I've always been wary of giveaways. More so, I've always been cautious in relation to giving away my photography, my business, my livelihood. I feared that if I gave it away, somehow its value would be diminished.

That's why I'm not giving it away.

You are.

If you are selected as the winner of this giveaway, you do not keep the prize. The redemption is for another. Someone you love and care for. Someone you believe is so deserving, you would rather the offering be theirs.

The giveaway is a family shoot. To anyone, anywhere in the world. My travel costs are mine.

There are no strings. You don't need to retweet, follow along, or blog about it (you are more than welcome to but it's not part of the giveaway).

You only need to do one thing: tell me someone's story.

Tell me about a family. Tell me about a family you love with your whole heart. And most importantly, tell me why they should have this.

Kesh and I will read your comments and emails. We will make a selection based on what we feel in our hearts. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tell me your story below, in the comments section, or if you would prefer, send an email to hello@timcoulson.com

Merry Christmas.

Terms of Giveaway
Entries are open effective immediately and close at 8:00am December 20, 2011 (Sydney, Australia time). The winning family will be announced Christmas Day.
The photo shoot will occur at a time and date that Tim Coulson is available and must be redeemed within 12 months.
The winning family will receive a disc of approximately 200 images in print and web resolutions, as well as an online slideshow. No prints are included.
The photo shoot will run for approximately two hours, unless otherwise agreed to.
For clarification on any details, email hello@timcoulson.com


  1. Oh, I think I held my breath the entire length of this post. A kind idea.

  2. My best friends have just moved from Sydney to Adelaide. They are Kate and Nick and they have two beautiful daughters Harriot (3) and Daisy (1).

    Nick works 10 hours a day as a graphic designer and Kate works 24 hours a day caring for her girls.

    They moved here to make a better life for their girls. Like allot of us with little ones, they struggle. Struggle with sleep, with money, not owning their own home and finding time to BE a family. But happy non the less.

    They are no more deserving then the next person.... But they are a special young family that are dear to me. And this would make their Christmas.



  3. You GUYS! This is a really beautiful thing :)

  4. What a fantastic idea. Merry Christmas in advance to the both of you!

  5. A beautiful sentiment, pay it forward for Christmas,
    Lamb x

  6. So so lovely, kind and generous. Such a beautiful idea. x

  7. Such a beautiful and kind idea, especially at Christmas time x

  8. Sob! You're too beautiful for words. I know the perfect family... Jane from Life on Planet Baby lost her dad this year and moved into a brand new house. She's a bit lost but so full of promise. I would love you to capture the beginning of a real, proper new year for her family. x

  9. What a beautiful "giveaway". OK i'll tell you a story. I couldn't give this away because there is no other family that *I* know that is more deserving than mine. I'll tell you why. This time last year i had some photos of my son taken from a talented photographer (you may or may not know her). The photos are beautiful and capture my son perfectly. He was 3 at the time. I asked my daughter if she would be part of the photo shoot but she didnt want to, not sure why, she was 19 and maybe she thought it a bit uncool to have professional photos taken. She died, suddenly only weeks later in January of this year. How i wish she had agreed to be part of the photo shoot. Life is so unpredictable, as it has been for my family this year. My daughters passing has been a huge wakeup call for me, no longer do i take anything for granted. Carpe diem

  10. wow Tim your generosity has blown me away....as soon as I read the bit about the winner "giving" the prize forward to another family I knew straight away who would be deserving. My dear friend of nearly 6 years is just a lovely spirited woman. A woman who could be bitter and sour about life. She lost her father, mother and brother all in a six month period and really feels their loss since starting her own family. She also went through major open heart surgery just before their deaths. She now has two beautiful boys - both were very premature and that caused her a lot of stress, but with an adoring husband and her remarkable spirit she never gave up. But more than that, she is just the best friend anyone could ask for. she is giving of her time and support. She feels blessed for the life she has and never wallows in self pity. She just has a beautiful soul and aura around her. I think capturing this in photos for her would be a testament to just want a great person she is. It's people like that in our lives that I know I feel very grateful for.
    And Tim, thankyou so much for having this giveaway.

  11. Hi Tim, This is a wonderful offer. I have an identical twin sister and she has a beautiful little family and I love them with all my heart. Christina is my best friend as well as my sister and her and her husband have always been supportive and wonderful to me.

    She has a lovely husband Dave who she married at twenty-one (she is now thirty). They have a beautiful little boy called Cohen and she is currently 26 weeks pregnant with the next addition to their lovely family.

