Susan was a friend of a friend and was very excited to take part in this project. She was my second surviving beautifully model. She is a survivor of colon cancer. She was hilarious and was an absolute pleasure to photograph. She has been a photographer, and let me tell you, a photographer doing a photo session for another photographer can be really stressful, but she was amazing!

When she had me tie up her dress, I noticed that she had a large, beautiful tattoo on her back, and of course I had to ask if I could get a photo of it. The result of that last set is just awesome.

Women are deeply attached to our hair. When chemo takes that away, it can be a real challenge. After I sent Susan her photos, she told me that she felt so good after her shoot that it inspired her to go buy new makeup, and to go outside without a wig. I cried happy tears when she told me that. THAT is exactly what I want to happen during/after these shoots.

I got the chance to meet her mom and get to know them a little bit better and it brought me so much joy to watch them decide who got to keep which print!

Here’s a bit from Susan about her session:

“I was diagnosed with colon cancer in Nov. of 2014.  It was sudden and honestly completely out of left field.  I didnt really have time to process it. One day I was headed to the ER with abdominal cramps and an inability to keep food down and two days later I’m in surgery. They removed a softball sized tumor from my descending colon and told me that had I’d waited much longer it would’ve burst possibly killing me. I’m lucky, I guess. I had a great group of doctors taking care of me. Chemotherapy was hard. I won’t lie about that and even now that it’s over I still suffer some of the side effects.  I know I’ll get through it though. I have had and still have awesome support from family and friends.  

Doing these pictures means a lot to me. The experience was uplifting, fun made me feel beautiful again. Something i hadnt felt since the diagnosis especially when the hair stared falling out by the handful. It gave me the confidence to hold my head up with or without hair, with all the scars and not be ashamed of what I went through. I guess it’s really true…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”