Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Have you heard of Heartfelt?

Today I have a guest post from Martine. When she is not busy raising her five boys, working and  blogging, Martine volunteers for an amazing charity. This charity doesn't even want you to donate, they just want you to know they exist, to share what they do and ensure all families have precious photos to keep.

Here Martine will tell you all about them.




Baby Ava



The loss of a child is certainly one of life’s greatest tragedies. 

When we lost our daughter she was 4 and a half months old. 

For 3 of those months she was a seemingly healthy, adored and treasured addition to our household of 3 boys. People often say that with subsequent children there are always less photos than with the first. As I was a photographer this never seemed to be true for me. During Ava’s short life I had taken many hundreds of photos. It is these photos that I often turn to in my times of immense grief, but also in those times when I just want to remember. They are also the images that will help her brothers keep her memory alive. 

Unfortunately though for many who lose a child suddenly or for other reasons and circumstance, they are in no position to have their precious moments captured in photos. Whilst there is nothing that can take away the pain of losing a child, I know that this pain would be compounded had I not had these beautiful images. 

Not long after our daughter died, I read about a charity that takes photos of premature, stillborn and seriously ill babies and children. Straight away I knew this was something I wanted to be involved with and set about applying to be a photographer. At the time it was known as ACOCP (Australian Charity of Child Photographers) but has since been renamed Heartfelt. Heartfelt is a not for profit organization whereby all photographers work for no fee to capture precious memories for families and present them with prints and CDs of their images. This can often mean photographers go out at very short notice to homes and hospitals and under very difficult circumstances to ensure that photos can be captured with the utmost sensitivity and respect. 

For myself there are still some sessions that I am not ready to face but thankfully there are some amazing photographers that make themselves available at all times of day and night. Whilst Heartfelt is now beginning to foster great relations with hospital staff all over Australia, it is still important to spread the word of the amazing work that is done so that no other family should be without beautiful photos of their precious children. For more information on this wonderful organization please www.heartfelt.org.au





So if you could,  please share this post with your networks, your stalkers, your friends and your foes. As knowledge of what they do helps Heartfelt get out to more families who unfortunately may need them. 

23 comments:

  1. I shared this post on my fan page . Heartfelt is on Facebook too.

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  2. Thank you for being a Hearfelt Photographer Martine.

    Thank you Claire for putting this on your blog.

    Here is another blog post about Heartfelt with a letter I wrote. http://fionalumsdaine.com/blog/?p=875 from someone who has used heartfelt...

    I have written significantly about Heartfelt on my blog too (http://www.hesperasgarden.com).

    I want to whisper the name into every one's ear so they will always have heartfelt on their lips...

    Heartfelt is a precious charity, and an amazing gift...

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  3. Have shared on Facebook Martine and Claire. Seriously blown away by the thoughtfulness of the photographers involved. And Martine, you are amazing that you are able to give back x

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  4. I've known about Heartfelt for some time and am so impressed with the work they do. I often mention them to friends just so if they hear of someone in need of their services they'll know they exist - of course you hope nobody you know ever needs them. But so great that it exists.

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  5. I have heard about Heartfelt before, such a wonderful, amazing charity.
    I have shared on facebook on my personal page and will do so on my fan pages.
    Thank you for sharing, Martine and Claire x

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  6. This will be shared. Thank you for your for sharing this as I'm sure it was not easy.

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  7. Will share, this is such a kind gift for families. How lovely and how brave the photographers are.

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  8. Moments like these you know that humankind can be so selfless and beautiful.

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  9. I am forever grateful for Heartfelt and the work they do. I found them while planning my son's funeral, and was sad that I'd missed my chance, but called anyway just in case... And they sent someone to the funeral! I've since donated money, and am slowly getting around to holding a fundraiser :)

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  10. What a beautiful charity. Thanks for making us aware and I will help spread the word xx

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  11. Will definitely help spread the word.

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  12. Thank you for sharing. Have tweeted and FBed this post.

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  13. Beautiful post. I also wrote about Heartfelt on my blog recently. Such an amazing organisation.

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  14. Thankyou all for sharing and for your lovely comments x

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  15. As i have lost a child the Royal Childrens did a wonderful memory book with photos of our little boy , often i turn to these and cry , but some times not, we have handprints and foot prints and his hair... What a lovley thing to do for families Heartfelt sounds like angels on earth.

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  16. Thanks for sharing this. While it's making me cry thinking about it - it's such a worthy thing. Shared all over the place. Cazxx

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  17. I know how special Heartfelt is and that people like you Martine are simply extraordinary. I am so glad you had taken so many photos of your precious Ava. My mother's sorrow at the death of my baby brother was hugely compounded by the fact there were so few photos of him taken before he died. The fact that you are doing something so generous out of your own grief is amazing. Lots of love to you xxx

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  18. Hey there, I'm your newest follower and what a post to start reading! This is the most beautiful concept, and being 5 months pregnant with my first baby, I can really see how amazing it would be to have photos of your little one, when it's perhaps the last thing you might be thinking about. Looking forward to following your blog more! B x

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  19. Oh wow, what an amazing project to work on, especially as an ultimately empathetic photographer, who can truly say they know how the parents feel. Heart felt, heart breaking, makes me hug, kiss & love my 4 lucky babies even more. Love Posie

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  20. Heartfelt are such an amazing NFP and I am really grateful to know some of those photographers who support the cause. Martine I had no idea you were actually involved with Heartfelt though? Well done to you for doing this. Ava is just gorgeous and I am sure her brothers are going to allow her spirit to live on.xx

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