When you are in the middle of a cancer fight, the last thing on your mind is getting your picture taken.  But several months after her diagnosis, and with her last chemo treatment now behind her,  she changed her mind.   She plans on never being bald again. EVER.  So, now was her chance to document this time in her life.  These photos are part of her story.  Its a long journey, and hers is not completely over yet but I am happy to type that her future looks very bright.

I can see her looking back at these photos in a couple years saying “Remember when I was crying over losing my hair?  Who knew I would look so damn good bald!”  And she does.  She looks amazing.  Even without hair.

But, as her hair slowly returns, I hope she looks back on these portraits and smiles.  Cancer is no doubt a long road… but ultimately you discover how strong you really are.  You discover how strong you really can be when you are backed into a corner.  Sometimes we need a reminder of that inner strength on challenging days.  I hope that seeing these photos, especially on those uphill days, will gently remind her of how strong she really is.

You got this.  Cheers, my friend.

XO, Gretchen




This next photo is one of those “bittersweet” ones.  This was a very emotional session and wasn’t completely tear free.  We had been shooting for about 15 minutes when we stopped to use this wall as a backdrop.  The sun was behind me, which made my camera lens dark and “mirror” like.  She had caught a glimpse of herself in the lens.  It was a snap back to reality.   But, can I just point out the AMAZING shot to the right that was taken with the first frame after the tears were wiped.   It’s my favorite one from the session.  Hands down.












We were done with the shoot at this point.  She whipped the scarf out and tied it effortlessly in the perfect knot.  We were headed across the street to grab dinner.  I asked for one last photo, and this is where we ended.