What’s a girl to do..?

Janiene Jilbert

I miss my Mum.

My Mum died a little over six months ago.

There.  I said it.

Out loud.

But it still seems surreal.

I had occasion, last night, to seek mum’s guidance.  And I’m not talking about a ‘what should I wear’ situation.  I needed some heavy-duty Mother-to-daughter advice.  It’s the first time, since she died, that I felt her loss so markedly.

When Dad and I received Mum’s diagnosis and prognosis, a scant ten or eleven weeks prior to her passing, I immediately switched into ‘let’s just get on with this’ mode.  And while friends and other family members around me were questioning the universal justice (or lack thereof) of the situation, I was busily ensuring Mum received adequate care, monitored her medications, facilitated her getting home for palliative care.  I moved, with my two younger children, interstate.  Back home.  To wash dad’s underdacks.  To cook.  To keep a hand in Dad’s business so he could spend each precious minute by Mum’s side.  And after Mum passed, I stayed on to help Dad and my beautiful brother tie up as many loose ends as could be tied. At the start of this year, I moved back to Adelaide.

People would ask: “How are you doing?”  “Have you had a chance to cry yet?”  “Is there something I can do for you?”  “What can I do to support you during this time?”

And, until recently, I’ve not had any answers for them other than: Ok.  No.  Not that I’m aware of.  Look in on my Dad for me when I’m back interstate.

My initial pragmatism, manifested as a means of dealing with the nightmarish dilemma, gave way to the numbness and routine of ‘survivalism’ when I got back to Adelaide.  At first it was a vague sense of unease.  Nothing I could pinpoint.  So I tried to keep myself busy in an attempt to stave off what I now see as inevitable.  But things became more difficult.  I found myself avoiding people.  I deliberately took to arriving at school with only enough time to collect or drop off – thereby escaping the necessity to speak to the other parents.  I stayed away from public transport.

And then, things started to unravel.  Internally.

I found myself in the unusual scenario of not having an adequate enough vocabulary to articulate the process unfolding within.  I still don’t.  And it scares me.  Confuses me.  Frustrates me.  It confounds my ability to compartmentalise.

I find tears, randomly leaking out of my eyes.  Tracking a course across my cheeks.  Dripping onto my waiting lap below.  My chin quivers with uncertainty.  I close my eyelids to clear my vision.  Take a deep breath.  Recentre. And I’m nearly ok.  But then another tear magically, surfaces – welling until it, too, rolls free to follow the path of the ones before.

And so, I discovered – last night – that I desperately needed the comfort, advice, guidance and support that only a mother can give her daughter.  It wasn’t there.  SHE wasn’t there.  And it was then, that I knew.  Know.

I know that I miss my Mum.  My amazing, gorgeous, brilliant, quiet, wise, peaceful Mum.  The woman who carried me in her womb.  Who prayed for me, daily, before I was even born.  She nursed me at her breast.  Watched over me.  Taught me.  Disciplined me.  Blessed me.  Befriended me.  She prepared me for life at a Christian Woman in an unChristian world.  And she continued to guide me along my path (even when I didn’t realise I needed it).

I miss her.  I feel her absence.  I’m overcome.  Undone.


And so now, the individual tears have become a torrent.

“In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well…If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.  If it is giving, give generously…Don’t just pretend to love others.  Really love them…When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them…Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.”

Romans 15:6-10, 13  New Living Translation

Mini Glamour Portrait Package

To say thanks for showing interest in my No Cheese, No Sleaze, All Glamour Makeover Portrait Package, I’m proud to offer you a special on my Mini Glamour Portrait Package.  The Mini Glamour Portrait Package gets you:

  • Me, working with you before out session, discussing ideal wardrobe selections, hair and makeup options, and lots of little tips and tricks to get you looking and feeling your absolute best,
  • Me, posing and positioning you to bring out your inner Diva.  I’m not snap happy, but take time to demonstrate how to move, sit and place yourself to look your absolute best.
  • I’ll work WITH you to create beautiful images for up to two hours at a location of your choosing (usually, it’s easiest at your place – or you can organise a hotel room if you prefer).
  • Then I work by myself to create your masterpieces.  I use all the same Glamour Retouching methods as the No Cheese, No Sleaze package, and you also get
  • A beautiful printed folio of your two favourite images.

Of course, you’re also welcome to purchase any other prints or enlargements from my a la carte menu at a %10 discount!

And, to thank you, this Mini Glamour Portrat Package is available to you for only $385.

Call me on 0413 53 11 79, or email me at vashti@vashtiwood.com to schedule (or purchase one as a last minute Christmas gift) your Mini Glamour Portrait Session today!

Yes, I want Weekly tips: Straight from the Pro to my Inbox!

I’m not a big-wig, hard hitting, heavy handed professional marketer intent on bombarding you with a zillion useless “BUY THIS to live happily ever after” messages.  What I am is a professional photographer with a zillion useful “DO THIS and improve the way you look in, or take, photos” tips and advice.  I even occasionally throw in some typically pro-only advice.

