September 5, 2013#

Your playing small does NOT serve the World

That call that you dread from anyone that you love. “Hi my Sista, are you sitting down I have something to tell you . . . so, I have Breast Cancer” Suddenly every stupid thing in the world means nothing. That boy that’s being a thorn in the side, the nasty comment you read on Facebook this morning nothing. Nothing matters because this stuff jumps up to remind you how fragile life is and to quote Marianne Williamson. “Your playing small does NOT serve the World”

This is Shireen Hammond.

She has been my friend for 4 Years 3 months I met her in my first year of moving to Australia. There are some people that you know instantly you will be my friend. She is kind beautiful positive hardworking a mother of 6 children, a magnificent singer a wife to the best husband around and truly nice person whom never says a bad word about anybody. She just doesn’t.

Shireen is a beautiful Wedding Photographer and has spent many years building her business with Robert her husband. SO Well yes, those things that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday was “You have Breast Cancer it is in your Lymph nodes you need a Mastectomy and Chemo” and just like that life changes.

Sue Bryce Shireen 1 copy

Sue Bryce Shireen 4 copy

Sue Bryce Shireen 5 BW copy

If life has taught me anything it has taught me to show up for your friends especially the ones that show up for you. So I took Simona and Kristie and we flew to Melbourne to shoot Shireen before her surgery. The rest is Shireen’s story, she’s been documenting her journey she didn’t know if she would or could share it but now she is ready. She has documented her story to share it. Because she has friends that are also experiencing the journey of Breast Cancer and loss because she has a supportive Husband and children and knows that so many Women out there are alone through this battle and because she wants to beat it with dignity and grace and show that its a tough battle but you are not alone. Like Jill Shireen is someone that gives and gives even when she should be receiving and her desire to share inspire and help others is strong. Jill taught me to live a Fuller Richer Braver life to share my photography and to never take anything for granted.

I feel so much gratitude to give the gift of documenting life and telling peoples stories for them. This was such a hard story to capture because I felt all of her pain and fear but I also felt her hope. I am editing the video that I shot of her that day, when Shireen is ready she will share it and she is inviting anyone who would like to share support reach out help or needs help to her FB page.

You can join here https://www.facebook.com/bbacjwsh?ref=ts&fref=ts

Sue Bryce Shireen 8 copy

Sue Bryce Shireen 9 copy

Sue Bryce Shireen 6 copy

Sue Bryce Shireen 3 copy

Sue Bryce Shireen 7 copy

Sue Bryce Shireen 2 copy

I love you Shireen Hammond you are a shining light.


  1. I saw Shireen speak at the AIPP Event this year and I was really struck by her generous nature. Such a beautiful, kind and giving woman, it really just pours out of her. I have a friend who had beast cancer at a very young age. She’s now 32 and it has shown it’s ugly head again, in her lungs this time. She, like Shireen, is such a beautiful caring person, she would give you the world and expect nothing in return, cancer really doesn’t discriminate does it? I’m really saddened by this news despite having never really met her. I wish her luck and I hope she beats this hideous disease.

  2. I’m so sad for Shireen. She is such a beautiful soul. She was missing from the VIPPY’s which sat strangely with me. After attending your Seldex talk also Sue I knew there was something more, something bigger that brought you home. I am so sad to hear that it was this but also grateful that Shireen is lucky to have you xo Thank you for being there for her xo Heavy heart tonight.

  3. all our love and prayers are with you shireen. <3

  4. What a difficult time it must be for you all. I believe that people come into our lives for a reason and how fortunate you two are to have each other. Sending Shireen much hope, love, and well wishes in a journey of strength and recovery.

  5. What an inspiring story. There are far too many people suffering from cancer, but at least if they have supportive family and friends they have the strength and courage to get through it. Thanks for sharing Shireen’s story and the lovely photos of her.

  6. All our love and prayers for Shireen and her amazing husband and family.
    What a beautiful post and your love for this exquisite friendship shines through. How blessed you both are for knowing each other. xo

  7. What strikes me is not only her beauty… but the heart wrenching look he has on his face. The sad and worry on HIS face brings tears to my eyes. What a lovely gift you are all sharing … I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

    Beautiful… all of you.


  8. A gracious story of courage hope and fear, as you no I’m not a photographer but my untrained eye is blown away with how you capture the different emotions in people through your incredible art. It must be a treasure for these giving souls to look back at and reflect on there journey through your photos.
    Love you xx

  9. Shireen has been such a marvelous support for me in so many way when I lived in Australia, having known her for many many years I want everyone to know she has the biggest heart of anyone and an amazingly caring and bubbly personality. She and Robbie are a truly beautiful couple and its my honour and joy to know and love them. God Bless you Shireen and Robert

  10. I love people that never speak ill of others. I want to be like that. These pictures of your friend are absolutely beautiful.

  11. what beautiful people you all are~ amazing at all times :]

  12. You know what I love most about you Sue? You speak from the heart. You get a feeling and transform it into words. I loved this even before I saw your photography. You made the most inspiring, helpful speeches and I knew from them that you would be a source of inspiring not in photography, but in life.

    Hope everything gets nice with your friend.

  13. The day you posted this Sue, it was my birthday – and I was in Sydney with my very special best friend Alexa, who had her surgery in December, and is now also on a long journey. When it touches someone close to us it hurts more than we think. The images are beautiful Sue, and I will follow and share with the lovely Shireen via her new FB page. Your words are lovely – you are as gifted with words as you are with a camera. x

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