Monday, August 31, 2009

The SCAR Project

I was lucky enough to be involved in a photo shoot for The SCAR Project with photographer David Jay in New York City. I stumbled across the site for the project while on my laptop passing time at the hospital during treatment last year. I was looking for other young women my age and how their cancer had affected them, and how they dealt with it. I was also working with a photographer close to home, having her shoot black and white photos of my stages through cancer. When I came across the website,, I was in awe of the photos he had taken and how he had captured their beauty, even though they had been through hell. I wanted to get involved too! I submitted my information and waited. Within a week I heard back from him. Unfortuantaly he had finished shooting for the year and was off to Australia for the winter, but indicated that he would get in touch with me when he got back to the states in the spring.

Spring came and went and I started to think that maybe I wouldn't be chosen for the project. I had heard on some message boards of other women being turned down because they were out of the age range. I was still within the range, but just barely. In July I got an email from him saying that he was back in NYC and wanted to schedule me for a shoot. I was so excited! I had to have surgery at the beginning of August, so I scheduled the shoot for three weeks after the surgery.

I asked a good friend of mine to head down there with me. We decided to take the train from Hartford into NYC so we didn't have to fight with traffic (which was the best idea ever). I was a little nervous about what to expect but excited to get there. When we got to the city we had a few hours to kill before the shoot, so we decided to head to the Empire State Building. Wow, what a view! Heading up the top was fun, but we were a bit rushed. It would have been nice to have a little more time. At least we picked a great day to head down there . . . sunny and 90 degrees!

The photo shoot was a such cool experience. Instead of shooting at his studio, we shot at The Thompson LES Hotel. He was going for a more natural setting for some of the shots. When we got there it was straight to hair and makeup while he was finishing up with the first client. He made me feel very comfortable and surprisingly it wasn't akward at all. We started shooting and within 15 minutes he thought he had got the shot he wanted. I kinda felt a little jipped, he had only shot about a few dozen photos of me. I traveled all morning for this and I wanted more than just 15 minutes of fame!! :) He decided to shoot a few dozen more just to make sure everyting was in focus and then we were done.

I had such a good time while down there with everyone involved. I would definately do it again. It was bittersweet though, coming at a time when a good friend's health was taking a turn for the worse, and I think that he really captured that in my expression. This is a horrible disease, not just breast cancer, and when it just so happens that young people get it, it's that much more shocking. Which is why I wanted to be part of the project . . . to put a face to the disease and show people the absolute reality of what it's like to live through cancer.

For the gallery photos check out:

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