Fellow survivor, why do I want to take your photograph,
and gift it to you and your family?
I know what it’s like to have cancer and this is why I want to photograph you.
He’s only five.
I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and the first thought that came to my head was that my son was only five years old. If the worst happened, what would he be without his mother. Would he remember anything about me? He was so young.
Maybe it was because I was a photographer that one of my first thoughts was to make sure he had a an image of the two of us together… just in case. While I still looked like me. One that he could hold in his mind and think of me.
Or maybe, as a photojournalist at a newspaper, I had seen too many families dig through the debris of their homes, devastated by fire or flood, mourning their loss, most especially of those precious family photos, sometimes their only remaining physical link to their loved ones.
Or maybe it was because I read a story or an obituary, about a beloved family member who died and the photo that accompanied it was a small image of the deceased, cropped from a larger photo, perhaps a family gathering… not looking in to the camera and so hard to see.
That was not going to happen to my family and especially my sweet, small son. I couldn’t just take the photos. I had to also exist in photos for my family. A photo that showed our love for each other. A memory in time to keep.
There does not have to be an extreme circumstance to have that photo taken.
Just be there for your family, in one more way, exist in photos.
Let me take your photo with your loves.