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How one couple's wedding photo is helping people with mental illness and depression

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Photographer's wedding photo experiment nets $15k for charity

A striking image of an Australian bridal party against a backdrop of barren, drought-stricken land struck a chord with the woman who took the photo, so she decided to use it as a tool to bring good to the area.

Edwina Robertson traveled to Blackall, Queensland, a few weeks ago to shoot a wedding. The event was joyful, but the ongoing drought has hit the area hard, causing families to make devastating sacrifices to stay afloat. The bride's family was one of those making difficult decisions. According to the photographer, her family had to sell all of their cattle the same week as the wedding.

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"If you have ever lived in a rural community you will appreciate the struggles, the joy and the uncertainty of making a living off this great land of ours," Robertson wrote on Facebook. "... unless you've been living under a rock for the last three years, you will also have heard of the realities and the lack of rain. I am only an individual and I only, can't do much. But I can do a little."

So, she posted the wedding photo to her Facebook page, vowing to donate $3 for every share to Tie Up the Black Dog Committee, an aid and support group for those experiencing mental illness and depression in areas affected by the drought. The image was shared nearly 5,000 times in just a few hours, netting the group $15,000.

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The runaway success of the stunt surprised Robertson. "I was mildly worried at the rate of the sharing initially (and wondering how on earth I was going to find the funds) but I am so glad this has happened," she said, according to Cosmopolitan.

Robertson has since created a crowdfunding page where people can donate money directly — and it's already raised nearly $32,000 of a $50k goal, but she's still donating the $15,000 raised from the social shares.

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"If the funds help raise awareness and give support to someone in a rural community suffering from depression and saves their life, then it's the best $15,000 I've ever spent!​" she said.

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