“Having as few preconceptions as possible allows one to breathe fresher air” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Laurie Stata by © Jeannette Breward

Laurie is my mother, and she is a pretty amazing lady. Definitely someone I look up to for her no nonsense attitude and all of her crazy eccentricities. So, for her session, I knew we had to create a picture that was as fun and epic as she was. It began with deciding to do it at the beach in our home town of Port Hope – her favourite place to go and relax or do some thinking. But it couldn’t just be a simple portrait at the beach. First – we decided an elegant glass of wine from a hilarious brand needed to be involved (as a wine with a great name made it an instant buy for her)! Then, the perfect vintage dress and chair were purchased, and it all came together. We took an early morning drive down and set up while the sun rose behind us, and a few stray beach wanderers looked on curiously. But of course, a few stares would never stop my mom from having fun! I think this shot captures her beautifully. – Jeannette B

Image © Jeannette Breward

An Interview with Laurie

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. My 60th birthday party. My daughter and son threw an amazing surprise party for me. All my friends were there. It was amazing. I hand’t had a party or celebration since I turned  12.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. My 12th birthday when my mom told me it was my last party and I could only invite one person. It was sad knowing my parties were over.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. Giving birth to my son the day after my birthday. He was my first baby so it was very exciting.

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist on eating during your birthday celebration?

A. Of course birthday cake, and ice cream. And wine. There must be wine as well.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Sharing it with the people who mean the most to me. And getting presents. Presents are good. Wine also makes a good present. So if anyone wants to get me a present, wine works really well.

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. I really don’t think we have any traditions but I think I’m going to start some just not sure what yet. A toast to the party girl with wine.