About 'Sisters Project'
A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost, but in August 2013, my older sister Renee lost her battle with breast cancer. She was forty years old, and only diagnosed a short four months earlier. My sister and I were very different from each other but we shared a special bond. She always wanted to be a lawyer growing up, while I always wanted to be a photographer. Before she had her daughter, I remember she always had 'squared off' nails with french manicures while my nails are usually bare, and I always request 'round' when I actually get a manicure. We both laughed hysterically watching Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas every year.
It’s my regret that I didn’t spend more time with her both before and after she was diagnosed. Especially as a documentary photographer, I’ve found myself wishing I had at least one portrait of just the two of us together as adults that succeeded in capturing our different personalities, and the special connection that we shared.
Her loss was extremely stressful and painful for me, and my family. It took years for the fog to lift enough for me to feel inspired to do something creative and hopefully positive with this experience.
I'm currently looking for breast cancer survivors / fighters with sisters to photograph in New York City and the surrounding areas. There is no charge for the portrait session, and the subjects must be okay with the images being exhibited in various media (in association with this project), and be willing to sign model releases for that purpose. The subjects' names may be kept anonymous if requested.
Ultimately, my goal is to publish a photography book, Sisters & Survivors, and donate proceeds from it for metastatic breast cancer research and treatment (when it spreads outside of the breast to other parts of the body). To help make this self funded project possible, I've set up a CrowdRise fundraising page. I'm also looking for sponsors to partner with in expanding the project. Learn more here.
I'm in the process of creating a separate website sistersproject.info where women who are dealing with breast cancer (and their sisters) can share their own "sister stories", regardless of where they are in the world or whether or not they are photographed by me for the project.
I began photographing sisters regardless of their association with breast cancer to explore the nature of that relationship through the eyes of others. During the process of making the following images, I saw the opportunity to reflect on a more personal approach, and narrow the subjects down to sisters who are currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, or who are breast cancer survivors.
The following images are portraits I did of sisters who do not have an association with breast cancer.