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Peer Praise: Lianna Nielsen on Marie O’Mahony

Super to have another Peer Praise piece on This is Reportage: Family today, where our members highlight or praise a fellow member in some way – whether that’s something to do with their photography, or them as a person – or both!

Today we have Lianna Nielsen (top-left) talking about Marie O’Mahony (top-right).

“A few years ago I saw a post in a photography Facebook group along the lines of, “it’s 11pm… I’m hiding from my kids and having a moment. Comment on this post and I’ll send you some positive words.”

I commented, and forgot about it. The next morning there was a message request in my inbox, with a long, warm and beautiful message from someone who had made the effort to read through my Facebook business page and find some genuine things to say about it. It was Marie O’Mahony, who had written the post the day before.

For someone in the trenches of a new life as a mother, photographer and business owner, struggling with imposter syndrome and, well, anxiety I guess, to put a word on it, those words from another photographer meant so much. Without really a community of my own, especially in documentary photography, I’d had very little feedback before.

Image by Marie O’Mahony


And that is Marie. Always finding the positive, noticing the little things, supporting, cheering, encouraging others. We continued to chat, and some time later she did a stint of editing for me, and continued to give me inspiration with her feedback on my images. I paused my business to have twins, and she got busier as her country opened up after COVID, but she remains a friend on the opposite hemisphere that I know I can always go to for a listening ear, help or encouragement. When I get an award, she’s the first to pat me resoundingly on the back – via Facebook Messenger and our 12 hour time difference. She’ll check my awards entries and give me her honest opinion. And when things go suddenly pear-shaped with my business, she is there with sound wisdom and a virtual hug. She believes in me, and sometimes that’s enough to help me, a little more, to believe in me too.

In a world that can at times be a howling wilderness, she’s a little warm and shining light.” – Lianna

Lianna Nielsen – TiR:F Profile / Website

Marie O’Mahony – TiR:F Profile / Website

Thanks so much to Lianna for these super kind words!

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