More To Life: Jessica K Photography
“More To Life”
Photography, Concept, Retouching: Jessica Kirby @ Jessica K Photography
Words: Ash Dorman @ Jessica K Photography, based on Shaanti’s Story
Model: Shaanti Senaratne @ Mirror Mirror Agencies
Make-up Artist: Jordan Stewart
The beautiful young girl you see featured here is Shaanti, and amazing young woman with goals that are best described as beautifully selfless. To understand this heart warming girls wants for others it is best to first snap a glimpse of her world.
Shaanti lives in a small patch of paradise, a perfect little beach town called Coolum on the sunshine coast, in Queensland Australia. In speaking to Shaanti you quickly come to realise her passion for this town; she will tell you all about the “funky cafès” she frequents, the people that inspire her and the beautiful memories she has of countless hours spent with her beloved family surfing. When all is said and done, despite the endless beauty of this part of the world - the waterfalls, the glistening beaches, the adventures found at every turn - Shaanti will swear that is the mutual love her family shares (when experiencing all the sunshine coast as to offer) that make her realise just how blessed she really is.
Shaanti is currently being home schooled, at the age of 16 this is an odd thought for many, but she explains her (and her families) decision to leave school perfectly. Shaanti will inform you that she understands now that leaving school was the best decision she has made in her life so far - she will excitedly tell you that since leaving school she feels an overwhelming burst of freedom every second of everyday. She can choose what to learn, discover in her own way, try and sometimes fail - as we all do so we can grow - in her own time, and create as she pleases.
Shaanti expresses her belief that school, in its usual form, is not for everyone; but she understands that for some it is and she is glad they are happy “GO THEM!” she cries.
But for this spirit, fitting in with the “cool kids” and “stressing over grades” is not how Shaanti wanted to spend her schooling, instead she wanted it to be overwhelmed with “incredible experiences” as a spring board for the incredible life she hopes to lead.
When we asked Shaanti about her family, and what brought her to live in her much loved home we began to uncover the inspiration for Shaanti’s goals, her Mother and Farther.
Shaanti lived in Indonesia for 9 years through her childhood, though she stresses “I am not Indonesian myself, I am a true Aussie” - just mixed with some Sri Lankan she explains.
See, Shaanti’s parents spent their honeymoon in Indonesia, loving it so much they stayed for the following 17 years (travelling back and forth).
It was in these 17 years that Shaanti and her two siblings were born and introduced to her parents surf charter. This boat was “for people who loved to surf and loved to get involved in helping out the less fortunate”. The amazing people on this charter would engage in many activities for local communities they travelled to; starting kids day cares, canoe projects, water pumps and a coconut oil factory. Shaanti describes her time on this charter as being filled with “love and compassion for this world”. Through her description of what Shaanti’s parents wanted her and her siblings to learn, we see the inspiration for her selflessness - “My parents wanted to show us kids that this wold is full of SO much. Every individual is beautiful, but not everyone is blessed with the perfect life, and there are plenty of sad things that happen in others lives. But we can all do our best to contribute to making this would a better place.”
It’s rare to come across someone that inspires you to simply live, like Shannti does. She has an heart that is warmed by the beauty of her surroundings, a mind that seeks adventure and a family that has nourished her love and caring for others. With all this in mind it becomes increasingly understandable that Shaanti has “no idea” what she wants to do for a career - her mind is thinking about that is occupied with what she wants to achieve. Shaanti just knows that, through travel to as many third world countries as possible, she wants to help everyone live the life they want to - just like she has been lucky enough to. She hopes to encourage everyone to “show love unto others” and to experience all the adventure and beauty this world has to offer because there is so much more to life then what some people get to experience.