    Christina is my twin and I know as such I am biased, but she is the kind of person that would do anything for you and is a very considerate thoughtful person. She remembers when you've had a doctors appointment and calls to see how you went, she remembers the anniversary of my husband's father's death and calls him and his mother on that day. She buys you little presents just because she had seen them and thought of you. She sends random things in the post to people and writes long emails and letters to friends who have moved interstate.

    Christina cherishes her family and friends. If she wasn't my sister she would still be my friend. You can tell her anything, and she will answer your call anytime if you need a shoulder or an ear. I know that I am lucky to have such a wonderful person in my life and I am lucky to be part of her sweet little (growing) family.

    Yesterday I was invited over to decorate the Christmas tree with her and her son Cohen (he is almost three). It was a lot of fun. I don't have any children - or even a christmas tree - so it was just lovely to be involved with their family rituals and traditions.

    These paragraphs haven't by half explained why I love my sister and her family with all my heart. I think that they would love having professional family photographs done by a talented photographer, especially after the new baby comes in March. I guess for me they are deserving simply by being such wonderful people. So if you feel like traveling up to Brisbane maybe you will get to meet them and see what I mean.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

  12. This is a wonderful idea Tim.
    I want to tell you about our friends Jenny and Lucas. They are the kind of people who would do anything for their friends. In fact, I am sure they would do anything for absolutely anyone. Their generosity astounds me. Jenny is the kinda girl who cooks you meals and drops them to your door when you have had a bad day or are feeling unwell. She is happy for me to call in unannounced simply because I need to get out of the house with my two little ones and need a cup of tea and a chat.
    Jenny and Lucas always wanted to have kids. They met when they were quite young and fell in love, got married blah blah blah...next step...children.
    They 'tried' for SEVEN years with no such 'luck'.
    The night I met them at our church in Terrigal they were awaiting some very exciting news. They were about to have a baby! Just not the way you would think. They were to be given a little 6 month old boy who would be adopted out to them. 18 months after this they were given this boys brother and just last week they were given the boys baby sister. The children all share the same birth parents and Jenny and Lucas are now blessed to have these three precious bubs to love and look after as their own.
    They don't have a lot of money, and they don't care for new clothes or a fancy car. But their house is so so full of good things and their family are their riches.
    I would LOVE to surprise Jenny and Lucas with this AWESOME gift.
    Merry Christmas and thanks for the chance to share some joy and your talent.

  13. PS. You can find out more about my lovely twin here: http://www.alittlebirdtoldme-craft.com/

  14. Oh, what a lovely idea! Thank you for this!

    I have someone who I would like to nominate...

    When I first moved to Montreal three years ago, I was in crisis. I struggled to see where I fit in in this new country, new culture, new language while my relationship was holding on just by a thread. I felt groundless and alone and not quite sure what I was going to do with myself.

    As I would come and go, I would notice that our new neighbors, an older Greek couple, were always sitting out on the patio, eating dinner and chit chatting while he smoked and she laughed, clearly enjoying each-other's company. They would nod "hello" to us as we came home, though it took me a long time to work up the courage to strike up a conversation.

    I don’t remember quite how it happened, but somehow our relationship blossomed. I am sure Penny probably invited us over for dinner one evening (the first of many, many dinners shared on their tiny balcony) and I am sure we joked and laughed as we always did, communicating with Peter (who had just come from Greece 10 years prior and spoke all of 10 words in English) through a combination of charades and translation (from Penny). How it first happened doesn’t really matter, though, because these people became our family. Peter was the most kind-hearted man, teasing my boyfriend about how pitiful our little garden was (he always had MOUNDS of vegetables in his small little backyard plot), then turning up the next day with a tower of pots for us to use for our tomatoes. Penny was equally generous with her love, inviting me over every afternoon for a Nescafe and a chat while I was going through a particularly rough patch. They were old-fashioned, in a way, but it was nice to be around people who valued family, food, relationship and hard work. They made me feel like I was home.

    A year ago I saw them sitting on the balcony one evening, both in their PJS (which would have NEVER happened before). I knew something was wrong. Penny told me that Peter had had a heart attack and that he would be off from work for the next month, to recover. I remember looking him in his pale blue eyes as I told him, “Peter, you have a GOOD heart.” “YEZ,” he told me, his face pale and sad, “ITZ GOOD HEART.”

    One week later, Penny called me to say that Peter had passed away.

    And, that she was pregnant with their first child.

    It is impossible to know what to say to someone who has just told you in the same breath that their husband has died and that they are pregnant for the first time. I don’t think I said much, really. I don’t think it would have mattered if I did.

