Last week we had the pleasure of meeting a new Customer – the lovely Michelle.
When our Ladies book, Alison chats to them on the phone, explaining what the shoot involves, answering any questions they may have, and helping to settle their nerves (a common problem!!). Although Alison gets to find out a bit about the Ladies in that call, we never fail to be amazed at the life stories some of our Ladies share with us. Michelle was no exception. In fact, her story was so touching, we asked her if she would allow us to share some of her story with the Red Bow community, and she said yes.
Michelle is a chatty, bubbly beautiful lady with the most gorgeous mane of long, curly red hair. She arrived at the studio, with her wonderful supportive Husband, Jarno, full of nerves and apologies about the bits of her body she didn’t like! Alison and I always sit and listen to this, but all the time knowing that all of our Ladies have nothing to worry about, as the key to our photographs is getting the hair and make up, set, lighting and pose just right for that particular Lady, so that we capture them in the best, most flattering way.
After our Ladies arrive we always sit and chat for a while, over a cup of tea, mainly to get to know them (and vice versa), but also to see what they’ve brought along to wear, and what ideas they may have for the shoot. Jarno stayed for this chat to ensure Michelle was relaxed and settled before he left, and this is when we began to find out about their lives…..
Michelle started by telling us she had lost 5 stone in weight. This is obviously a fantastic achievement, and something Jarno wanted her to celebrate, by having some beautiful photos taken of herself, showing off her new body. But most of all for Michelle to have some ‘pamper’ time and time for her. This is especially relevant for Michelle and Jarno. They began to tell us that they have two wonderful boys, but that all is not particularly easy for them, as both the boys have separate issues which take up all of Michelle and Jarno’s time. So much so, that they have both had to give up their jobs, which they both loved, in order to give full time care for the boys.
Their eldest son, who is now 11, was diagnosed as having ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) which covers a wide range of behavioural problems, such as Asperger Syndrome. Although their son is very intelligent academically, he struggles with day to day common sense issues such as crossing the road safely, and needs life to be structured to have routine, if not this causes issues for him.
When their youngest son, who is now 4, was born, Michelle knew that something was wrong. He was taken away to specialist care and it transpired that he had caught Meningitis. After being told he was all clear, and allowed to go home, Michelle and Jarno were still not happy and struggled to get to the bottom of what was still wrong, only to find out that he had caught Meningitis for the second time! If having nearly lost their little boy twice from this awful disease was not bad enough, he has now been diagnosed with having Cerebral Palsy and has to use a wheelchair as he has difficulty supporting himself to walk.
However, after all of this, Michelle and Jarno are a happy, positive couple, and it is obvious from watching them and listening to them that these issues have done nothing but bring them closer together and stronger as a couple. The fact that Jarno bought the Red Bow experience for Michelle proves that, and I hope you all agree that she wholeheartedly deserved it.