Through The Lens Thursday #32: Love

Through The Lens Thursday is a one-year photography project, where every week, my project partner, Greta of GFunkified and I, will post a picture (or pictures) we have taken based on a prompt. Our hope is that together, we can teach and learn from each other, stay accountable to our goal of improving our skills, and hopefully, be taking some gorgeous photographs. 

A photography project This week’s prompt is ‘Love’. Book cover Rare Bird This week’s Through The Lens Thursday is a little different.  There are many ways to interpret the ‘love’ prompt – it’s so easy, it’s hard. 

What can I tell you about my interpretation of love?

It’s a book. A book that no one wants to write, but everyone needs to read. A book that was born out of a mother’s grief, who found hope and light in what is an impossible, unimaginable situation. A book that was written by my friend, Anna Whiston-Donaldson. A book that called on me to help Anna get this book, her story, and her words out to as many people as possible.  

I have a review of Rare Bird lined up next month. Today, I want to tell you a little about the person behind the book. I wish I’d met Anna under different circumstances, and not the one that resulted in this beautiful book – the loss of Anna’s son, 12-year old Jack, nearly 3 years ago. I joined the blogging community in an outpouring of grief for her. I started reading old posts, then followed new ones, and the ones about Jack, always hit hard. I got to know Anna better on a personal level over the past year, and have watched her grow as a author, speaker, mother. 

I am immensely proud of her. September is going to be a whirlwind of a month for Anna, as Rare Bird launches on September 9. Jack’s crapiversary is on September 8. I hope that with the love and support of her family, friends and readers, Anna will get through this time with her signature grace. 

And I hope that you, my friends, will also shore up for Anna, by pre-ordering her gorgeously written book, Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love on Amazon. You will not regret it. You will be gripped by her story, strength, courage, and find comfort in knowing that this is not just a story of great loss, it is one of great love. 

Thank you, friends. And thank you, Anna, for letting us into your world. I love you. 

Watch the book trailer too.

 It would be great if you could like Anna’s Facebook page – let’s show her some LOVE!


(What do you think of this ‘love’ photo? This is a photography exercise, so any critique is appreciated and welcomed!)

Next week’s prompt: Lemon

For the full list of prompts, check out my Through The Lens Thursday page. If you’d like to join Greta and I, but not necessarily blog your picture, join our Flickr group, where we upload our photos, and give comments, or helpful critique on each other’s photographs.

I haven’t written much about my twin pregnancy here, but I did confess to a few fears at Everyday Family – would love for you to hop over for a read! Thank you.


Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • August 7, 2014 Jennie Goutet

    This is truly a perfect response to the prompt “love.”
    Jennie Goutet recently wrote…The Viscount – Chapter FiveMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Jennie.

  • August 7, 2014 Janine Huldie

    A bit speechless and now from your photo and your words, too here, I want to read the book and get to know Anna better. Thanks for sharing and will definitely be reading her book when it comes out.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Oh Janine, you will love Anna’s book, AND Anna! She’s such a wonderful person.

  • August 7, 2014 Kir

    This picture just shows that you know exactly what LOVE looks like.
    (all the LOVE, GRACE and COMFORT to Anna and her moving words and extraordinary book)

    Kir recently wrote…My Summer of ChangeMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Anna and her book made it easy. xoxo

  • August 7, 2014 My Inner Chick

    Gorgeous Title.
    Unbelievably unbearable contents…
    Tender photo.
    I shall read, cry, & be better because I did.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…21 Things About Girlfriends, Blogging, Imperfection, Gillian Flynn, & Other ShitMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Oh Kim. I know you know grief in a way no one should. I do hope that you will read Anna’s book. xo

  • August 7, 2014 anna whiston-donaldson

    Love. Thank you for giving me love, and for helping me spread this message.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I LOVE YOU!!!!

  • August 7, 2014 Kerstin

    Yes, exactly this is what love looks like. All around. So glad you chose to write about Anna’s book! xoxox
    Kerstin recently wrote…Experience2014 – July Round-UpMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Kerstin. I didn’t see any other way to respond to this prompt. 🙂 xo

  • August 7, 2014 Dr. G

    I find this an especially poignant use of the through the lens prompt, Alison, as once we lose a loved one we often keep them in pictures. Thank you for sharing the amazing Anna’s story.
    Dr. G recently wrote…Astoria Moms&Dads and Astoria Center of Israel, New York CityMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      You’re right and perceptive as always, Debi!

