It has been a dream of mine to take portraits of women from different cultures wearing their traditional dress. That dream became a reality upon meeting the vivacious Jacqui Holmes, who I meet as a potential model for a fashion shoot I was organising. We began chatting - as with Jacqui that is something she is extremely good at, I could talk to her for hours! I told her about my dream and she said lets make it happen "I have a church full of beautiful women from different countries"
Together Jacqui and I organised a morning of pampering, hair, makeup, food and photography for the women of Victory Church. Our intention for it - a time of blending, pampering, cultures mixing, yummy food and togetherness.
Many of the women from Victory church are refugees from Myanmar - Burma, they have been persecuted for their beliefs and have fled to New Zealand making Nelson their home. Jacqui say's at Victory Church everyone in the congregation still has their individual cultural values and customs and this morning is a wonderful example of that. The women came with their traditional dress and were so brave in front of the camera - some even playing up for it!
Ema and Janaya gave the women beautiful hair styles while Indie did an amazing job doing makeup for them. Karina a photography student at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology covered the event capturing behind the scenes images as well as beautiful group and individual portraits around the venue.
It was a wonderful morning with smiles all around, lots of laughter and togetherness. I want to extend my thanks firstly to all the ladies who were brave enough to participate and let us make you feel special and capture your photographs. I want to thank the businesses and individual stylists who took time out of their day to come and donate their services and finally Jacqui who opened her home to us all.
Photography: Jessica Shirley
Photography Assistant: Karina Kusumadarma
Hair: Ema Soole and Janaya Te Tomo of Elise Hair & Beauty
Makeup: Indie Welsh of Prices Pharmacy
With special thanks to:
Sarah of Elise Hair & Beauty
Jacqui Holmes of Victory Church for hosting this wonderful event and giving these special women something they will never forget.