Editorial Photoshoot Showing A Cervical Cancer Survivor Whose Future Is Bright

Have you ever sat in your doctor’s office and seen these magazine titles?

Diabetes Health Monitor
Pediatrics Health Monitor
Eye Care Health Monitor
Heart Care Health Monitor
Arthritis Health Monitor
Living with Cancer Health Monitor
Dermatology Health Monitor
Digestion & Diet Health Monitor

Each time I would read one, I would think, you know, I should contact someone from this publication and see if they could use a photographer like me.

Well, one day, as I was sitting at my computer working on images back in October or November, I got an email requesting an editorial photographer to go on location to photograph a woman and her family for an article for the Living With Cancer Health Monitor Magazine.

It’s funny how things happen, right?

Amanda is a cervical cancer survivor who lives in New Jersey, married and is a mother to an adorable little girl. To read her amazing story click here.

After getting the approval for the project, I contacted her to decide on the best time to do the photoshoot, where we could do it, and asked some questions so that I could get to know her before showing up. I found out that she and her family have much in common with mine, a love of books, music, movies, and comic books. Getting to know the people who I’m going to photograph helps to break the ice, create an intimacy so that they feel comfortable with me, because it’s not every day that someone shows up with camera equipment and starts taking pictures. Not once did we talk about the article or what she went through, I wanted this to be about Amanda and her family, as though cancer never entered their lives. Just a fun afternoon, hanging out, playing Uno and eating popcorn with a friend.

Originally, we were going to photograph outside and some in the kitchen, but the weather was unseasonably bitter cold and windy. So we stayed inside their home, it was really comfy and had great light coming into their living room window. Based on our conversation before, I was able to chat easily with them, also I have an 11 year old daughter who loves to read.

As usually, I packed way too much and used barely half of it. I recruited their daughter to be my photo assistant. I showed her how to unfold the light stands, how to set up the flashes in the Westcott Rapid Boxes(she helped to set up those as well). I also had a large reflector that I unfolded, she loved that one. Their adorable pug allowed me to get some doggie time, which I relish each time I go somewhere and see a dog.

I wanted to give the magazine a variety of images to possibly use. I understood that this wasn’t going to be a cover story, but from what Amanda has gone through, I wanted people to see what a loving, beautiful, fun family they are.

Instead of using the flashes, I used natural lighting, utilizing the sin coming in their from window. I defused it by closing the sheer curtains and I set up the large silver reflector their the right,(our left) just out of view to give some additional light. Whenever I moved around them, I moved the reflector to where I needed the light to hit them.

For the images of Amanda and her family eating popcorn, I had to use at least one or 2 lights, so I set them up wirelessly, one in the front off to the side and the other in the back to fill in the kitchen.

Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ,First we started off by having them read a great Harry Potter picture book(I have it on my Amazon Wishlist).
Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ, Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ, Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ, Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ, Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ, Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ,Then I suggested that they play a game, so we all decided on Uno. This is also a favorite of ours in our family, and it gets quite ruthless!
Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,surviver,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ, Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ, Deirdre Ryan,Photography,www.deirdreryanphotography,Amanda Tanay,cervical cancer,survivor,family,Living With Cancer,Health Monitor Network,magazine,editorial photography,NJ,We could’ve stopped after playing Uno, but I wanted to give another scenario in a different room. So They made some popcorn and I took pictures of them having some fun with it.
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I didn’t want any posed shots, my goal was to get everyone natural, relaxed and having a good time. Okay, I admit, the last shot with the popcorn, I suggested, because it’s fun to feed mom and dad popcorn when you’re a kid LOL!

Below is the final article from this month’s issue of Living With Cancer Health Monitor. If you go to a doctor’s office and see the magazine, check it out as January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. You can see which image they used and I think it was an excellent choice.The Future Is Bright written by JOANA MANGUNE for Living With Cancer Magazine, Photo by Deirdre Ryan

Thanks so much Amanda and your family for letting me come into your home. I had a great time chatting and getting to know you all. Thanks Health Monitor for contacting and working with me on this project.

Interested in working together on a project? Use the red button on the right hand side towards the bottom titled Get Started to contact me. Thanks!

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