Grandma’s house. There are a few interesting things to note. First of all, Fran is turning 90 soon and looks AMAZING. Secondly, the Helsbys have SIX children and live in AFRICA but were home for a visit. They’ve been working with the Mavuno Village in Tanzania since 2005. The mission of Mavuno is to build a Christian, family style village, supported in part by farming and otherwise by donations, which takes care of orphaned children (due to the AIDS pandemic,) teaching them family values and equipping them with skills for their future. You can learn more and even help the organization on the Mavuno website here. I was amazed at how well behaved all six children were and not in a “mom-threatened-to-send-me-to-my-room-for-life” kind of way (not that I’ve done that,) but they were all happy, well adjusted children who simply knew how to follow directions and obviously have great respect for their parents and each other. Translation: they seem to like each other. The siblings get along. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Helsby, I will buy your book.
If I had six children I’m not sure I could make it through breakfast much less try my hand at helping a village of orphans. It’s very impressive and humbling. They have truly sacrificed it all to be there in the midst of great need. And their kids are cute too…
Dear Fran, you’re Gorge.
How many people can I fit on a dock? Give me a few more and I’ll sit them in front.
That face could ask me for cotton candy for breakfast and I’d go rent a machine.
Thanks Anne for popping in that day, what a privilege to get to know you and your family.
Go here to find out how you can also help orphaned children in Tanzania. There are big projects the Helsbys and the Muvano Village are working toward and you can even sponsor a child for $35 a month. 100% of your donation goes straight to the village which is pretty cool.
P.S. There are only 3 August sessions available and a waiting list for possible cancellations! I know it’s crazy but we are approaching holiday portrait time and there’s only so much I can put on the calendar and still provide the experience, service and quality I want for my clients. You guys are really awesome. If you’re reading and have never left a comment, say something, anything! It’s nice to know you’re here!