I have had the privilege of capturing some of the most intimate and empowering moments in people’s lives. One of the most impactful photo sessions I’ve done was with Kenzie, who had undergone a preventative mastectomy about a year ago. We did a natural light photo session that was focused on embracing her beauty, strength, and resilience. The experience was made even more meaningful because (as you may know) I have also undergone a preventative mastectomy. It’s so special to have the opportunity to connect with other previvors through photography – and help them experience the healing power of photography.
Kenzie had undergone a preventative mastectomy after discovering that she carried a gene that predisposed her to breast cancer. She wanted to take control of her health and minimize the risk (GO GIRL!!) When she approached me for a photo session, she wanted to capture her body in a way that celebrated her journey while also helping her feel beautiful and confident. We spoke extensively before the session to understand her vision, expectations, and concerns. I also shared my own story and experiences to create a safe and compassionate space.
“Danielle made me feel extremely comfortable and beautiful during my photo session. I was so grateful to have an empowering image of my body after having a preventative double mastectomy. She worked with me to help me pose my body and get beautiful photos that I will cherish forever.”Kenzie K.
During the session, I focused on capturing Kenzie’s beauty and strength in a way that was authentic and empowering. We chose a natural light setting that was soft and warm, and I guided her through poses and movements that accentuated her new body and lines. I wanted the photos to capture her personality and spirit while also showcasing her scars (because scars ARE beautiful). We laughed, talked, and shared stories throughout the session, creating a bond that is so so special.
The photos turned out stunningly beautiful, both in their aesthetics and their message. They captured Kenzie’s journey from a place of vulnerability to a place of power, from fear to courage, from loss to gain. The images were not only a testament to her physical appearance but also a representation of her soul and strength. She looked like a goddess, radiating confidence and beauty, and owning her story.
Self-love is crucial to healing. The importance of a pre or post mastectomy photo session cannot be overstated! It is so important to me to normalize the experience of changing bodies and empower my amazing clients along the way. Our scars are beautiful, as they tell our story.
As a photographer, I feel honored to have had the chance to capture Kenzie’s journey. And as a fellow breastie and previvor, It reminded me to value the importance of owning our stories, embracing our bodies, and creating spaces that promote compassion and healing. My hope is that others can see the value of a mastectomy photo session, not just as a way of capturing memories but also as a tool for empowerment and self-love. We all deserve to embrace our bodies and scars, and to see ourselves as beautiful, no matter what we have been through.