Whenever we have youngsters doing work experience with us, or people looking to learn a little bit more about photography in general, we always say the same thing: this is a people job. You can have the greatest portfolio in the world with dark, brooding images – sweeping landscapes, and portraits lit by Rembrandt himself; but if you can’t communicate and don’t enjoy meeting new people, you will really struggle in the photography game.
And to be honest, that’s the best part of it for me.
All us photographers have similar gear – the latest bodies with the sharpest lenses, a bit of light in the bag and a reflector; but what I enjoy most is meeting new people. I love hearing what makes them tick, making them laugh, helping them relax, and getting pictures of them looking their best. It’s always such an honour to record a couples’ big day, or to meet a family’s newest member, and help them create images they will treasure for years to come. And the shoot I had organised by The Emily Ash Trust a few months back was no different.
I was greeted at the door by Evie’s gorgeous mum, Nicki. A huge smile and warm welcome awaited me, and I was ushered into the kitchen to meet Nicki’s parents and Evie’s dad, and then Evie herself. I knew this shoot was going to be a bit harder than normal, and upon meeting Evie, I felt myself choke up.
Evie has cancer. For the second time in her life.
After a miracle stem cell transplant when she was just 8, Evie was preparing to get herself to hospital that afternoon to undergo another horrendous round of chemotherapy. But despite what the rest of the day / week / months hold for her, Evie is a joy to behold. Like any other 11 year old girl, she is mischievous and fun; has oodles of confidence and the whole shoot was just full of life and smiles. She had come prepared for the shoot with tonnes of ideas that she had canvassed from Instagram – which made things even more interesting.
We talked a bit about the weather, and the gorgeous garden Nicki’s parents had; how she had grown up here and that the view may be spoiled by the 42 bajillion houses they have planned for the field behind..and we took some beautiful photographs.
And I loved every second of it.
It is moments like this that make me realise just how special my job as a photographer is. Whether it is a wedding, a newborn, a Christening or – well, Evie, we are so lucky to share these precious moments with people and families day after day, and help them create memories and images that they will treasure for years to come.
Evie it was fabulous to work with you, and I look forward to doing so again once you have kicked cancer’s arse once and for all.
To read more about Evie’s story, please click here.
And to find out how the Emily Ash Trust helps families like Nicki and Evie, with amazing support and events, you can see their website here.