  • August 7, 2014 Charlotte

    Thank you so much for telling us about this book (and for the lovely review/photo). I remember sweet Jack’s story and can hardly believe that was already three years ago. I have added this to my wishlist on Amazon.
    Charlotte recently wrote…Things that scare me about home ownershipMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      You will love the book, Charlotte!

  • August 7, 2014 Tamara

    Perfect prompt. And a really heartfelt and shattering, but beautiful and hopeful book trailer. I would probably buy anything she writes after seeing that trailer!
    Tamara recently wrote…Promise.My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      You really need to read this, Tamara, it’s truly stunning.

  • August 8, 2014 Allie

    Oh Alison. So heartbreaking. On the one hand, I have read many grief memoirs in the last year, and they have indeed helped – but on the other, none was about the loss of a child. I can’t even go there. I can’t believe you were able to read it while you were pregnant (my last pregnancy I started the Memory Keepers Daughter, but threw the book out before I finished!).
    Allie recently wrote…The First Day of SchoolMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Allie, this book is worth reading. I hope you give it a go. It’s not so much a grief memoir, as one of love and hope.

  • August 8, 2014 Clare

    A lovely photo and sentiment Alison, I am so in awe of anyone who writes books, especially on such a difficult and personal subject.
    Clare recently wrote…Through The Lens Thursday 32. Love.My Profile

  • August 8, 2014 Mila

    Could you tell me a bit more about the idea behind Through the lens Thursday? How do you exactly critique photos? Do you have some guidelines or it is more like an open discussion?

    Best regards,

    • August 8, 2014 Alison

      Hi Mila, thank you for your interest! The idea behind Through The Lens Thursday is simple – my partner, Greta and I are amateur photographers. We decided to do this 52-week challenge to improve our photography. We have set the weekly prompts (you can find the full list on my Through The Lens Thursday page), and we just post our photo every week. We also have a Flickr group where anyone can post their photos/ interpretation of the prompt there, for critique. There is no guideline, it’s just open discussion. Everyone there are amateurs, no professionals, so we just critique as we see it. 🙂

  • August 8, 2014 Kimberly

    Oh my heart. That is all that I can muster up.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I know. It’s that kind of book.

  • August 9, 2014 julie gardner

    I pre-ordered this book the day it became available and remain awestruck by Anna and her story. You are both lucky to count each other as friends.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Isn’t she amazing? I have been blessed by her friendship.

  • August 9, 2014 Natalie

    Now I must check this book out!
    Natalie recently wrote…Tomorrow You Are TwoMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Please do, it’d be worth your while, promise!

  • August 10, 2014 Christine

    What a beautiful response to this prompt. Thank you for sharing this and Anna’s book. The trailer was breathtaking.
    Christine recently wrote…High Five FridayMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      It was, wasn’t it?

  • August 10, 2014 Susi

    What a beautiful written post. I’m so glad I saved this e-mail and didn’t clean out my inbox yet… I will head over to Amazon and buy this book and support your friend! Beautiful take on the prompt.
    Susi recently wrote…Boating Life (Wordless Wednesday)My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Susi, truly appreciate it!

  • August 11, 2014 AwesomelyOZ

    That’s a wonderful thing to love 🙂 And what a great variation on this response from what I normally hear 😛 Will look into the book and have a great one Alison! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently wrote…It’s MoFo’in FridayMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I hope you do read the book, Iva, it is stunning!

  • August 12, 2014 Elaine A.

    There is SO much love in this book. But I do wish that it never had to be written…
    Elaine A. recently wrote…Take The Long Way HomeMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Sigh, me too, Elaine.

  • August 12, 2014 Kimberly

    I’ve seen quite a few people talking about this book. I did read her blog before, but now I’m even more curious about this book.

    (PS – I like your nail polish color! I know, so not related to any of this. Sorry!)

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I hope you check it out!
      (and thank you)

  • August 13, 2014 Greta

    All the love to Anna. I’m so anxious to read the book.
    Greta recently wrote…How To Avoid Buying Toilet Paper For A Year #sheethappens #giveawayMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Wasn’t it just breathtaking?

  • August 14, 2014 Rudri Bhatt Patel

    What a heartfelt response to the prompt love. Thanks for bringing my attention to this memoir, Alison.
    Rudri Bhatt Patel recently wrote…Another Beginning Becomes Another LastMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I hope you read Anna’s beautiful book, Rudri. Thank you for reading.

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