Yesterday I was very lucky to be amongst a wonderful group of ladies and at the same time meet a Broadway superstar! I have to admit I was nervous… I am very used to being able to focus on others and “hide” behind a rather chunky camera to capture images that give visual dialogue and representation of people, events and emotions.
Yesterday had a slightly different angle to it as I was asked to represent the collection of images that I have been working on for the past 18 months. The project, “Femininity comes from Within” began with a single request from a breast cancer patient to photograph her showing her mastectomy scar. Working with local charity, Keeping Abreast, we conceived that a collection of images would portray a deep insight into the concept of femininity and give immense impact. The collection continues to grow with more than 20 women volunteering as models, all willing to help others to understand that the beauty of women shines through adversity. 7 of these women were at an audience with Broadway star, Lorna Luft, (daughter of Judy Garland) at the Theatre Royal in Norwich. Lorna had requested a meeting with a local breast cancer charity as she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2012. So why was I starstruck? My Mum always followed musicals and movies, with many a PictureGoer Film Annual in our house – Judy Garland was a superstar and to meet her daughter actually made me very nervous!
Lorna was just lovely, she spent over 2 hours with the small group of ladies, who she referred to as “sisters”. They talked about the different experiences of diagnosis and treatment and she encouraged us all to demand more from the health service to help early diagnosis. She was also full of compliments for the image collection and praised the bravery of the women for taking part… The Broadway connection continues as I am extremely lucky to be part of a small team travelling at the end of November from Norwich to New York to exhibit part of the collection at a global microsurgery conference.
…And humbled, because I feel so privileged to be allowed by each model to capture their beauty and to tell their story in a visual way. When women get together great things happen, our femininity is definitely within, but strength and determination puts us out there!