>The importance of having ‘photos’ from the most difficult times imaginable…


I want to be able to make a difference in peoples lives through my photography. One calling I have is to ‘give’ my services to someone who is facing the biggest milestone in their life and who would like to remember it as a time of growth and strength.  Also to those who have been diagnosed as terminal and would like to leave to their loved one photos of strength and love. 
If you know someone in one of these situations and you feel it could be something that would resonate with them I would be grateful if you could share with them what I wish to do.

Recently I asked a dear friend Sandy who is a cancer survivor to write something for my blog. I didn’t know exactly what to tell her to write. I wanted her to share with me what it would have been like to look back had she had someone capture her in the most difficult and challenging period of her life.  

Below is what she wrote for me to share here on my blog.

Last fall I captured a friend’s father who was was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. This friend Matt Gaddow kindly wrote his feelings below also.

Thank You Sandy, Matt and Miles xx



In 2003, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.  Diagnosed on a
Tuesday, I started chemo that Friday.  Not much time to think.  I remember
them telling me not everyone lost their hair, but most people on the course
I was taking, did.  I decided I would be one of the ones that didn’t. Ha!
They said it usually started around Day 12.  I got to Day 14.  I remember it
hurt when my hair fell out (and hurt even more when it grew back!).
Cancer was a very private experience for me.  I got through it on pure and
utter stubbornness, and by being uncharacteristically insular.  I took one
self-timed photo of myself after I lost all my hair.  My bald self wasn’t so
bad.  It was the drawn on eyebrows that used to drive me nuts.  Now, seven
years later (yay!) I wish someone had taken a great photo of me during that
journey.  It’s a milestone, a landmark.  As such it should be honored and,
catalogued.  Jill Rosell is a dear friend of mine who takes photos from the
heart.   I wish she had been with me in Australia to capture that part of my
journey.  You don’t think of it when you’re in it.  Now, on the other side,
it’s a loss I regret.  Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a beautiful
sitting with Jill.  It will be a light to enjoy during the darkest of times.

Sandy Henderson,
Bend, Oregon


“When I first heard the news about my Dad’s cancer diagnosis, the first
thing I thought of was having some photos done, and I immediately thought of
Jill Rosell, and her new love of photography.  Her ability to capture my
father, and our family was priceless.  I asked her to come and do a photo
shoot at our house, and we rushed to schedule something as soon as possible.
My father was a little reluctant at first, and the weather didn’t look like
it would be cooperating, but Jill urged us to keep the appointment, and at
least try and get some shots.   I’m so glad we did, as Jill managed to
bring perfect weather and lighting, and my Dad rallied to her unique
shooting style, and we ended up with a GREAT set of pictures.  As my Dad got
sicker, and we went through some tough times, those pictures were able to
remind me of the many happy times that our family had with my father.  Now
that he’s gone, I am so grateful to Jill for providing some memories of our
family that will be with us forever…

Thanks to Jill, from the Gadow family..”

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