October is breast cancer awareness month. When I heard the statistic I almost fell over. According to BreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
1 in 8. How many women do you know who may ultimately face this terrible disease? How many women has it already touched? Sadly, most of us can point to several friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances.
The situation is even worse for us Long Islanders. While the Northeast has higher rates than the rest of the country overall, affluent suburbs tend to be highest of all. Suffolk and Nassau Counties have had a breast cancer incidence rate approximately eighteen percent higher than the statewide average. And while they haven’t been able to to tie it to any particular environmental factor, lifestyle, it seems, may turn out to be the biggest culprit.
As a photographer of women, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many beautiful, strong and inspiring women. Breast cancer has always been a recurring theme. Survivors have come to me to document their beauty and strength, their resilience and their triumph. Past clients have reached out to share their battles, expressing interest in celebrating their conquest over this horrible illness by doing another future shoot.
And just this year, I had a bit of a scare myself. It made me think of each and every one of these women, and before I went to bed I sent silent prayers hoping each was doing well in her fight, in her recovery, on her journey.
My hope: with all the strides we have made over the past few decades in the medical field, may breast cancer for once and for all be eradicated. And may all of us beautiful, strong, courageous, talented and inspiring women live healthy lives filled with joy.
This image is a sneak peek from a recent shoot at a Brooklyn studio.
The concept: In a nostalgic moment, I recalled an old pair of pink parachute pants I used to absolutely love. I mean, they were so feminine in that they were PINK! BUT they were badass (the zippers along the legs helped)! But I’m probably REALLY dating myself here! 😛
Anyway, I wanted to capture images that spoke to the strength and grace of women, so I purchased a red military parachute (yes, the dress is actually red!). I then partnered with my dear designer friend Jessica Banda of Pietra Banchi (we’d collaborated once before on a couture fashion show in 2012) to create a dress that would bring my vision to life.
In Photoshop I then turned the dress pink in honor of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.
More images as well as behind the scenes images/video to come in a future blog post!
“Illuminating the power of the feminine”