    I could not imagine a more cruel torture than to spend a Montreal winter mourning the loss of your husband as you prepare for the birth of your first child. Except, perhaps, when, just a few months after the birth of Michaeli (the most beautiful baby in the whole wide world, who looks EXACTLY like his father), Penny’s father also passed away. I know. Unimaginable.

    So all of this is to say that I love my friend Penny dearly and I am constantly amazed at how she has pulled herself through this, a woman who lost her husband, birthed her first baby and lost her father all within six months. She is one of the strongest people I know. Her son, Michaeli, is the best-loved baby around, and it shows. This incredible woman took me into her home and gave me a family when I needed one and now I would love to be able to gift her with a portrait session in return. Thank you again, Tim, for hosting this giveaway. It was truly generous of you.

  15. oh my goodness, I have goosebumps from reading all these comments and reading about what people have gone through. This is such a beautiful idea, even if there is only one winner, its nice to know that there are such lovely people around who can write such amazing things about people they love.

  16. Such a wonderful gift, Tim and Kesh. You guys are unreal x

  17. Tim this has been such an amazing competition... I have simply enjoyed coming back to the blog each week reading the amazing stories about such beautiful people. :-)

  18. I know a wonderful family. They have four children, twin girls, a boy and another girl. One of the twins has battled all her life with a rare heart condition. She has recently undergone some very risky surgery to correct the problem and it was a success. They have faced this in the most beautiful, calm and accepting way. I'm pretty sure if it were me, I would have crumbled, but not Paul and Anna. Thanks to an amazing medical team, this family can now breathe easy for the first time in years. I would love to give this gift to them, they truly deserve it.

  19. Hi Tim,

    thanks for the great idea.

    I want to tell you about a family that means a lot to me. Namely that of my parents. My parents are also my family and I belong to, but I now have my own family, I have a child,I am a mother.
    My parents grew up in the former GDR, and they have requested to leave long before the Wall fell. And that's been very brave of them.
    First, it was dangerous then, to ask for an exit visa, it ran the risk of imprisonment, torture or even that they had taken away her child can be. And yet they knew me, not her child, wanted to grow up in a country where they were imprisoned. For this reason, they had interrogated by state security can endure. Did they fear that their family was destroyed.
    Secondly, it is not easy in another, relocating to a foreign country in which they indeed understand the language, but nothing is what it's used. A country where freedom reigns and in which just may be.
    I am grateful to my parents very grateful that they have dared. I have freedom in my youth may spend. That was and is a great gift.

    Happy day to you!

  20. seriously tim...anywhere in the world...I don't have a sentimental story of a family to share really but it just got me thinking of the possibilities anyway if you really travelled all the way to visit my family in Jamaica. A bit selfish of me I guess but the thing is I don't get to see my family that often because I live in Scotland in the UK. I have a little boy he is only 9 months and we were supposed to go home for Christmas. Unfortunately I just got a new job and can't get the holidays. It's just a bummer. So this got me thinking of you being able to take these amazing pictures of my family in Jamaica that I could look at at moments like these when I feel...well...bummed. It would really just be my mum and dad and my gran who turned 102 this year(she lives with my aunt so there is extended family on my mums side about as well)! My mum has a green finger which means an amazing garden for a backdrop to the pictures :) I'm actually a bit scared that my son won't get to meet his great grandmother...that would have been a great picture huh him in her arms! My sisters unfortunately live abroad too so getting the whole family together would be difficult...they are going home for the Christmas so that got me bummed as well.

    Well that's it really. You take great photos and it's such a special gift you are giving a family. Merry Christmas.

  21. I have popped back at least 5 times since seeing this post and cry with every new added story..simply an amazing gift you are offering.

    I would love to put my Brother in law and his wife, twins and new bub on the way in the mix. They are a wonderful mix of a True English Gent with an American Good Time Gal and their twins are polar opposites in so many ways.

    They would never do this for themselves, they could never afford to either but the early days were a struggle for them as Grace had to have major brain surgery very soon after birth as she had excessive fluid on the brain that they said could have ended her life or left her brain damaged. Pffft don't be silly, not MY family.. they had a choice and they chose to take the risk, she is now running around fine and dandy. She is a celebration of what can be if you just have faith and I would love for you to capture her and her new baby sibling when they arrive as their last babies birthdays were filled with trauma and they deserve some joy...

    Oh and they live in San Diego with a garden crammed full of fruit trees, veggie patch, chooks and all x

  22. I sent an email to the address provided. Please please pllleeeeaaase read. If you didn't get it please let me know. I think this person really deserves what you are offering.


