Annie Murray is one of the most beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She is a portrait photographer, business coach, an entrepreneur and an absolute gem of a lady. I first heard about her from her film “Finding Your Beautiful” and she inspired me to photograph women. She has changed the way I see photography and what it means for me to be a portrait photographer. Before meeting Annie, photography was just an aesthetic pursuit and a technical challenge for me. She showed me a deeper side of photography, a photography about the heart, as a vehicle to transform the way people see themselves, not just on the surface but from their inner core. She revealed to me how powerful this art can be and what an impact it can make on peoples lives. After all the women she has help find their beautiful, she truly deserves to feel beautiful herself.
I am so grateful to have met her and feel honoured to have had the opportunity to photograph her and her family. There is no one else who is more fitting to be part of these 30 Days of Beautiful.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty means a million different things to me. Confidence is beauty
Beauty is a mothers love
Beauty is seeing a photographer believe in themselves and run their business from a place of confidence not fear.
Beauty is a flower cut from the garden
Beauty is friendship, but most of all, beauty is in the kindness we show others.
Am I meant to cry on the 1st question?
What makes you feel most beautiful?
Ummmm. Showing others that they are beautiful. Making them cry with joy when they see themselves differently.
What do you love about yourself?
I’m lost here.
I love that I push through fear everyday.
I love that my body can heal around titanium and allow me to walk again.
I love my brown eyes
I love the scared little girl who lives in my heart.
Tell me your story
my story hasn’t been written yet. I’m still working out the chapters.
What do you think was the biggest turning point in your life?
Wowzers. So many. From leaving my 1st husband after being told I was too fat for anyone to love me, when Christopher was 2, all the way through to standing in the bathroom bawling my eyes out because I hated myself so much that I thought I was a waste of space. Looking in the mirror and wondering if I was the only girl in the world who felt this way. Being brace enough to put that question on Facebook and that pain has brought me the greatest joy of my life, with my camera in my hands.
What are you most grateful for?
Honestly, everything. I have a body that can take me places and show others that it’s ok not to be perfect.
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Life- Christopher & my relationship with my mum & dad.
Business- winning best photographic store in Australia,
Getting Kodak to sign off on a 9.5 million dollar deal for $0 digital cameras and believing in my judgement to walk away at the right time, listening to my infuriation that because they took 2 years to approve it, it was no longer a good deal, and returning every cent to investors who believed in me.
Love- following my heart, against many objections, leaving my home town & Darren leaving his, to begin a new life together.
What is your most treasured memory?
A photograph I took before I became a photographer reminds me of my most treasured memory.
It’s of Christopher and my Nana Murray standing behind him leaning over him from behind cuddling him as if he was the most priceless thing on the earth. It was Christmas morning and they were standing in front of the cubby house Santa had delivered that morning.
I remember my Nana Murray’s sponge cake and cuddles. I remember feeling safe with her and feeling unconditional love. I remember her being a massive part of my childhood and I remember feeling like I was perfect, but only when we were together.
I remember finding her dead on the kitchen floor, I remember driving past the night before and not calling in. I remember telling Christopher she had died and I remember seeing that plate on her kitchen table, with just the peas on it & the empty saucepan on the floor beside her cold body. I remember standing on the footpath while the police and ambulance waited for the undertaker and I remember saying to my cousins she didn’t get to eat her peas. I remember us seeing the funny side to that as we all came to terms that we would never see her again.
What advice would you give to yourself when you were a teenager?
You are enough.
What do you value most in a friendship?
Being allowed space to make our own mistakes and love each other just the same anyway. No judgement, just accept & love.
Please finish the statement “I am a person who…”
Loves with all my heart.
Misunderstood, my passion often drives people away.
I am a person who is trying to be ok with just being me.