My Breast Choice documents a woman’s inspirational fight against cancer (NSFW)

Oct 21, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

My Breast Choice documents a woman’s inspirational fight against cancer (NSFW)

Oct 21, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Losing her mother to ovarian cancer and being in high risk of getting breast cancer herself, Aniela McGuinness had an appointment to schedule a preventative double mastectomy. Just three days earlier, however, she was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer.

Rather than letting cancer get the best of her, Aniela fought back and used photography and humor to help her get through the rough times.

See how these creative photo shoots helped Aniela go beyond just surviving cancer, and show other women that breast cancer does not have to ruin their life.

Warning: prepare to be smacked straight in the face with a huge dose of inspiration.

“Because of the BRCA 1 mutation, I was aware of my risk and got checked every six months but I have to admit that I didn’t think it would happen to me, especially at 31,” Aniela said about the discovery of the life-threatening and eventually life-changing cancer found in her body.

Aniela, who was an actor and comedian before the cancer was discovered, turned to her creative side to beat the cancer.

“This photo series was a way for me to control the way I saw myself during a time when I had no real control,” Aniela told DIYP. “It helped me accept myself as I was and I hoped that it could help others do the same”.

“I spent a lot of time looking up photos of mastectomy boobs. You see your future, and… it’s scary. I did not want other women to have those as the only images they saw of mastectomies,” Aniela explains her decision to create a mastectomy photo series and document each stage she went through.

The first photo (below) was intended to give Aniela a lasting memory of her breasts before they were gone.

Photography: Blast 'Em Photography
Photography: Blast ‘Em Photography

“It felt good to take my shirt off, not just for a doctor’s appointment, but because I wanted to”, she said, adding that it was empowering and made her love her breasts so much more. “It was the best way to send them off”, she concluded the shoot.

Next was The Bride of Frankenstein shot, capturing how Aniela felt losing her breasts.

Photography: Blast 'Em Photography | MUA & hair: Brynn Berg
Photography: Blast ‘Em Photography | MUA & hair: Brynn Berg

Having scars instead of nipple and feeling cut up and pieced together, Aniela want “women to see the beaty, and pain, and what that moment felt like”.

Undergoing chemotherapy and with hard plastic expanders under her breasts, Aniela felt like a mannequin, hence the third photo of the series – middle of chemo mannequin shot.

Photography: Blast 'Em Photography | MUA: Tiffany Alfonso (Beauty2Blood.com)
Photography: Blast ‘Em Photography | MUA: Tiffany Alfonso (Beauty2Blood.com)

The fourth and final image in there series is the “Done with chemo, done with cancer” shot which Aniela presents with watery eyes.

Photography: Blast 'Em Photography
Photography: Blast ‘Em Photography

Aniela beautifully presents the photo series and discusses her process in the video below, which I highly recommend you watch:

YouTube video

The photos and the video above were posted several days ago on Aniela’s blog, My Breast Choice, doing her part during cancer awareness month.

Aniela is currently working on creating an hour-long honest and inspirational documentary based on her one woman show, “I Don’t Have Cancer”, and is raising funds for the project over on GoFundMe.

You can see more of Aniela’s videos on her YouTube channel, keep up to date on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

Aniela

[My Breast Choice via Bored Panda]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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