  23. I wanted to say what a beautiful idea this is, such heart in this beautiful gift. There are already so many deserving families mentioned above.

    I simply want to nominate my mum. She is my world. She lost her eldest daughter (my big sis) at the age of four, and with what I now know as a mother myself, nothing can ever make this easier. But She fought on, providing a loving and perfect life for me. She remarried the most amazing man, and together they gave me two little sisters, who are my everything.
    In 2010, I gave her a precious gift of her first grandchild, and knowing how proud she feels is wonderful.
    Mum hates having her photo taken (surprising as she is very beautiful), but I think the way you photograph would help her relax.

    Everyone's mum is special in their own way, my mum is amazing.
    Rhiannon xx

  24. this is the best.thing.ever.

    if I didn't like you guys before (and I did), there would be no stopping me now (and there isn't).

    you have quite a task on your hands, Coulsons. good luck. x

  25. I am a photographer from Philadelphia, PA, USA. I am not sure how I found your blog, but I have fallen in love with your work. It is stunning and heartwarming. I feel like I am a part of everyone of your families.

    I am not sure this would count but I am going to enter anyway. You can decide if it qualifies. That being said it isn't for me, but I would be in the shoot. I would love to give a shoot to my mom that I could be in for her. I am always behind the camera never in front of it. I know it would mean the world to her for me to be in our family snap shots. My entire family lives together all summer long at our family beach house. I know I am so very fortunate to be surrounded by my family so often.

    My mom is the first woman to live past 50 in her family. Her mom died of breast cancer at 49 when my mom was 20, she had two babies at the time and moved home to raise her 15 year old sister. Her sister died at the age of 40 from Breast Cancer 16 years ago. My mom helped to raise her daughters who were 2 and 7 at the time. My mom found out she had breast cancer when she was 59. She had a double mastectomy and she is an inspiration to everyone around her. She is the most amazing person I know. In honor of her sister and her mother she walks every single year in the Susan G. Komen 3 day. She walks 60 miles in 3 days. For the last 20 years we walk every mother’s day in honor of all the woman who have suffered from Breast Cancer. She also is a peer sponsor at the hospital where she found comfort and recovery from her cancer.

    She has suffered so much loss in her life yet she is the most positive person I know. My father passed away 10 years ago and I know he is the love of her life. She still to this day claims that he is. That their love was something she was blessed to have. My youngest brother committed suicide 18 months ago. He suffered from years of addiction even with that she continues on. From his death she honored his memory by starting a charity in his honor called Project Call Home. http://www.projectcallhome.blogspot.com. She knits hats for addicts in the city of Philadelphia.

    Life is short and I don't take a moment of it for granted. I would love to capture my mom, my siblings, their families, and myself in our life at the beach. I know it would mean the world to her.

  26. Firstly what a wonderful and kind hearted gesture for you to be offering.

    Family is the one most precious gift on the planet and to be able to capture the love a family has is absolutely priceless in my eyes. And I know for a fact my view is shared with a very dear friend of mine Lucie Ferguson, who I would like to nominate for such a wonderful gift.

    I've known Lucie for over 8 years now, and over this time I've also come to know her family, her older Sister Elle and Mother Kim. These three girls are kindred spirits, they share one of the most unbreakable bonds. The strength of their love and happiness of their 'little' family, as Lucie will say, is overshadowed by a demon. That evil and relentless beast being cancer.
    Kim has been fighting cancer since 2001 including regular periods of hospitalisaztion and surgery. This situation resulted in her having to give up her position as a High School English teacher. Recently the cancer had spread so she undertook a radical course of treatment which included Chemotherapy and radiation everyday for 6 weeks over Christmas 2010. Christmas day last year was spent in a hospital ward with her two favourite girls, Lucie and Elle by her side, undergoing treatment. At the time she was the first woman to complete (survive) this treatment in NSW.

    Since then the family has been informed by specialists that the cancer has re-emerged in her colon and has since spread to her Lung. This information was shattering as they had believed that even though the chemo and radio pushed her to the edge health-wise it would ultimately result in the cancer being eradicated. Unfortunately this is not the case, not only did the cancer survive but it was able to spread to other parts of the body. Her medical prognosis from the experts is now much less positive than it was before Christmas last year, so the Ferguson's are widening their search for a cure.

    I know for a fact it would be a dream come true for this beautiful little family to have their precious moments snapped and locked in a moment in time forever.

    Thank You so much for giving someone this opportunity.

  27. This is something beautiful and precious and powerful. I've cried over some of the stories and come back and reread them.

    You're giving a good gift to someone who will cherish it.