This Is Why

Why do I shoot family portraits? It’s not for the money, or to win awards, or for fun. It’s because it matters. It’s important. This is why I shoot family portraits.

Below is the story of my most important portraits ever. I will take technically better images, but I will never take a more important series.


I had the good fortune to take portraits of this lady over a period of 18 months. They were impromptu sessions, and I took just a few images each time. They were not in ideal lighting conditions or with any particular preparation. There was no hair and make up done in advance. I had the camera, and she was ok with having her picture taken – briefly.

At the time of this image she was in her mid 70’s and undergoing treatment for cancer. That included several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Cancer Patient

Cancer patient. My most important portrait series ever.

She lost her hair early in the chemotherapy treatment. The hair you see is a wig. After she lost her natural hair I didn’t ever see her without a wig or a hat to cover her head.

Sadly she has passed away, after an extended battle with cancer.

This image was used on the card sent to friends and family inviting them to come together to celebrate her life. Another of my images was used on the cover of the order of service. Another, with her husband of 48 years, was on the back cover. The same image was used on thank you cards sent to friends after the funeral.

The family have great memories of this lady – and a small series of portraits to pass down the generations. It matters. It’s important. This is why I shoot family portraits.

The lady in the picture passed away on 6 June 2014, two days short of her seventy sixth birthday.

She is my mum.

It matters. It’s important. This is why.

 

 

 

 

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