Category Archives for "Community"

David and Karla Camp Quality Volunteers

David and Karla Camp Quality VolunteersI recently had the pleasure of meeting David and Karla Camp Quality Volunteers. David, a manager and Karla, a Registered nurse from Bundaberg have been helping out for 10 years.

Being Camp Quality Volunteers

They participate in up to 4 camps a year in Central Queensland and Brisbane and they love the opportunity to make someone else’s life a little bit better. They work with different kids at the same camp and enjoy chatting about their differing experiences once they get home. They love sharing the feeling of giving and caring and meeting new kids and their families.

Helping Families from Remote Areas

Some of the families they have met over the years were living in remote areas when their child was diagnosed and its been a tough journey with 1000’s of km of travel, accommodation, treatments and loss of work. Being able to send their kids off to a camp gives the whole family a feeling of relief and support and happiness.

David and Karla Camp Quality VolunteersDavid and Karla love the feeling of giving and caring and want to continue helping out at camps into the future.  :-)

Thanks to people like them, sick kids get a chance to go on camps where they experience new things, make new friends and get to act like kids.

Personal Fulfillment

They encourage anyone who has ever thought that they might be interested in becoming Camp Quality volunteers to register and go along. You will make loads of new friends and experience a great sense of satisfaction and personal fulfillment as well as the joy of having helped those gorgeous kids.

It was really lovely meeting them and getting to hear their story.

Talk soon,

Margherita :)

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Heath Camp Quality Volunteer

Megan Camp Quality Volunteer

How to Photograph Children with Cerebral Palsy

Photograph Children With Cerebral PalsyLife can get quite busy and rush by most of the time, which makes it difficult for you to get things done such as portraits of your family. Life can become even busier and more rushed if you have a child with special needs, like cerebral palsy. Many parents find that they do not have much time or energy to get portraits done, and many feel too embarrassed to since their child will not act like other children. The good news is, it is possible to photograph children with special needs and it is something I love to do. Capturing families together is one of the most precious things to me. In this blog, I am going to explore three tips to use when seeking to photograph children with cerebral palsy or any other special need, or indeed any child.

1. Find A Place That Is Easy To Access

One of my clients was worried to get photos of her daughter because the wheelchair prevented them from being able to access some of the more popular photography locations. We sat down and talked about ideas and realised that there was a small, gorgeous park with a stunning grove filled with old trees. We decided to take the photographs there and carried the girl to the bottom of a tree and organised her family around her. It was easy to access, yet also gave the family some gorgeous, unique photographs. This sort of location can be used for infants and toddlers to hold them up and pen them in if they want to run away. There are various areas I know of that will work perfectly.

2. Have Your Child Wear Comfortable Clothing

This is important for children, whether they have special needs or not. Choose clothing that you know your child likes and is comfortable in, because this will help the portrait process go smoothly and give you some of the most gorgeous photographs of you, your child, and family. A relaxed child means the photos will look relaxed and beautiful. If you put them in white, you will be stressed about dirt marks. For children in nappy’s be sure to have a ‘onesie’ under what they wear so it doesn’t show when they play, fall down and as they run around.

3. Talk With The Photographer About Your Child

Before you settle on a photographer, you should always chat with him or her about your child. I love chatting with my clients and learning about them and their family. It also helps to learn more about the children so that I can arrange a perfect portrait session with you and your child. When it comes time to photograph children, it is always important to understand the individual child as each is a gorgeous, unique being. 

It Is Possible To Photograph Children With Cerebral Palsy and other special needs

If you are still hesitant about getting photographs done of your child, I want to encourage you that it is possible to photograph children with cerebral palsy. Give me a call, and we can chat about your child, the photographs you would like, and I can suggest some excellent locations for you to get unique, wonderful family portraits.

Meeting Maddie

I recently had the pleasure of photographing a lovely young lady called Maddie who has cerebral palsy. We met at a local park with her whole family including grandparents. 3 generations. We set Maddie up on some cushions under a big tree and got some wonderful portraits on a sunny afternoon. I learnt a lot about Maddie and discovered she has her own website about her life. I encourage you to go and have a look and support her in her future. You’ll find it at http://maddiesmates.com/

You can support Maddie and have lots of fun by coming along to a Trivia night on August 23rd.

Talk soon,

Margherita :)

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Photographing Children with Special Needs – Part One

Getting Beautiful Photographs Featuring Children with Cerebral Palsy

1 Camp Quality Volunteer Blaize

Camp Quality Volunteer Blaize

Volunteer Photographer

Recently I was offered the opportunity to be a Camp Quality Volunteer Photographer at a Camp Quality ‘Middle Camp’ at Currimundi on the Sunshine Coast.

It is always a touching to meet the amazing children and volunteers that participate in these types of events. Not only are the children incredibly brave, positive and inspiring, but I was also struck by the incredible camaraderie of all the volunteers present.Camp Quality Volunteer Blaize

You can make a difference too!

The volunteers were obviously having as much fun as the kids and making a huge difference in the lives of these young people.

