“People think that disabled people can’t do what everyone else can do. You can’t judge a book by its cover.” -Libbi
I believe in fate. Let me tell you why.
We don’t go out to eat often as a family. But I had a long day working so I called up my husband and asked him to get the kids ready for a pizza night. So there we were eating pizza and this totally glowing, gorgeous woman sits down at the table next to us. This has never happened to me before, but with my photographic eye, I started seeing all these freeze-frames flash before my eyes. I was photographing her then and there! Now, as as photographer I do always see sort of this moving range of images and compositions everywhere I go – it’s just part of my life. But here, I was seeing freeze frames and images fluttering to the floor. Amazing, I know, but that’s what happened.
Leading up to the point, I’ve been feeling like something was about to shift in my artistic life. Or, rather, be birthed. I love my business as a family portrait and wedding photographer. Truly. And in almost every viewing session I have, the mums cry tears of joy when they see my portraits of their families. But I’ve always felt something was missing and I didn’t know what it was. Turns out, I want women to gasp when they see images of themselves, not just their children.
Fast forward back to Libbi. I plucked up the courage to go over to her and give her my card and ask her to call me. I really didn’t think she would, but she did! We had this date in the diary and there I was wondering if I possibly had it in me to photograph a woman’s beauty when she didn’t have her arms full of children. Something told me I could do this. And I did. And it was amazing. And I never want to stop.
Libbi is 21 years old. And she’s grabbing life by the horns. Yes, that’s her natural hair (she’s 1/4 Trinidadian) and no, none of these images are Photoshopped for skin perfection. She’s truly that gorgeous (which is saying a lot because I even photoshop kids). Libbi was born with cerebral palsy and when she was sixteen, her spine took a sudden and unexplained scoliosis at a whopping 90 degrees. If you didn’t excell in geometry, picture an L. That was Libby’s spine and it happened in the course of only one year. She now has rods in her spine. She has every reason to sit down and say ‘life hasn’t been kind to me. I give up’. But she isn’t. Libbi is seeking a degree in fashion PR and communications. She’s ambitious. She’s beautiful. She’s uuber humble (stay that way!) and she has her whole big beautiful life ahead of her. Knock ’em dead Libbi!