Friday Feature: Erica

Friday Feature: Erica.

This is a special one for me.  Clients often become friends.  It's a funny thing, when you get naked in front of a stranger, a pretty quick bond develops.  I am so honored that people are willing to get so vulnerable in front of me.  This is my wonderful friend Erica.  I am going to introduce her to you with her own words. 

"I first scheduled my boudoir pictures to be used as a gift for my fiance.  I remember reaching out to Cindy and telling her that I wanted to make sure things that made me me would remain in the pictures.  At the time of scheduling I was a cervical cancer survivor, had scars from cancer related surgeries and from having a cyst removed from under my arm, had done weight watchers and lost a hundred pounds, as well as had a child.  I had plenty of scars and stretch marks but I didn't want those removed.  They are a part of me and a part of my story.  The day I was scheduled to have my boudoir shoot was instead spent in a hospital.  My cancer had returned with a vengeance, a nephrostomy tube placed because the cancer had grown outside my uterus and eaten away at my right ureter causing the connection from my kidney to bladder to be non existent.  When I tried to cancel the shoot Cindy said no and had me come in a few days later.  (I told her I wanted to do the shoot at no charge for her,) My fiance had to drive me, so it was no longer a surprise.  It became so much more.  The first time I had pictures allowed me to get pictures in my wedding dress with my long hair.  Hair I wouldn't have at the wedding.  The pictures show a piece of my cancer story.  I cherish the pictures with my nephrostomy tube showing, I think it shows people that beauty can come, even with a tube coming out of your back.  

These are not the only pictures I've had.  The first time I lost my hair Cindy did an amazing bald shoot.  Later I attended a retreat and one of my favorite pictures was taken, a picture in the beautiful window showing my port.  As a woman going through cancer, for the third time, I know many women just "want to get through and forget"  I'm glad I didn't make that choice.  I'm thankful to have amazing photographer friends to help me document and celebrate my cancer experience.  The photos Cindy has taken for me have been valuable in another way.  They help me to visually tell my story.  They've been used on my blog, www.tealelfs.com, as well as Cure Magazine, multiple news outlets, on Cervivor www.cervivor.org (a cervical cancer advocacy group I'm an ambassador for) and First Descents www.firstdescents.org (an organization for young adults with cancer). "-Erica

And now I'm crying.  I love this woman.  I am so lucky and happy to have her in my life.-Cindy