For years I've been writing about the best part of this industry, the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Peter Doyle is one of those friends and in all honesty, I'm not even sure where we first met. I think he was at one of the original Skip's Summer School programs. We catch up on the phone a few times a year and bump into each other at various conventions.
I remember one year at Christmas where he spent a day or two on a video personally wishing every single one of his Facebook friends happy holidays. It was a classic move that only Peter could pull off as he read the names of a few thousand people. He takes his "friendships" very seriously, even on Facebook!
Then came his book, Breast Cancer Portraits. While Peter's photographic style is outstanding, it's the way he combines the subject's own words with his images that truly creates some incredibly high impact portraits.
So, here's my point by asking him to do a guest post. Peter's a terrific example of passion for imaging. He's a photographer, an artist, a writer and an advocate. Peter doesn't just talk about doing something, he gets out there and does it. His two books, both with the same subtitle, wisdom from the journey, are giving cancer victims a voice and encouragement to those in the throes of battle now.
Fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of Peter's new book is going right back into two supporting cancer charities. Just click the cover of the book in the post below to visit the website.
I know it sounds pretty sappy to put it this way, but I couldn't be more proud to have Peter as a friend and use the SCU venue to help him spread the word. Nice going buddy - you make us all proud!
In any time of crisis, what we need are those who have walked the journey before to come alongside while speaking words of wisdom for where we are today. We are not looking for ideals or platitudes, but real-life “This is what I did”, “This is what I felt”, Please, don’t make the same mistake I made”, or “It’s okay to feel the way that you do” statements of reassurance.
101 Childhood Cancer Portraits: wisdom from the journey brings survivors, warriors, and the parents of children who have passed away from childhood cancer together and put pen to paper to share what they have learned from their journey. These handwritten notes paired with personality portraits help give hope and encouragement to families affected by childhood cancer.
It was over a year ago when I was sitting in the cancer wing of a pediatric hospital (for business) when the simple realization struck me that the families walking past me were just like my own little family. At least they had been like
mine until they were suddenly engulfed with the stress and fear that comes with hearing your child's cancer diagnosis.
My wife and I have a bright-eyed, curious, three-year-old son. Feeling that momentary panic of what would we do if our world was ever thrown topsy-turvy by similar tidings, I asked myself where we would find support and encouragement? The answer came swiftly: Who better to extend a helpful word of hope than these very families surrounding me? The journey of photographing 101 childhood cancer warriors and survivors leading
me across America began that very night.
When children are diagnosed with cancer, they are thrown into a frightening journey that includes physical and emotional pain, long days and nights at the hospital, dealing with the loss of hair, gaining scars, and in some of our warriors’ stories, even losing limbs due to amputation.
Although there is a strong support presence from friends, family, and hospital staff, it is a lonely affair to battle cancer. When researching other cancer support books, I found they ranged from a 200-page personal story to a children’s book on what to expect during chemotherapy treatment. Although these books serve a purpose and are extremely helpful, what was missing was a book with a broader reach from a personal perspective.
Children and families going through a cancer battle do not have time to sit down and read a 200-page book. However, they will take time to read a one-page, personally handwritten note on wisdom passed from one child warrior to another. That handwritten note will also give hope and encouragement to others who read its narrative. Multiply that times 101 children writing notes, and that's a nice bundle of encouragement to share with the world!