Over the past year, I have been involved in a project lead by Julie Achtermeier, a survivor of breast cancer. Julie is a young mother of two, who was diagnosed shortly after giving birth to her son. With the help of a group of faithful volunteers, we have created a calendar to be sold to raise funds for radiation equipment at the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre at Southlake Regional Health Centre. Our calendar features a collection of beautiful black & white portraits of twelve brave women who have each battled her own very personal battle with breast cancer.
When Julie approached me and asked if I would undertake the photography of her project, I was honoured. For her to respect my work and allow me creative freedom was in itself a priceless affirmation. I asked myself, how best to present a portrait worthy of this subject, yet staying true to my creative vision. I felt very strongly that each woman should be photographed in a way which was first and foremost, a true portrait of her character and yet more specifically, an image which reflects her unique source of inner strength.
As I met with each woman privately, I asked her to speak of her personal battle. I listened to the stories of pain, the sense of loss, the loneliness. Stories of renewed spirituality. I witnessed in each woman a core strength, a sense of endurance, of life's purpose. These are women who have experienced a life changing event. These are our mothers, daughters, sisters, our girlfriends. These are courageous women who share a story. A story that I was fortunate enough to be a part of.
Please view the collection of portraits below. To order a calendar or daytimer, please visit the Faces of Courage BLOG.