After dwelling on this for a couple of days I decided to just ask how Beverley would feel about it. She said yes!
So with the power of Facebook I put a casting call out for a henna artist and makeup artist. Helen a body painter, henna artist extraordinaire, volunteered her time freely. On the day of the shoot the studio lighting and test shots were done in advance of Beverley arriving. Due to the henna crown being hand painted I had to take into consideration how tiring the whole process could potentially be and minimise this as much as possible. We had the best time. Initially having some fun with a selection of Beverley's scarves and fun headbands her children had bought for her.
Applying of the henna crown is time consuming. It is painstakingly applied by hand. Helen ( Jelli Nelli) was fabulous at helping make Beverley feel relaxed and comfortable. This time the make up was bolder. accentuating her cheekbones and eyes. By the time she got in front of the camera, it was obvious how much fun she was having and the resulting images show that.
It was an amazing experience for all three of us. I would love to do again, so if you know of anyone suffering with hair loss male or female regardless of age and illness, that would benefit from having some images like these, free of charge. Please get in touch or share with them direct. This is something truly close to my heart. My mother is in remission from Lung cancer.
Inspired by some of my lovely Younger Breast Cancer Network friends, I decided that I would like to mark this chapter of my life by having a set of photos taken whilst I had no hair, to mark what I had been through. What better timing was there than doing it as a celebration of my last chemotherapy session?
I looked around for local photographers, but once I'd found Connie the search stopped. I just knew I wanted her to take my photos - she knew exactly where I was coming from and what I wanted to achieve without me having to explain.
When Connie asked me a couple of days later if I'd be up for having a henna crown the answer could only be yes! Cancer makes you realise 'You Only Live Once'.
The day of the shoot dawned and I had such fun. Connie and Jelli Nelli (Helen) were so welcoming. I think this was a 'first' for all of us!! I was pampered with having my make up done and had a few photos taken before Helen applied the henna crown and changed my make up. I felt like a model! It was such an amazing morning. It was so lovely to do something like this, and all thoughts of hospital appointments left my head for the morning. Today I was a model, not a cancer patient.
The resulting photos are stunning. Everyone who has seen them has been so complimentary. I am so pleased I found Connie, and Connie had the brilliant idea for the henna and found Helen.
When you are diagnosed with cancer, your life changes and you become a 'cancer patient' - your emotions are on a roller coaster, your looks change and for a while, you can lose your own sense of identity. With these photos, I can see 'me'. And that is priceless.
I think you were the perfect photographer to do this, and Helen was a star too. You made a good team. Something like this would give a real boost to anyone going through an illness.