It’s time for me to start working on the 2009 exhibition/calendar for the Shawnee Mission Hospital Breast Center. I have done this project for the past several years. Each summer I receive a list of names: twelve breast cancer survivors. My job is to photograph and feature these men and women in an ongoing project about courage and inspiration.
My name was at the top of the list this time around. Sort of startled me. Then I remembered - oh yeah, I’m a survivor now.
In years past, I’ve tried to come up with some sort of theme, if you will. This time, I am giving the following “assignment” to each of the twelve, well… eleven other subjects.
It goes like this:
“Please consider a gesture, an object (which will be used in the portrait) or a single word (which will be incorporated into the portrait) that either helped get you through your ordeal or that symbolizes how you feel having gotten through it.
I will leave it up to your imagination to interpret these guidelines.”
My first shoot is Thursday. I’m looking forward to seeing what the subjects come up with and how our collaborations go. And I need to figure out how I will interpret my own guidelines.