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Powerful Portraits Capture The Raw Emotions Of Chemotherapy Patients
By Yoon Sann Wong, 13 Oct 2015
California-based photographer Robert Houser began capturing intimate portraits of individuals for his series ‘Facing Chemo’ in 2011. Since then, Houser has photographed more than 35 people.
The artist, who set up the Facing Light Foundation to draw attention to health-related issues through art, explained to Huffington Post, “I [want] to educate, to move and inspire. I want people to feel...to empathize. Cancer touches so many of us.”
The initiative began when Houser noticed a scar on a woman he was photographing. When he asked about the mark, the lady explained that she was about to undergo chemotherapy and would eventually lose all of her hair.
Houser asked if he could photograph her during the medical process but she declined. He explained that years later, the same lady got in touch with him about this offer.
“In a day or two, I was at her place in San Francisco on a rainy day taking pictures. And it was unlike anything I had experienced, having photographed people for 20 years. When I edited the pictures later, I realized there was a genuineness to every frame...It was like her emotions were right there on the edge of her face.”
One of the most rewarding parts of the project was seeing its impact on his subjects. Houser explained, “I was shocked at how beneficial the experience of being photographed was for the subject. That was incredibly moving for me to hear them say things like, ‘this was a turning point for me,’ or...‘thank you for seeing me and not my disease’. If no one else came to see my exhibit but those of whom I’ve shot, I would be happy. Because it meant so much to them.”
See some of the images below and learn more about ‘Facing Chemo’ here.
[via Huffington Post, images via Robert Houser]
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