The next photos I took were of Chris. I met Chris over a year ago. I remember the first time we met because I was so excited to meet another photographer in Holton that had the same passions I did, which is photographing children and babies. We were instant friends, and she and I talked “shop” all the time. We went to the Sandy Puc conference together, and then put on a Valentine’s Day shoot called “Tutu’s and Fire Trucks” where we brought in kids to be photographed girls in tutu’s and boy’s in fire trucks. It was an amazing and exhausting weekend, and we left thinking about how we would do it next time.
Chris has had cancer for awhile now, and it has started to really progress. Her right arm was also affected by Lymphoma to a point where she can no longer use it, and can’t photograph any more. She is also in terrible pain all the time because of the swelling, and has to take a lot of meds to handle the pain… a lot of the time they don’t even touch it. I don’t know what I would do if something I was so passionate about was suddenly taken away, but Chris is still pressing on. She is full of ideas, and we still love to talk shop. I appreciate everything I have learned from her, and also appreciate her renting her space she can’t use to me. She is one of the most generous people I know.
Chris asked me to take some photos of her. She wanted to document the place where she was at, and allow other people to see the face of cancer. We were really relaxed, and ended up getting some really powerful images. I downloaded them on her computer for her, and she sent her favorite one to several photographers so they could work their magic. It was really fun to see everyone’s take on it. I don’t know how many notes people wrote her on facebook after the images were posted, but it was so inspiring to hear the kind words, and know how much she is loved. Her eyes stand out the most to me in the photo’s. I can see that she is in pain, but there is a calmness there as well. Aren’t they beautiful?