Precious project

Alyssia Coates, pictured with daughter Grace, 6, is inviting mothers of premature babies and their children to sign up for a charity project that aims to give hope to families now in hospital with their premature infants. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Photography. As a mother of six, Alyssia Coates knows how powerful motherhood is.

She is teaming up with Launceston photographer Melanie Julin for the Precious Premmies project and capturing images of north west mothers and their children born prematurely.

“All the images will go into a book, distributed to the three major hospitals,” Alyssia said, hoping that for some mothers in the neonatal intensive care unit, the book will be the “light at the end of the tunnel” they need at that time.

“This sort of work is very dear to me,” Alyssia says of her photography.

“I myself have had two premature babies both at approximately 34 weeks, and several miscarriages.”

A farmer up until mid last year, Alyssia first dabbled in photography before taking on her passion professionally one year ago.

As well as photographing special occasions and family shoots, Alyssia is now on call for her sixth birth photography shoot.

She also photographs for HeartFelt, a volunteer organisation of professional photographers who provide memories to families that have experienced stillbirths or have premature or ill infants.

“You know that you’ve done a good thing for a family that’s grieving,” Alyssia said.

“If I can give my gift of being able to take photos . . . I can give that memory for a family to treasure forever.”

Precious Premmies is open to all mothers of babies born prior to 37 weeks’ gestation, and their children. Open to children of all ages, families are asked to bring a framed photograph of the baby at birth.

The Smithton session will take place at West Esplanade on Sunday May 21 at 10.30am.

Similar events will be held in Burnie and Devonport the following weekend.

It costs $30 to participate, which goes directly to Ronald McDonald House. To find out more visit the Alyssia Coates Photography Facebook page or phone 0408 525 376.

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