In September 2015 I was contacted by Steve Trowles, owner of Stephen John Beauty Salon and also a good friend who I met whilst photographing his nieces wedding in 2014. Steve had been working with the Macmillan Cancer Unit in Bury St Edmunds to help and support women going through hair loss through stages of cancer. As one of the very best beauty salons in the area Stephen John was helping to supply these women not just with hair collections of amazing quality, but also with professional styling, advice, support and fittings.
“Losing your hair can be traumatic and overwhelming, but I hope I can make it slightly less daunting by offering support, advice and turning a new hair fitting into a positive experience” – Steve Trowels. Stephen John Owner and Organiser.
When Steve contacted me with a brilliant idea. He wanted to put together a calendar to raise money and awareness for Macmillan and the West Suffolk Hospital Charity. Patients and nurses from West Suffolk’s own Macmillan Unit had agreed to model. Each one would be modelling hair supplied by Stephen John in all the pictures. Michelle Bailey had kindly agreed to help with styling. Pit Group had offered to handle the designing. Kingfisher Press were to take care of the printing. All he needed was a photographer. I didn’t even need to think about it. I felt honoured to be asked and it was an absolute privilege to be part of such a great team for such and amazing project.
To work so closely with some of the patients and nurses from Macmillan Unit has been such an experience. The patients who are continually fighting cancer and the nurses who are there to offer their constant support. To say all these ladies are brave and inspirational is a complete understatement. To think of what they have to deal with everyday, the emotions they must go through and how it must effect them yet every day with them was full of laughter. And as a photographer, with these ladies working as my models, I have to say they were quite simply, awesome. Modelling in front of the camera is not easy. Especially if you haven’t done it before. But these ladies were so good in front of the camera and an absolute pleasure to work with.
All the images used in the calendar can be seen in the gallery below or by sliding through the images at the top of this page.
On behalf of myself, Steve Trowles, stylist Michele Bailey and West Suffolks Fundraising Manager Sue Smith we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved. And especially our models.