I was compelled to ask them about their experiences as volunteers. These volunteers make it possible for children living with cancer or living with someone close to them that has cancer, to have time out and fun and receive a boost to their lives.

It’s a very special thing to do and I encourage anyone out there that has ever wanted to do something really meaningful with their lives and their spare time, to help the children and families from Camp Quality.Camp Quality Volunteer Blaize

So why volunteer? Lets ask Blaize.

Blaize is a 24 year old tradie from Logan who’s family has been touched by cancer, he has volunteered with Camp Quality for just over a year.

He joined because he wanted to help kids. “the kids have been through a lot of difficult times” and he wanted to help be part of allowing them to experience fun and interesting challenges and to give something back.

The best part of the camps for Blaize is seeing the kids faces light up when they manage to achieve something they have never tried before.Camp Quality Volunteer Blaize

Some kids arrive quite shy and the camp helps them come out of their shell and builds their confidence.

Blaize loved the experience so much that he has helped out at 5 camps already in this first year of volunteering.

He is working on a challenge of his own at the moment… The Camp Quality

“Live Laugh Ride Challenge”

a mammoth 5 day bike ride that will vary between 50km and 75km per day through Cambodia and Vietnam and then 2 days of community service helping build a house for a disadvantaged family.

Can you help Blaize in his mission?

He wants to raise $3500 and is just under $2000 so far!

You can help Camp Quality by sponsoring Blaize at this web page.

Margherita :)

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Camp Quality Supper Club

Georgina Lewis and Paul O’Brien supporting Camp Quality

Georgina Lewis and Paul O’Brien supporting Camp Quality

I recently had the pleasure of supporting the Camp Quality Supper Club. Over 288 guests had an exciting evening out at 24 top Brisbane restaurants. The Supper Club has been going for 10 years, starting in Melbourne, to raise money for childhood cancer sufferers and their families.

It’s always a fun night

Its the 7th year in a row that I volunteer my skills as a photographer to capture the evening. This year the theme was ‘Wonderland” so I managed to meet The Queen of Hearts, Alice of course and The Mad Hatter. I will post photos as soon as I get them.

Photographing celebrities

Many celebrities were present and I was very happy to meet Georgie Lewis from Channel 10 News, Damien Anthony Rossi and Val and John Foote who are on the Board at Camp Quality.

So How does this work?

Almost 200 of Australia’s top restaurants gave generously, donating tables, food and service to children’s cancer charity Camp Quality. Throughout May 2013, six cities hosted the Camp Quality Supper Club, which fundraises to help create a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia. After the guests have enjoyed their fine dining experience, they are chauffeured by Lexus to a Secret After Party at a special location.

Camp Quality Supper Club

Camp Quality Chairman John Foote with wife Val at Moda Brisbane

This year’s Camp Quality Supper Club ‘Secret After Party’ location..

This year it was in the Amazing Cloud Land in The Valley. WOW. There were tables over flowing with lollies, live music, croquet and free flowing wines from the sponsors McWilliam’s &  Champagne Taittinger.

It’s always a pleasure

to be part of the evening and I thoroughly recommend it to any business or group wanting to have a fantastic evening out and for the great feeling of knowing all the money raised is going to Camp Quality to help brighten the lives of all the families and their children.

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Family Portraits for Caritas – Project 2

Camp Quality Fun Day – action packed kids photos
 

Family Portraits for Caritas – Project 2

Margherita Family portrait photographer Brisbane

Margherita Gregory and Joe Foley from Caritas acknowledge the recent achievement.

Being a family portrait photographer in Brisbane..

and specialising in family portraits I had been wondering for a while how I could use my love of family portraits and contribute to an important cause at the same time.

Then my daughter came home from Mount Maria College with a Project Compassion money box in her hands.

“Maybe you could help Caritas” she suggested.

An idea was born… a portrait-project fund-raising idea..

I was always impressed by Caritas..

and their work in Australia and around the world. I liked the way they help people.

Along with direct assistance, they also deliver education programs on micro business and health initiatives. This vital work helps communities move forward as a whole.

What also impressed me is that Caritas guarantees that a minimum 90% of money raised goes directly to where it is needed. I was encouraged by this high standard.

Setting the ball in motion..

Thinking it might work I got in touch with Trish Ryan from Caritas and we met up to explore the idea a bit more.

The idea was to create a special family portrait pack and donate the proceeds from each pack to Caritas.

We both felt it had potential and decided to give it a try. We set an exciting goal for the project of $10,000.

The family photography project was enthusiastically received and proved to be very popular.

With great excitement we reached the goal in November 2012 by raising $10,000.

Wow the time has flown, and I thank everyone for their support to reach that goal.

We worked together to share the message through the local community.

Margherita Gregory meets Lulu Mitshabu

Margherita Gregory meets Lulu Mitshabu at a Project Compassion launch.

It’s been lots of fun..

meeting all the local Brisbane families and their adorable children.

