Love & Hope 4 Paige by angel riley photography

“Fate is never fair. You are caught in a current much stronger than you are; struggle against it and you'll drown not just yourself but those who try to save you. Swim with it. and you'll survive” 

I often pondered about why the best people in this world are struck with the worst of tragedy's. Life just doesn't always seem fair does it? But what if I told you that this world we know is just the beginning, and that the only ones who suffer are the ones that are left behind. 

I had one of those moments last week, you know the ones where the greatest things happen to you when you least expect it? I got to meet the most glorious little girl, Her name is Paige, she is 4, she LOVES wonder woman, She is beautiful, and sweet, and innocent & kind. She has been dealt a hand that I wish I could smack off the table, a hand that a little girl should never have to play. 

Paige was a happy, healthy normal little girl until she complained of a headache when she laughed or cried, what doctors found next changed this gorgeous little girl and her families life for ever. 

The doctors found a tumour the size of a small lemon on her brain, they immediately operated and successfully removed the mass. Paige woke from surgery and had lost the use of her left eye as well the whole right side of her body. Post operative scans revealed the shattering news that paige's tumour was extremely aggressive and had grown back even bigger than the mass they had already removed.

They delivered the heart shattering news to Tania and Jake that Paige has terminal brain cancer and there is nothing they can do. 

Let that sink in for a second. Hold that sentence on your heart for just a moment... Can you feel its weight? Imagine being told there is nothing anyone can do to save your baby girl? How do you breath with that news? How do you find the strength to pick yourself up off the floor and gather all the tiny little pieces of your heart so you can be there for your baby? 

Tania and Jake have done what any loving parent would, they put on their armour and they have started the fight. A fight of love and hope, one of strength and courage. They moved their wedding forward so that Paige could be there with them as they said their vows. 

It was the most beautiful ceremony which was held at Lady Cilento children's hospital. All of the stars aligned (With the help of some special family & friends) and made sure Tania and Jake had the wedding of their dreams, with both their baby girls present, alongside a beautiful, loving family. 

I am so grateful that I got to meet this incredible family and especially little Paige. Its hard to explain in words the feeling she gives you, She really does touch your soul. 

I would love if you could each give a moment of your time to leave this family a little message, and if you can find it in your heart to donate to a family who's world has been turned upside down then please visit https://www.gofundme.com/jake-and-tania-for-paige and give as much as you can spare. 

Wishing upon a star every single night, and hoping for light in this dark time. We do not know how strong we are until we have to bring that strength forward, In times of tragedy, loss or adversity people can do amazing things. The human capacity for survival is unimaginable, always have hope. 

All of my love, 
Angel. 

E te Atua, ahakoa ngā āhuatanga o te wā tukua mai tō ringa kaha. Homai te māramatanga kia tiaho mai rā. Kei hea rā he tānga manawa.

Kia ora pai i ngā pēhitanga o te ao i roto i te tika me te māramatanga mo te ao i homaingia e koe. Ka tuohu au ki a koe e te Atua.

Kia hari, kia koa au ahakoa te aha i roto i tō ingoa tapu. Amine.

"God, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change.

The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

taking the world as it is and not as I would have it and trusting that you will make things right if I surrender to your will;

Amen. 

Boho Baby by angel riley photography

03|08|2014

My Bohemian baby shower... 

Oh what a lovely thing it is to be pregnant.. Sure you have moments where you would rather be poking your eyes out then carrying an excessively large child but for the most part its absolutely AMAZING. For instance you get to hold a BABY SHOWER... I am so very glad that this event does not happen often as it takes a WEEEEEEE bit of organising! BUT it was so worth the ONE HUNDRED hours of slave labour and countless you tube tutorials on how to make paper pom poms and tissue garlands! :O 

I have not been on the Gold Coast very long.. But in my year and half I have to say that I have a SOLID circle of beautiful friends and I could not have thought of a better way to celebrate the lead up to my baby's arrival then being surrounded by their gorgeous faces. It was a big ask to bring these women together as things like this can be quite awkward when your circle of friends are from all different parts of life.. Models, Mothers, Entrepreneurs, business woman, Greenies, activists, feminists, FITSPO's, Maori's Lol. But there is a reason each of them are in my life, and its not because of what they do or what square box they fit into Its because they are each individually incredible and I would not surround myself with anyone less. So to my beautiful girls who could be there with me on this special day... Thank you for blessing my life and for being apart of my babies first ever milestone. 

Thank you for all my wonderful gifts even though I asked you NOT to! I know my friends are as stubborn as me so it doesn't surprise me none of you listened. haha. I am so overwhelmed by how thoughtful you guys are! I truly appreciate it! I came home and it took me two whole days before I could actually open them all and read all my beautiful cards! You girls are honestly amazing... So thank you. 

