Shannon Gurney Photography » Blog

Beautiful Mom – WINNER #1

I’m sure many of you have been waiting patiently to see who my first winner will be for the Beautiful Mom contest I’ve been running on the blog – well, today’s the day!  YIPPEE!!!  After a LOT of deliberation and back-n-forth, I’ve decided to award it to a mom who is extremely deserving.

Here is the letter I received from her son:

“I am going to try to put into words why my mom is the greatest and most deserving of any other.  She has always been a very giving and loving person. She is always the first to offer herself or to help when no one else would. About a year ago she started being a foster mom. She loves kids and would never want to see someone going without.  She got 2 kids about christmas time in 2007 and has kept getting new ones since, even after my stepdad lost his job. On top of all of that she is always getting her grandkids and all 4 of them most of the time. Plus my brat kid brother Tanner. At any given time you can come to her house and you are ready to pull your hair out within 10 minutes. Not mom. She will be in her hospital bed asking if the kids can come see her. She just keeps going. I cant remember the last time I had a picture of just her in my house. Another thing I want to tell you is that we have 5 generations of females that are living in our family. My great grandma, grandma, mom ,my sister and the 2 girl grandkids. She would absolutely die to have a professional take that picture before it is too late.”

My very first beautiful mom WINNER is….

drumroll please….


After reading the letter, I got to thinking about Joann and how much she’s done for the ones around her.  I do know her a bit because I’ve done a few sessions for her family in the past.  The more I pieced together what I knew about her, the more her name kept making it’s way to the top of my list.

Then, just last week, we had some massive fires rip through our small town and many of the surrounding areas.  All of Oklahoma was a hot spot  – even making the national news.  It was pretty crazy around here for a few days – many of our friends lost their homes and all of their possessions…

Joann and her family were one of the families affected by the fires.  She lost everything.  Her house literally burned to the ground.  Thankfully, though, her family is okay.  BUT, all of her possessions were lost…including ALL of her photographs.  THIS and many other reasons is why Joann is my winner for April’s Beautiful mom contest.  Joann I’ll be contacting you very soon!  Congratulations – I hope this helps to lift the burden just a bit.

Here’s a photo a dug up from a LONG while ago when I first met Joann…

it gives us just a glimpse of how deeply she loves and cares for her family.


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  • Amy - April 15, 2009 - 8:38 am

    Amazing…I have chill bumps! Bless their hearts and I’m so glad you’re going to give them some photo’s!

  • Sherri - April 15, 2009 - 4:17 pm

    I’m so excited for Joann! She’s the best mom ever!!!!

  • Joann - April 15, 2009 - 4:56 pm

    I can’t thank you enough!Who would have thought that when my son wrote the letter just how much it would mean. I am so anxious and it will mean so much to me to start making some new memories and some new pictures for my new home! Thank you, Thank you!

  • Mandy - April 15, 2009 - 11:53 pm

    Joann is an amazing person who would do anything for anyone. You couldn’t have picked a more deserving person. Thank you for choosing her, she is one of the most beautiful moms I’ve ever known.

  • Mindy - April 26, 2009 - 5:02 pm

    bless you shannon for doing this, it actually brought a tear to my eye…ah…i can’t imagine loosing all my photographs, that’s gut wrenching just gut wrenching. she’s the perfect choice – hands down =)

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