In case you haven’t noticed everything shrouded in pink, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is a time when we all pause to remember all of the men and women who have struggled – or who are struggling – through cancer. And, for better or for worse, a month when people all over the country wear pink buttons, shirts, scarves, and (if you’re an NFL player) cleats as a tribute to those fighting breast cancer. I have lots of misgivings about the message that wearing pink somehow helps anyone who is dying from cancer, but I also get the idea that turning a silent disease into a visible one helps raise money for research and treatment and helps those who are suffering feel that they are not alone. (Still, before you assume that wearing pink qualifies you as “joining the fight against breast cancer,”check out Breast Cancer Action’s “Think Before You Pink” campaign and learn a little bit more about what that pink ribbon really means.)
So anyway…stepping down off the soapbox…
In early October, I was hired by the Lahey Clinic for event photography, documenting some doctors and nurses holding a public education event about breast cancer in the middle of the North Shore Mall in Peabody. I had no idea what to expect, and at times it did feel a little like an infomercial (you know the one where they stop people in shopping malls to have them try out the latest new toothpaste and talk about how much they love it) but more than anything, it felt like a great way to reach out to women and their families. After all, who do you think is at a shopping mall on a Saturday morning? You better believe that place is full of women.
I thought the whole thing was pretty clever. They set up a bunch of tables, had plenty of freebies to give away, had doctors and nurses on hand to answer peoples’ questions about cancer, and even had administrative staff there to schedule people for check-ups and mammograms. And the people came. Over 800 people stopped by the tables that day asking questions like What if I don’t have insurance? What is my risk if my mother had breast cancer? If I had breast cancer, am I at risk for other cancers? Does a mammogram hurt and do I really need one? Meanwhile, I was busy photographing the outreach team at work and I really did love what I saw.
I have worked with the Lahey Clinic in the past – I was hired to make the photos for a cookbook they are producing this winter – and it is really a great organization. And once again, I can proudly say that it makes me so proud to say that a full one-third of my photography business is non-profit event photography. The best part about working with non-profit groups is feeling like I am part of something bigger and that my photography skills are going to work for something important and meaningful. And no, for the record, I didn’t wear pink.
If you enjoy this event photography by Boston event photographer Leise Jones, please contact me to discuss how I can help document your next event. Special rates are available for non-profit groups and small business.