PHOTOGRAPHER Janet Craig is a self-confessed fitness fanatic, but it was not until she saw how exercise helped a close friend recover from benign brain tumour surgery that she was inspired to combine her two loves for charity.
The fundraising campaign ‘Do it for yourself and help someone else’ has seen Craig donate photography portrait sessions at her 400sq m North Fremantle warehouse studio to 30 campaign supporters, each with a passion for fitness, since March.
Each person shares their story with Craig, which is then uploaded along with their favourite photo from the portrait session to the Everyday Hero website to raise funds for Lifeline WA.
“Going through that personally with my friend made me think about all the other people out there who must have some amazing fitness journey stories as to how fitness has brought them back from the brink,” Craig said.
“The stories we’ve had come through have been fantastic; from people losing 50kg to people who have lost children and others who have thrown out their antidepressants and used fitness instead of drugs.”
Craig said she made Lifeline WA the chosen charity because of the way fitness could enrich both the mind and body.
“It resonates with it and they’re doing such great work for those living in WA,” she said.
“We have already raised over $6000 for this project and our aim is to raise over $100,000 for Lifeline WA to assist the 24-hour helpline.
“We’re in there boots and all.”
Craig said she would continue photographing people into 2017 and those interested could register at www.portraitphysique.com.au/new-page-1.
“We send out an online questionnaire to gather all the information first up,” she said.
“This week we’ve photographed a woman who has lost two children to a genetic illness, a two-year-old and seven-year-old, and has one remaining child.
“She has used fitness to overcome depression; she was the most amazingly inspiring person after what she’s been through.
“Another lady came in who is a full-time carer to her husband who has motor neurone disease.
“Running is her only exercise because she can’t leave the family home for too long and her story was heartbreaking.
“The people walking through the door have such amazing stories and they’re not all doom and gloom; it’s positive energy coming in.
“They’re such focused people and some of the bodies make you want to get to the gym straight away.”
Read more stories and donate at www.everydayhero.com.au/event/do-it-for-yourself/top_ten.