BRCA Strong Previvor
Soul on Fire. This phrase is what gave rise to this boudoir shoot - Tracy sourced this feeling as inspiration for her boudoir shoot. Tracy is a Previvor - she tested positive for the BRCA2 gene when she was just 21. It meant that her risk of developing various cancers including breast cancer was higher than the average person. After much soul-searching and years of procedures, Tracy decided to take matters into her own hands and had a prophylactic double mastectomy and hysterectomy about 3 years ago.
Tracy has channeled this very personal experience into something she could share with the world and support other women with the hopes of eradicating the resulting loneliness for all those affected. She created a non-profit called BRCA Strong where women can build community and lean on each other.
We built her boudoir shoot around the theme of Soul on Fire. We took all the ways she is a woman and we expressed and honored each one. Each set was both an exploration and a renewal of Tracy's womanhood and femininity - the mourning a loss and a celebration of the new normal.
Although there were many powerful moments in Tracy's session, the most powerful was probably when we wrote words on her body. She had made a list of words that she felt defined her and celebrated her journey and we ceremoniously imprinted each word on her. With each addition of a word, she grew stronger and stronger. We all had chills and yes, we all cried tears of empowerment. Her portraits reflect her strength and, indeed, that she has conquered and prevailed. As the tagline for BRCA Strong goes: Her BRCA gene started this fight and she's going to finish it. She's #unBRCAble!
For the very last set, Tracy wanted an iconic boudoir shot - the wet tank look. Tracy utilized a set of prosthetic nipples to help us achieve the classic look. Not every mastectomy patient needs them or wants them, but for this particular moment, they were just what she needed. The company that took the original mold from her own breast and created them probably never imagined just how emboldening they could be! We played with light and shadow. We both ended the shoot in a waterfall of tears. Tears as recognition that she had come full circle - that her former self was only buried underneath the scars, she wasn't gone for good. Tracy found herself again in that moment.
Tracy's Image Reveal had us all in tears yet again! She relived each moment with each photo and now has truly integrated that Power, Sexiness and Beautiful new self! She is proof positive that while a boudoir session is a celebratory experience, it truly is a part of the journey. We are always on a journey. Stay #indefatigable and #unBRCAble!
Don't miss the Behind the Scenes video! Check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=J1PuVtRS3HI
If you or a loved one could use some support, check out Tracy's non-profit BRCA Strong at www.brcastrong.org
Hair and Makeup by: Scharon Isse