It’s also been great knowing the money raised is going to so many special programs.

One example I was introduced to is the Safe Motherhood Program in Bangladesh where local women are trained to be midwives.

These remarkable local women are saving the lives of many babies and mothers with their newly acquired ‘hands-on’ skills.

It was a privilege to meet Julienne who started the Safe Motherhood Project and find out more about the challenges experienced by mums and their babies in Bangladesh.

I learned that the problems arose from a lack of access to up-to-date knowledge. This was causing unnecessary infections and complications for mothers and their babies.

Since the program’s inception, not one life has been lost..

when a ‘Caritas-trained’ midwife was present. This is an exceptional outcome and very close to my heart.

Whilst regularly photographing newborn babies around Brisbane I am constantly reminded how important it is for us to continue working towards reducing these types of preventable problems in the world.

Caritas does so much amazing work both here in Australia and around the world, for me this just feels right.

After reaching the goal last year..

and raising $10,000, we have been invited to continue our work with Caritas and it’s with great pleasure that we’ll be continuing with the project.

A new target of $8,000 has been set and we look forward to this new challenge.

Are you overdue for family portraits?

If Mums and Dads are overdue to have a family portrait taken this really is the perfect opportunity.

It’s a great alternative to going to a local shopping centre and having indoor ones done. Families can have something really delightful created.

These designer portraits will be professionally taken in a natural location by me personally.

These special family portrait packs are limited in numbers and they go fast.

If you would like to support this project by securing a pack for your family please contact me at the photography studio and I can tell you all about it :)

Talk soon!

Margherita :)

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Camp Quality Fun Day – action packed kids photos

Camp Quality Supper Club
 

Camp Quality Fun Day – action packed kids photos

Fun Photos with the Camp Quality kids

Camp Quality Thank You Margherita

Camp Quality

I never need an excuse to take some fun kids photos. Over the weekend I got to have a great time helping out Camp Quality by doing just that!  I had the pleasure of being invited to capture all the spirited activities at a fun day the team had organised for the children.

However, whilst driving up to Mt Tamborine on Brisbane’s Southside I found I had been lulled into a bit of a contemplative state. In fact, as I made my way higher and higher up the mountain, I had grown a little apprehensive.

I asked myself, would I be able to control my tears?

… seeing so many little children suffering from cancer, fighting to get well. I didn’t know.

I feel very strongly about children and want to love them all.

I knew it was supposed to be a fun and happy camp but the idea of these kids being in discomfort and imagining how their parents would be feeling made me worried.

It brought back memories of a very special little baby, the first child I witnessed being born into the world in an attic in London. Pia. When Pia was just a child she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. A vicious cancer which after a 2 year fight, took her life. Her father, a dear old friend from Art College days passed away just 6 years ago, also from cancer.

So with these thoughts in my mind, I reached the summit. As I got nearer to the camp grounds I found that a misty fog had rolled in and shrouded the place.

But it soon cleared and it developed into a clear sunny day – perfect for lots of fun kids photos!

I’m here

My first view of the children was a bunch of sprightly boys kicking a ball around as I entered the car park.

Bright colours happy faces and lots of adults met me there.

It would be Okay, I was sure.

Margherita captures kids photos at a recent Camp Quality fun day

Margherita and a few of the Camp Quality team members

 

The bright Camp Quality shirts and hats and people shone out happily.

What an exciting adventure. A room full of 50 children and their companions were planning their day. They had slept there the night before in the dorms and were happily looking forward to another day of fun. Outside a huge jumping castle was being assembled and there was a buzz in the air.

In an open field the games began

Soccer, skipping, tug-o-war, ‘catchies’ and cricket filled the air with shrieks of laughter and playful fun. I made my way around the children noticing that with most of them were no outward signs of sickness. Some were siblings of the kids with cancer.

Some had not much hair and the littlest one was just 4. The 4 year old was so feisty and spirited, she had a few companions watching out for her as she had her own rules.

At one stage as I was taking some kids photos of them pitching the ball in the cricket game, suddenly I felt a huge embrace and turned to see little miss 4 hugging me. I was then instructed to smell her perfume and she was off. So special, what a fighter.

After some morning tea

… more games were played and we organised group photos and fun images of giggling children. I met many of the companions that day. Lots of age groups and all volunteers doing a great job and obviously also having fun.

I chatted to some young guys in their late 20’s who gave up their weekends to help the kids at camps all the time. Each child was allocated a companion that did everything with them. The kids had not even met them until the camp but the close bond they had all formed was obvious.

The day had flashed by – action kids photos

Before I knew it I was done and a lovely day had passed with amazing children and carers that were doing a great job to brighten the lives of the kids – and also their parents who had a small respite break from the toil of hospital visits and treatments.

Now that I had spent time with the children capturing all these bright vibrant kids photos it would make volunteering for the “Camp Quality Supper Club” even more meaningful :)

Thank you all for a very fun memorable day!

Margherita :)

 

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Camp Quality Supper Club

Family Portraits for Caritas – Project 2