I remember driving up the F3 with Kesh, way before we got married. We'd only known each other a few weeks but we were already talking about kids.

Kesh wanted eight, I found out. I didn't. I wanted...three.

When we got married, kids weren't on the cards though. Kesh studied Fine Arts and majored in Printmaking. It's common to use chemicals that you can't be around if you're pregnant. So, we waited.

Mid year, Keshy finished her last practical classes and we decided to start trying for a baby.

And strangely, it didn't happen straight away, like I thought it would. One month passed, and another. And another. I felt for Kesh. I felt for me, too.

Kesh took something like fifteen pregnancy tests. With each negative result came a new feeling of disappointment.

We waited months. Three or four of them. Some people wait years. And some people still wait.

When I walked through the Whinnen's door, I almost immediately knew there was something more to this family and their experience with Elliot. I don't know how I knew.

After our shoot, I emailed Lisa and asked her about her journey to Elliot. And she shared with me the journey. With her permission, I share it with you...

Lisa said she feels like she climbed Mount Everest to be Elliot's Mum.

After a year of trying, Lisa and John decided to see a fertility specialist. After a year of daily temperature checks, charting cycles, changes to diet, ovulation charts and exercise.

It was discovered that Lisa had Endometriosis, which you will all be familiar with. I'm lucky enough that I had to jump on Wikipedia to gain an understanding. After major surgery, Lisa began a long and painful road to recovery with the assurance of her surgeon that within six short months she would be pregnant.

But she wasn't.

Enter IVF.

My understanding of the IVF program is that it helps people get pregnant. Lisa explains it a little more. 'It rips at the core of who you are as a woman and is an absolute roller coaster both physically and emotionally'. In her email, Lisa explained to me the drugs, the mood swings, the sickness and the daily needles. Lisa struggled to use needles on her own body. John did this for her.

I can't begin to imagine the love between Lisa and John.

Embryos were collected and implanted - unsuccessfully.

Understandably, Lisa questioned if she could do it all again. A few months later, with another embryo, they did.

Once the embryo is implanted, there is a two week wait but they only made it to nine days. Lisa was convinced she wasn't pregnant and wanted to be sure before she began the grieving process again. They took a home pregnancy test and waited.

Lisa was pregnant.

The journey wasn't over yet. Just two days later, Lisa thought she was having a miscarriage. She was in excruciating pain. They rushed to hospital to find that an ovarian cyst had burst.

The pregnancy resulted in five months of all day, all night morning sickness, which led to medications. Lisa then discovered she had Gestational Diabetes. And then her blood pressure began to rise and Pre-eclampsia developed.

At 38 weeks, Lisa was induced. Eleven hours later, Elliot's heart rate began to fall and Lisa's blood pressure wouldn't stop climbing. Doctors feared Lisa was going to have a stroke and began preparing for a Caesarean. The preparations weren't needed.

Elliot was born, naturally.

After 24 hours of special care, Elliot was strong and healthy.

To help you understand just how special Lisa and John are, they explained to me that their hearts ache for those people who don't fall pregnant easily.

Kesh and I waited months. I am humbled and grateful for the miracles that occur on a daily basis in the creation of life. With my new found humility, I give thanks for the life inside Kesh.


You probably can't remember.

It's been too long.

Your memory doesn't stretch this far.

There was a time where you were this small, too. A time when you depended for everything.

And the people who brought you into this world, they wished you'd stay this way forever.


  1. So beautiful! I want a baby! lol

  2. I love how honest your family portraits are. Beautiful!

  3. Your photographs never disappoint . I sing your praises to all who listen and this post is a good example of why. I just love how you love families. The last shot is my favourite xx

  4. PERFECTION Tim!! What an honour, a million thanks! xx

  5. what a beautiful story. the photos speak a thousand words but most importantly, love.

  6. I'm in tears. Stunning. The intro is as well written to tell this story as the photos that were taken. The middle shot of the family, in color, where elliot is looking at his mama and his papa is looking at mama...this is their soul, their essence and you captured it. That little boy has such an old soul, I don't know him, but I feel like I do because you captured his soul so perfectly, I feel like I know him. Amazed.

  7. You have the wonderful ability to be able to describe in words with equal passion as you see through your lens. Beautiful imagery as usual.

  8. you are a writer as well as a brilliant photographer, tim. just a beautiful story teller to portray everything this couple had to endure to meet their little Elliot. beautiful photos as always.

  9. Oh the love, the love, the can just feel it. What a gorgeous, happy, blessed family... Just beautiful.

  10. Thanks for sharing their story, Tim. It's beautiful and certainly makes you reevaluate what's really important in life.

    Look how happy they are with their little Elliot. Well worth the wait, I'm sure x

  11. Oh wow Tim, I just read this story, scrolled through the images & then realised that this Lisa went to my primary school & dance school & high school I think too. I recognise her smile... still exactly the same. These are beautiful.

  12. What a great family. Wish them happy.