Hi…my name is Amanda!
I can’t tell you that I was born with a camera in my hands. Or even that I started taking photos before I could walk. But I can tell you that my love for my children has created this divine collision with a love of photography. I am a firm believer that you can NEVER have too many photos of your children. My endless personal projects are all borne from this belief.
It was when my dad passed away in 2011 that I realised that we had very few recent photos of him. This realisation caused me to gradually shifted my focus…to photographing only the elderly. Although dad was far from old, I had this innate desire to take meaningful photos. This is what I’ve become passionate about – telling the stories of those with a lifetime of them to tell.
A bit more about me…
- I LOVE to travel But it’s HARD work traveling with 5 kids
- I am a self-taught photographer
- I love quotes
- I really really don’t like coffee (we can still be friends though)
- I’m a mum To five kids (six if you count my husband!)
- I’m also not a big fan of chocolate (I’m sure you’re wondering what is wrong with me!)
- I love animals. As in adore them! We have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 guinea pigs, 7 chooks + 2 horses
- People are aptly greeted in our home with a sign that says ‘Welcome to the Zoo’!
remember the yesterdays
Often I am asked, ‘Why photograph only the elderly’? For me it is because they intrigue me. Their stories need to be told. But more importantly, the stories need to be recorded for future generations. They are a way to remember all the yesterdays. Memories come from photographs.
This is a time for those beautiful elderly people in your life to reminisce of times long ago. To share the things they are most proud of, to tell of who they love/loved, life experiences, times of sweet joy and even reflect on the not-so-pleasant times. And whilst they are doing all this, I will be there to document all these heartwarming moments.
Sure I can take a pretty picture! But that is not what I’m about. I’m about capturing real emotions, documenting a small snippet of their lives, creating a lasting memory of your loved ones.
It’s all about authenticity and connections. I take the time to listen and document their lives (and love) as a legacy to leave for you…their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
they are not wrinkles…they are story lines
It’s been rather interesting determining an age for these sessions. 80+ years old is my favourite to photograph. That being said, if they look elderly and are 70+ by all means, I’d love to photograph them! I do love LOVE stories….happily married for 40, 50, 60+ years makes my heart sing. But I also love to photograph those who may now be on their own.
surrounded by memories
My absolute favourite session is one in the home where your beautiful elderly parents/ grandparents/ great grandparents have lived for a long, long time. Perhaps it is your childhood home. Perhaps they’ve been there since when they got married. The history and memories that are generated from being in such an environment evokes the most special images.
That being said I also do sessions at retirement villages and occasionally one at a nursing home.
emotions, stories, legacy
These beautiful sessions take place where your loved one resides. I use meaningful prompts to encourage depth and a wonderful trip down memory lane. They are laughter-filled, thought-provoking and sometimes even bring a tear (more often than not to my eyes more than who I’m photographing!). I promise I will make them feel special and important. I love when I can validate the love and relationships of elderly couples. And I love when I can show, through my eyes, how touching the little quirks of your parents/grandparents are!
WHY THE NAME ‘BELLAKEE J?’
It seems unusual right? Just some random name I’ve come up with! But the name Bellakee J is actually a combination of my five children’s names.
A little touch of sentimentality is in my logo – the five dandelion seeds you see floating represent each of my children, with the yellow one symbolising the only girl tucked in at the end!