The Breast Cancer Book

Background Information for Contributors

Easter 2021 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Friends and family were immediately concerned that meant I was going to die, but my cancer was small and relatively easy to treat. The more I learnt about having Breast Cancer, the more I wished I could find out about other people’s journeys, ones that showed that the story doesn’t always end with cancer related death. I wanted a book I could flick through, something that told the stories in a snapshot format, not a novel I had to wade through or a heavy medical textbook. So, I thought, why not create my own!

I am hoping to photograph 100 people in totally different ways, capturing different aspects of their personality, careers, backgrounds, and hobbies, as well as different aspects of Breast Cancer. This is so that anyone looking through the book can identify themselves in the photos or learn something about what their breast cancer journey may involve. I want the book to show the different emotional responses and to give the reader permission to feel whatever it is that they are feeling.

Some of the photos will be Fine Art, others conceptual, and others high end portraiture. Participation is completely voluntary, but as a thank you for being involved you will be able to select your favourite image to keep in digital format. The image you select does not have to be the image that is used in the book. After seeing the images from your session, you are welcome to veto any of them if you do not want them used in the book.

My vision is for a book format around 10”x12” in size with about 250 pages. Each person will have a double page. On one side will be the photograph that I have taken of them, their name, age, and 3 – 5 words to describe them. On the facing page will be their medical summary and then their story. It may be a whole page of writing or just a few lines. This is intentional so that people looking/reading through the book will have a lot of variety to keep their interest. Writing your story may take several drafts but know that we are with you all of the way. You will be shown the final draft of what will appear on your page before it goes to print to make certain it is correct, and you are happy for it to be published.

At this stage there is not a publishing contract but I’m hoping that an organisation like The Cancer Council or Breast Cancer Network Australia, will back the book as a fundraiser and to help me identify people who want to be involved. If you have a contact that might help me get the book published, please let me know.

I want the book to achieve three things:

Show that cancer does not discriminate.

It doesn’t care about your age, what country you were born in, what level of education you have, what your job is, how fit you are, what your belief system is etc.

Show that there is no one path in dealing with breast cancer.

That there are different types of cancer, different stages, and different treatment paths. There are also different responses to having cancer.

Show that getting a cancer diagnosis does not mean you have been given a death sentence.

Unfortunately some people will die from having cancer, but many people wont.

Sample Book Pages

Click on the images to see full sized

I have created a participant questionnaire to help identify unique aspects of people’s stories so that there is a lot of diversity in the information presented in the book. To help bring out the salient points and achieve a consistent quality in the stories I will use a copywriter to help edit the text. This may mean that only one aspect of your story is published in the book, or for some people it might be a summary of their whole story. You will also be contacted at the point in time that the book is getting finalised for printing to get the status of your condition to make certain things are up to date.

To be involved you would need to be available to travel to The Gap in Brisbane to be photographed in my studio.

Together we will decide on the creative direction of your photo shoot and/or we will discuss how you would like to be photographed and discuss outfits and props etc. Ultimately, I’m hoping for these photographs to connect with people on an emotional level, for the photos to be visual stories. It is not intended to just be a book of pretty images. I am happy for people to wear casual clothes and no makeup if they want, to go full glamour, or anything in-between. I can arrange for a hair and makeup artist to help you with your look, but you would need to pay for that. I also have studio clothes that you can borrow for the photo shoot.

To create public interest in this book it is my intention to post images and/or stories from this project on my website, on social media, in marketing, in advertising, in competitions, in exhibitions and with media outlets.

All contributors to the book will need to sign a contract release which will cover all of this.

I am happy to answer any questions you have. If you would like to be involved, please let me know. If you know you want to be involved, then please complete the following:

Send me a message letting me know you want to be involved.

To express your interest in being a contributer please send me your details below