Last night was a very special night for me, and for Photographer Pete Byron. Pete has spent the last two years photographing breast cancer survivors, in joyous playful moods, in spite of their scarred and misshapen bodies. The Morris Museum, along with huge support from the The Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital have put together an exhibit of Pete’s images and public awareness programs for the month of October.
In June of 2007, my friend Misa called me, her former neighbor, whom I’d met at a party at her house a year or so before, was a freelance photographer, and beginning to explore this personal subject, and was looking for breast cancer survivors who might be interested in working with him. I spoke with Pete, and was instantly taken with his approach to the subject, and agreed to a photoshoot. Pete was generous of spirit, and easy to trust, and I’m thrilled at the end result of images now on exhibit at the Morris Museum.
Last night was the opening reception, it was packed, with all sorts of dignitaries, the press, the women who shared their experiences with Pete, modeling for him, allowing this exhibit to take place. Families and friends, and supporters of the museum and the cancer center at Morristown Memorial Hospital (where my children were born), were there, as well as medical students and other breast cancer survivors. The food was excellent, and the wine flowed. It was a beautiful evening, celebrating the many faces of Breast Cancer.
I got a great shot of my family, beside one of the two images Pete used of me, all of the images he shot were of me at the loom, doing what I love, and I was proud of the support. I hadn’t originally invited my son, he isn’t usually around anyway, but he ended up coming with his friend (I think the free food was partly the draw) but it meant a lot that he came and looked at the exhibit and understood the importance of what it represented. My sister even drove up from Maryland.
This has been a privilege, working with Pete, and being part of this event of celebration and friendship.
And, if you’ve been putting off getting that mammogram, this is breast cancer awareness month, early detection is critical!
Pete is looking to expand this body of work, and hopes to publish a book as well. If you are interested in working with Pete, or know of someone, toss me an email and I’ll put you in touch with him.