I meet lots of different people and families through my work as a portrait photographer. And sometimes a family or person’s story will really touch me. Ellie is one of these people. She approached me to see if I would be willing to photograph the charity event she was organising…. but this wasn’t your average charity event – this one involved her shaving all her hair off.
Why would a 21 year-old girl want to do this? Well, Ellie was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at age 17. Within two weeks of diagnosis, she had gruelling surgery and a long, hard recovery afterwards. Now, four years later, she wanted to do something to help make a difference to other young people who have cancer. In her own words:
“Losing your hair during treatment is one of the most devastating aspects of suffering with cancer, especially when you’re young. I want to help spread the message that with or without hair, you are still exactly the same person inside – bald is beautiful!”
I was honoured to be there to capture the whole event in photos – it felt pretty special to be a small part of the day and to witness all the love and support around Ellie, as well as watching the fearless way she handled it all.
Ellie, thank you for choosing me to be your photographer – you are an inspiration! If my daughters grow up to be half as courageous and determined as you, then I will be a very proud mum.
I hope these photos do justice to an amazing, brave, spirited young lady who is truly beautiful inside and out.