25th April 2023

Jamie’s legacy photoshoot at the start of her terminal cancer journey | The Harrogate Studio, North Yorkshire

Being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer is something nobody ever wants to go through, and can be very overwhelming and emotional. And yet, that’s exactly where my client, Jamie, found herself. She wanted a photoshoot to capture a snapshot of the Jamie that she and others know and love before she started treatment and her appearance changed.

Jamie's legacy photoshoot before & after | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography

Jamie came to me as a recommendation through a mutual contact in York (my lovely personal stylist, Anna Phillips), as she wanted a set of pictures that will make her feel good about herself, feel sexy and capture her as she is at this time. This is my speciality!

And as she was due to start an aggressive round of chemotherapy, the photoshoot needed to happen ASAP! Luckily, I was able to accommodate her at The Harrogate Studio, and I was so grateful and honoured to be part of her journey.

Jamie's legacy photoshoot "Hedy Lamar" shot | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography

I asked Jamie what she wanted to get out of the photoshoot apart from photos (because a photoshoot is always SO much more than just photos)…

My photoshoots are way more than just something you do to create some gorgeous portraits. They are a transformational journey, and being a body confidence and wellbeing coach, I also help my clients to feel good about themselves along the way. Each photoshoot I do is a special occasion that’s documenting a time in someone’s life, and when my clients see their images, I encourage them to not just see the photo, but see the meaning behind the photo.

When you see a portrait of yourself, do you want to just see a nice portrait, or do you want to be reminded of a journey you’ve gone through to get to this point in your life that makes you feel proud, confident and empowered?

Jamie's legacy photoshoot pink dress | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography

Jamie told me she wanted to have a good time and some fun memories, and feel good after the session. And to give those left behind some memories of what she was really like.

She also said to me, “Ok, this may sound odd, but I’m a female engineer/scientist, I want to show that we can be sexy, beautiful, and fun. Even at the end of our life.”

Jamie's legacy photoshoot personal brand headshots | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography


Focus on how far you’ve come, not just on how far you’ve got to go…

Jamie came across as having a positive mindset, despite her diagnosis. She was obviously trying to focus on what she could do to feel good in the present moment. I loved chatting to Jamie about how she was a sound engineer and lectured on music technology for 40 years, as well as the lack of representation of young female engineers and scientists. It sounds like she’s had a fascinating life, and I hope I can share this in another blog.

In Jamie’s own words…

“I am dying from pancreatic cancer. And prior to chemotherapy, I wanted to have some good pictures of me for people to remember me by, both straight and “Glamour Shots”
I wanted to feel beautiful! It was the first photo shoot I had ever done other than my wedding photos (which are sort of photoshoots). I was most nervous about whether I would look good, especially after all the weight I had put on during covid.”

I wanted to feel beautiful!

Jamie's legacy photoshoot, floral dress | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography


It felt fun and we had a bit of a giggle!

“I felt very comfortable during the photoshoot experience, you made me feel at ease, and gave me clear instructions on what to do regards head positioning. It felt fun and we had a bit of a giggle! Having Chrys and Anna there [to help make me look good] was a big help as well.”

Jamie's legacy boudoir photoshoot | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography


I left feeling good about myself!

“The Harrogate Studio, though a bit hard to find, was excellent with great natural light and facilities. Anna on make-up was wonderful, as was Chrys on hair, and I felt wonderfully supported by women who had people they knew and loved suffer from cancer.

It felt so good to be in this supportive environment, and I left feeling good about myself!”

Jamie's legacy photoshoot | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography


Scientists/engineers can be beautiful too!

“I love the photos! They show me in a whole new light, I did not think I could be so beautiful! So in some sense unexpected, as they were much better than expected!

It makes me more confident, I don’t have a long term, but they will give people who love me good memories, and I hope they can be used to show that scientists/engineers can be beautiful too!”

Jamie's legacy photoshoot, black dress | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography

“It’s hard [to choose a favourite] but the black and white glamour shot (my “Hedy Lamarr” Shot!), and its colour counterpart are really good, and also the close up of me in black looking at the camera, is also excellent. I think because both of them show off my eyes!”

Jamie's legacy boudoir photoshoot | terminal cancer journey | Gorgeous You Photography

I felt cared for and supported…

“I’m on chemo now and losing my hair, but I’m pleased you were able to put the photoshoot together so quickly! I feel so much better about how I look!

I would absolutely recommend this type of shoot to others! I had a confidence and emotional boost. I felt cared for and supported, Four women supporting each other, it was a wonderful experience!

To others in my situation, I would say Go for it!”

Our lovely suppliers…

Hair: Chrys Chapman

Makeup & styling: Anna Phillips Image

Photography: Ginny Marsh, Gorgeous You Photography

Are you thinking of booking a similar shoot? I’d love to have a chat with you about where you’re at at this time in your life and how we can create the best portraits you’ve ever seen of yourself 🙂

Ginny x

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