Newsletters are weekly, and short sharp and to the point – that’s why I’ve called it “In a Snap” (pun TOTALLY intended).  Each week I’ll answer a subscriber question or show you how to do something better.  Either way, you’ll be able to implement the info immediately and see instant results!

Leave your details below, and you’ll get a personal email directly from my inbox every week.  I can hardly wait to see you in the next installment.


FAQ – All about angles… how one TINY change can make a very BIG difference!

Amanda, among others, has recently asked me a very, very, good question:  “How you can work out the best angle to capture your best features and hide your worst!”

Well, you could spend hours in front of a mirror – posing, turning, adjusting, tweaking, trying to remember what you’ve done that works… But the problem with THAT solution is that you’re only ever going to see yourself from a single viewpoint.  Your eyes are always stuck in your head and you have no way of knowing how you look from any perspective other than what is fixed in your sockets *smiles*  One way around that is to spend a few thousand dollars, and a few months of your life, studying the way models do – learning how to ‘work the camera’ and take ‘direction’ from photographers, stylists and artistic directors…

Alternatively, you can work with a professional photographer that specialises in working with non-professional subjects (I mean, people that aren’t professional models).  Thankfully the professional photographer  – unlike yoruself – isn’t limited to seeing and capturing things from a single fixed location.  Not only do I know EXACTLY how to pose you – how to  work with you and explain exactly how to position yourself to show off your best or favourite features, and minimse your least favourite ones – but also exactly which angle is best for any given pose.

I could go into all of the nitty gritties (there’s a lot of physics and a bit of math involved), but that would be allowing my geeky side to show through pretty boring and take QUITE a while.  So I created a video instead, to show you – visually – the huge difference even one very small change can make.

Oh and one last thing (before you study the images) – what you see below are images are Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC).  Excepting a black and white conversion (and resizing), I’ve not done anything else to these portraits.  I’ve written, very specifically, about the differences between SOOC images, proofs and print-ready images (click here to open the article in a new tab).

In THIS instance, I’ve elected to use the SOOC images to show you that it’s not about Photoshop Trickery – just good, old fashioned, skill and expertise that you just can’t fake.

If you have any questions you’d like to see answered, feel free to leave a comment below or on my facebook page.  I’ll see you in the next video!

Camera approximately 1' above the ground

Camera approximately 5' above the ground.

No Cheese, No Sleaze, All Glamour Makeover.

Here’s your chance to receive a complete Glamour Makeover, Glamour and/or Boudoir Photo Shoot AND Glamour Retouch & Print Package valued at $1,100
(did you read the FREE bit?)


Who:  You or a friend.

What:  Multi-award winning complete glamour makeover – tan, hair styling AND makeup makeover.

When:  Drawn and published 23rd December.  Winner published on this website AND notified by email and telephone.

Where:  Adelaide CBD.

Why:  I thought that’d be kinda obvious.  *grins*

How:  Enter your details at the bottom of the page for your chance to win a $1,100 complete makeover and glamour photo session!


You know me.  You know my work.  (If you don’t, take a few minutes to browse the site).

What you might NOT know is that my family has had a pretty rough year and – because family is the most important thing in life – I’ve prioritised my family over work.  I’ve taken a hiatus from work this year to focus on supporting and nurturing myself and my family through our hard times.

Now the storm has passed, I’m wanting to honour the memories of my departed Grandparents and Mother, by dusting myself off and throwing myself wholeheartedly back into the life I was meant to live.

And to celebrate, I’ve put together a totally AWESOME, completely AMAZING, and truly SPECTACULAR gift for one lucky woman!

There are no tricks.  No gimmicks.  No cheese, no sleaze.  One lucky woman will receive a complete makeover, glamour photo shoot AND glamour retouch & print package.  I’ve managed to convince Karen Hedger (multi-award winning hair stylist and makeup artist) to assist, to ensure you’re COMPLETELY pampered!

Karen will begin by expertly styling your hair for our session.  Then, she’ll provide you with a complete makeover by creating a flawless foundation, and working from there to bring out your inner beauty – to bring the ‘You’ that’s on the inside into alignment with the ‘You’ that’s seen on the outside.  Using all the advanced techniques that win her awards, and land her gigs working on tv shows, Karen will wave her magic wand. ( Ok.  She doesn’t ACTUALLY have a wand – but she DOES have brushes…  almost the same thing!)

Then, the REAL magic begins.

  • I’ll pose and position you to bring out your inner Diva.  I’m not snap happy, but take time to demonstrate how to move, sit and place yourself to look your absolute best.
  • I’ll work WITH you to create beautiful images.
  • Then I work by myself to create masterpieces.  The package also includes
  • three (3) printed enlargements at 11×14″ size AN
  • ten (10) 5×7″ prints also.
  • These completely retouched prints will be provided along with approximately 20 of the best images from your session in electronic format – optimised for you to upload, email and share online.


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