Being a writer is helped by reading what others have written. Not always, ‘writing’, mind you, but from various other interests one might have. In my case, music and photography. The heading comes from an article in the photography magazine, Amateur Photographer, entitled ‘How a national cancer campaign was created with an old camera and no photography experience’.
Lorraine Milligan’s dad gave her his old Nikon D40 for her birthday along with its kit lens and a 70-300mm zoom. She has an eye for composition which is why she is an incredibly successful professional hair and make-up artist in the music, fashion, film and TV worlds. As a former dancer, she was, as she said, aware of posture and body positioning.
Her world changed on 12 November 2018 when her partner, Richard, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. It had spread to his lymph nodes, lungs and liver.
He was just 40 years of age.
It was whilst she and Richard were waiting in the chemotherapy ward that Lorraine caught the eye of a woman sitting opposite, Amanda, wearing a pink woolly hat with a nipple on the top.
‘We smiled, and she said, “Do you like my nipple hat?” She didn’t have any hair, but she looked fabulous in her hat.’ Lorraine wanted to know if she had one in blue for Richard. They started to chat and Amanda asked Lorraine what she did. On being told, she said straight away, ‘I’d love you to take some pictures of me for my personal journal, scars and all.’
After the initial shoot with Amanda, an epiphany as Lorraine calls it, a conversation took place. A campaign was born.
Other women who had breast cancer, (what Lorraine calls her ‘breast friends’), were approached, the campaign was explained and over four shoots the powerful images you can see in ‘Bluegetitoo’ were created. There’s also a film, As the article says, ‘It’ll be the most powerful four minutes and nine seconds that you will have spent in a long time.’ Like the author, I also found that I had some grit in my eyes, hence the tears…
Just one person. A world changing experience. A fightback. A group of strong women who don’t give up. And a man with a cancer that men need to be made aware of before it’s too late. It is a thing and men get it too. Share the links. It could save a life.
J J Mitchell
‘No one left behind’