52 Portraits of a Stranger: Amber
Amber's mum Paula got in touch with me after seeing a mutual friend's share of this project. I had an email from her asking if she could put her daughter forward. Amber was born premature with a rare genetic disorder that makes her very small and mentally young for her age and on top of that has Scoliosis.
Paula simply wrote 'She is what keeps me going every day and her attitude to her challenges makes me so proud of her'
We met at Knole park on a foggy and eery day yesterday. There was no one around apart from the Deer and oddly a Tescos van. It was also freezing! I had been badly organised and not realised that you had to pay to park in the car park so managed to be late after having to park on the other side of the 1000acre Deer park. Then my phone died! However, we all found each other and went for a walk.
Amber is wonderful. She loves music and her favourites are Jess Glynn, Olly Murs and Ed Sheeran. She is also a huge Disney fan and her favourite place in the world is Florida. She goes to college and loves her teachers. She also has exceptional taste in shoes.
I did do a portrait of just Amber which I will post below but I also chose to do one of them all together which I feel is the right one for this post.
Why? Because this family is what makes this post important. I know close to home the struggles a family goes through when they have someone close to them with a disability. That a lot of your life is spent fighting to make everything better for the person you love. Your whole life can become a series of hospital visits, benefit battles and stressful new challenges. It's the love though that makes you brave, it's the love that makes you fight for that person's quality of life every single day and has you wanting nothing less than the best for them. That's why this family along with so many others are absolute hero's. They absolutely never give up.
And Amber is made from the love, grit and determination of her family which is why I wanted to include them as well as her.
The one comment that stuck with me was Paula saying that Amber does not believe herself to be any different from anyone else until they treat her differently. Take what you will from that but that's a message we can all learn from.
I can not thank these guys enough for the drive over and suffering the cold to speak to me. I left with a hug from Amber and a warm happy feeling. I hope you like the photos xx