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Photographing 50 Years Together

Lesley O'Donnell - Friday, February 10, 2017


One of the most rewarding things for me as an established portrait photographer is being there to photograph families as they evolve. 

My journey with this family began last century when I photographed Mary and John’s wedding in 1999. Not that long ago really, but it is fun to be able to make that reference back to the days when weddings and portraits were photographed with larger cameras and the magical medium of film.


Over the years since then it has been the greatest honour to have photographed the significant milestones in their lives: from pregnancies, newborns, toddlers, growing children and this time to record Mary’s extended family who gathered to celebrate her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.

I love these occasions as they cement what loving families are all about. Family. 


Pappous John elected a formal pose with a serious expression in the photos but his grandchildren were privy to the secret words and antics that drew an unguarded, reactive smile from him. Priceless!


The four grandchildren have such a lovely rapport and friendship with each other and it was a joy to witness their ease around one another and indeed with their grandparents whom they clearly all adore.

John and Mela’s home is decorated with family photos and I am thrilled that now a collection of these latest family portraits will be proudly displayed for all to enjoy.

Family Portraits of 50th Wedding Anniversary

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Families mean everything to our older citizens and these days many of them are lucky enough to be living with three or four generations enhancing their lives. Nino and Lucy are one such fortunate couple.

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They recently celebrated 50 years as a married couple by having professional portraits taken together and with their children and their families. 

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The delight for me was how Nino portrayed himself formally in every grouping until he and Lucy had their two granddaughters, Contessa and Olivia, to themselves. Then he couldn’t retain his delight and burst into an unrestrained smile. Actually, I think I would call it a beam that spread from ear to ear! Just gorgeous!

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Personal Impressions Photographs 90th Birthday Celebrations

Lesley O'Donnell - Monday, May 09, 2016

This past December I accepted a portrait assignment on Christmas Day. No-one has ever requested this before and at first I was a little hesitant about taking it on as to do so would interfere with my own social diary and a commitment I had already made to a friend.

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However, this request was a little different as my client’s mother was turning 90 on the actual day. Usually her birthday is overshadowed by seasonal festivities but Margaret decided that Joan’s significant birthday should receive the most attention. After all, it is not everyday that one is lucky enough to celebrate nine decades of life.

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I have to admit that I am so glad I decided to share a couple of hours with Joan on her birthday. It was a very special day and I had so much fun with her and the four generations of her family she is so obviously proud of. Before they all arrived I had the great pleasure of photographing Joan by herself and sharing a glass of fine French champagne with her  and Margaret from the first bottle opened that day. I suspect many more corks were popped as the day progressed.

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Age is certainly no barrier to looking good and this very elegant woman put considerable effort into presenting well for her birthday celebrations. She looked splendid in a newly purchased turquoise and cream coloured outfit from her favourite boutique. Her daughter Margaret then incorporated this colour as the basis for the decorations for her birthday. Offset with purple, yellow and white flowers the decorations were bright and cheerful and set the mood for the day.

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Margaret’s four children, their partners and their five little ones all made quite a fuss over Joan and it was such a pleasure to see how each of them delighted in her company and acknowledged what a treasure she is to their family.