The Battle to beat Breast Cancer
Bald, bold, and ready to fight-
Jen bravely shares her journey with you.
When was the last time you had to be brave? When was the last time you had to look life in the face and let it know you were going to stand up, look the devil in the face, and tell him to fuck off?
That’s Jen. Jen is a brave and bold young woman, battling invasive, fast growing, hormone driven cancer with a smile on her face and fire in her eyes.
I had never really saw bravery in real life before, but now every time I think of Jen I want to cry, and not because I feel bad for her, but because she inspires me.
She has her own personal, intimate story that she shares on her blog, so I will save that experience and the details of her situation for her to tell. Talking about how cancer doesn’t run in her family, how she has a rare type, and how she’s dealt with things like- being told she may not be able to have kids, her breasts will be removed, she would lose her hair, she would be put into menopause at 26 years old, and she would have to fight sickness for 3 months while undergoing chemo.
This is what a warrior looks like. This is what a gorgeous, powerful woman looks like. This is what truth, life, the raw side of us as humans looks like told to you by a young woman who didn’t ask for this, didn’t see it coming, but did not let it stop her.
Jen. We love you.
Award Winning Portraits: Awarded Honor of Excellence - Silver
The back story.
In December 2016 I put a model call up on my site asking for someone interested in doing a raw, gritty look for a print competition I wanted to enter. The stakes are high, I’m competing with professional photographers from around the world, famous names, and people who have been in the field for longer than I’ve been born.
Jen wrote me and said, “Only if you think I would fit this project, I would model for you! I just shaved my head so I can go bald or with my wigs.”
I sat in shock for a moment before I wrote her back. They fact that she was willing to embrace where her life was right now to the fullest, and trusted me to express that in a creative way, it not only blew me away, it made me realize
this project just became the most important thing I had ever done.
Jen came in to the studio and we simply just had a girls day. We did her makeup in studio, we played with her wigs, and we saw her without any hair for the first time. She looked like a high fashion model, those women who choose to be bald, expect she didn’t choose this, which made her look that much more powerful.
Before Jen, I had this idea of a woman wrapped up in an ace bandage, black and white, knuckles bloodied, expressing this inner struggle, but working through it powerfully, beautifully. It was a good idea, but now, this idea, it was as if it was born for Jen at this moment. The fact her breasts would be removed, her fighting through this, her unmatched beauty... this project meant and said so much more with Jen in it.
The top 2 images were entered into the Wedding and Portrait Photography International (WPPI) Print Competition and we received a Silver Honor Of Excellence Award. I say “we” because this couldn’t have happened without Jen and her beauty and bravery, Taylor and her makeup skills along with studio assistance, and me with my concept and set design along with taking the portrait itself.
I am floored to present this project to you. It’s hard to even find the proper words. The story is so deep, there’s so many thoughts flooding my mind, but again, I’ll let the photos do the talking. They tell all. Thank you for sharing this moment with us. I hope it nurtures you, teaches you, and inspires you.