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The Face Of Courage

Hello everyone, it's Amy from Gannon Studios, LLC, based out of Miami, Florida. Today, I am blogging about a subject that really hits home for me, breast cancer. My Grandmother died of breast cancer shortly after being diagnosed on October of '72, leaving my mother an orphan at the age of 16. Her death impacted not only my mom, but future generations. I yearned growing up without my grandma, and saw first hand the pain it caused my mom.

When Catherine Lanuez (a fellow Miami Photographer) asked for us to shoot her in a "Sue Bryce" style session, recreating an image similar to the one pictured on the right, I rose to the opportunity, even though I knew it would be difficult for me.

A mini session was scheduled, soon after wrapping my mind around what this session would include, I upgrade her to a 2 hour session, without telling Catherine, as I knew that we would need more time together.

I prepared for the session a best as a could, I knew it was going to going to be hard on Catherine, and I did not want her to feel the pain of my loss, I wanted this session to be ALL ABOUT HER. We started the session smoothly, took a few images of her and son, then her wearing the wig she has been wearing since the side effects of chemotherapy took over.

Then it was time to capture her "as is". Catherine told us she had never seen her self without the wig, as losing her hair really took a toll on her. We had a touching moment during the removal of her wig, we shared hugs, we shared tears, and then moved forward with an intense yet peaceful shoot. It was really hard not to cry thinking of what my Grandmother had gone thought. Losing her own hair, having her two breasts removed, and knowing she would leave her only daughter (my mother) alone in this world. I almost lost control, but watching Catherine's composure keep me together. Catherine looked simply radiant!

This photoshoot was incredibly intense, as expected, we felt honored to provide these images of Catherine to her loved ones. It was important to her to be photographed, as she wanted to share her journey with others, and provide remembrance for her future grandkids. She is now cancer free, and enjoying life to the fullest!

When I think back to this photoshoot, I consider it a homage to my grandmother, Zaira Garcia Azui Hernandez. Even though I never met you, I have always loved you!

For important facts and resources provided by The National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC visit:

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