Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Met Someone

I got a call on Friday from a woman named Eve. And she needed a portrait for a book.

"Cool!", I thought as it was a chance for me to make some money (and as a student, money is very, very important).

So I packed up my lights, stands and umbrellas and headed to her house. What I found when I got there was not at all what I was expecting.

Eve was a tremendously friendly and funny woman who invited me into her life and showed me her house and some different locations we could shoot in and it all was great but I couldn't help but notice the obvious: she is a cancer survivor.

Now, she told me on the phone that the book was about cancer but I didn't know that she herself was a multiple cancer survivor.

"Yes", she said as she laughed and joked with me about this and that. I was blown away. I was blown away by this woman who was on a break between chemo treatments was not feeling sorry for herself or hiding away somewhere. She was writing a book, following action plans, getting on with her life.

This is a woman who already had a life full of horse competitions and traveling.

She wasn't going to let cancer get her down. She didn't say this to me. She didn't have to - it was obvious in how she carried herself.

I admire her. I admired her after being around her for 10 minutes. This was a woman who has met death and refuses to be shaken by it. As I took her portrait, she slowly started to really enjoy it. And I enjoyed it more, too. There is a certain look in her eye that I tried to capture. A certain courageous, dignified look. I think one photo got it. She actually liked the same photo.

The portrait isn't that amazing really. It's lit well and composed well but that isn't what this was about for me. Not at the end of this meeting. It was about trying to show her courage. I can only hope that I did her justice.

So, Eve, I know you thanked me for coming and taking your portrait, but I would like to thank you, too: thank you for letting me take your photo and meeting a remarkable person!