I had planned to give you each a gift..  It was a glass jar full of sand and glitter and inside the jar is a tiny little word.. That word is a trait that I hand picked for each of you based on what you reflect most to me. Kindness, Ambition, Loyalty, Empathy, Forgiveness, Love, Appreciation, Honesty...etc. etc. I wanted you to take it home and to sprinkle a tiny little bit of sand once baby had arrived. It would be your gift to my child that was hand picked by me. It would be his trait in life, The thing that he would take off you and posses throughout his journey in this world. It would be his values and his morals. I gave V and Rose ONE job... and what did they do? He printed out repeats of the same words and Rose put the same words into the jars! LOL So the gift is pending its arrival... It would not be a true Angel gift if it was on time! :p

I had such a fabulous day! beautiful food, beautiful home, beautiful company. So much laughter and just a perfect way to welcome my little bubba into this big scary world. I know he will be just fine with such strong, compassionate, kind woman surrounding him. 

Thank you Jade for hosting my event! you offered me and my friends your beautiful home and you organised the most ridiculous and embarrassing games you could find! Lol We had so much fun! Even if I did leave with a fat complex.. Thanks girls (Uh hum Rosanna & Jenna!) :P Thank you Mum for putting up with me and running around after me and being just amazing like usual. I am the luckiest daughter in the world and if I can be half the person you are as a mother than my children will be blessed. Thank you all the girls for doing your part in making the day uber amazing, from decorating and cooking, to baby sitting my little mischiefs... And thank you for being there! I cannot ever tell you what it means to me to have you present on such a special time in my life, For making an effort to travel near and far and for just showing me how lucky I am to have you girls in our lives. 

x.A 

Leah Harris by angel riley photography

This is the start of something huge for this young lady. Her first ever professional model portfolio. 

Leah was such a pleasure to shoot! So captivating in front of the camera and her raw beauty is something that is rare and wonderful! 

Loved shooting this look book for such a gorgeous young lady! Leah I wish you all the happiness and success in your future! I think you have everything and more to become one of NZ's leading models so get on your grind and good luck! 

xx. A 

Mr & Mr's Smith by angel riley photography

Ok.. So let me start this by saying this is my FIRST ever wedding! And it really is not for the faint hearted, It was in all honestly one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my whole career. 

I literally walked into this like I had in on LOCK! I had a plan and I had my mental map.. UH.. NOOOO It was nothing like what I had imagined.. It was much more complex and random.. It was much more glamorous and magical.. 

I cannot count the number of times I got goose bumps.. The amount of times I stopped and took my eyes out from behind the camera and just smiled. 

There was this moment which I really have to touch on.. Kristen. I photograph beautiful women everyday. I basically eat, sleep and breath beauty. But I have NEVER seen beauty like this. Not with my own two eyes.. Not the transformation of this beauty.. I ALMOST left this wedding and gave up on ever shooting another one for the rest of my life.. the only thing that changed my mind was her. The bride. 

I started taking photos for one reason.. It was that no woman would ever stand before my lens and walk away feeling less than magnificent! It was so I could capture ALL the beautiful things that make up my clients.. The little insecurities they have and showing them that they are BEAUTIFUL.. That those little things that they find so imperfect are in fact the very things that WE see as being unique and ALLURING.. 

I was looking at this beautiful bride for hours.. and she was stunning yes.. she was getting her hair and make-up done and she was radiating.. But I remember the EXACT moment she literally took my breath away.. I honestly stopped. Lifted my head from out behind my camera. And I watched. I watched her put on this dress.. And I watched her literally transform into a super human! I had been looking at her for HOURS! how did this happen.. How did she change so much that it stopped ME in my tracks! And then I realised.. That was the moment she no longer was a beautiful woman. She was a glowing bride. Full of love and light and happiness and strength. full of certainty and trust. She was magical. 

So with that I realised that yes, Maybe these images are not perfect, Yes I could have done many things differently, NO I should not have come home and looked at the best wedding photographers in the world (straight AFTER my first ever wedding shoot), NO I should not have beaten myself up for not doing enough! I got exactly what I needed! I caught the magic, the happiness, the love and the beauty! Her radiance made me realise that weddings ARE my thing! I can honestly look back at this event and know that I captured this heavenly day and I am proud to have been apart of the memory. <3 

I Scream You scream... ;) by angel riley photography

This is Taleeha Harley, A gorgeous little lady from near my home town who won my competition on Facebook. 

I had an idea in mind for this shoot before I had even met her. I wanted to do one shot with ice cream, and Had everything in place ready to go.. THEENNN.. I found out she was lactose intolerant! (I really should have checked that!) haha So we changed the plan ever so slightly and ended up with sorbet for one quick shot before it melted away into the sand! 

Taleeha was stunning on camera, such amazing eyes I had to actually knock them back in photoshop instead of enhance! Always a first for everything! 

Good luck in your pursuit of modelling Taleeha! You will go far. 

x.A