My team, for the day of Cindy’s #survivorsessions was beyond amazing! They made this project possible. But let’s take a step back and appreciate the other amazing businesses and individuals who helped us with this project.
The Dress : Perfect Fit Bridal Tuxedo Prom, Clio, MI
Absolutely would not have been the same without them. The service and dress provided took the whole experience (and images) to another level. The team at Perfect Fit graciously welcomed Cindy, Sue and I into the store (20,000sqft of lace and sparkle heaven) and provided a private bridal suite and an amazing assortment of dresses to chose from. They were so kind and attentive. After being dazzled by all the beauties and watching Cindy glow as she embraced the moment, we went back at the first dress. We had discussed this particular gown before the appointment and had me absolutely in love, a flowing gown by Jasmine with an avant-garde nod.
The whole experience was more than I could ask for. There I was, grateful to be invited into the store, happy to accept ANY dress that would fit. Instead, the ladies of Perfect Fit made very sure the dress chosen made Cindy feel amazing, and altered it to fit her so that she was comfortable. PLUS, without being asked, they provided jewelry to complement the gown.
I am beyond thankful. This gown was truly the icing on the cake, making this more than a simple everyday photo session. Cindy’s smile made it all worth it.
The Jewelry: Paparazzi by Lynne
Lynne was so kind to offer us jewelry as soon as we were looking for people to help. She provided multiple pieces that were used in photos throughout the day. I am so grateful for her hard work and willingness to assist. Even waiting till the dress was chosen so that the jewelry would coordinate. Who knew you could get such cute, versatile jewelry for only $5? What?!
The Secret Gift: Jewelry by BlackUnicornBlue
In a late night wondering around Instagram, I came across BlackUnicornBlue, a Flint based jewelry artist. Her beadwork focuses on crystal and stone bracelets with an emphasis on the energy the stone may provide the wearer. Among her gallery was a beautiful Breast Cancer Survivor bracelet with pink cat eye. She graciously offered custom made bracelets for each of the Breast Cancer Survivors involved in Cindy’s special day. They were the most beautiful tiger eye and pink cat eye bracelets with “strong”, “courage”, “hope” charm on each one.
This was the perfect gift for the ladies, causing tears of thanks before we even got started with the festivities.
The Sign: Wonderfully New Creations
Sue, creator of Wonderfully New Creations, painted a sign for Cindy, to remind her of the Warrior she is. Complete with boxing gloves and made with so much love, the sign now hangs in Cindy’s home.
Please, take a moment to check out more of Sue’s fabulous creations. She her whimsical up-cycled pieces are just want a house needs to become a home.
The Setup Location and Lunch : Café Rhema, Downtown Flint, MI
When looking for a location to get ready, my goals were more than just an empty room with a spot to sit and good proximity to our scouted locations. I also was looking for a place that would instantly make all the beautiful strangers on the team feel like they’ve known each other forever. Café Rhema was the perfect solution and was gracious enough to welcome us into their fabulous 1920s inspired coffee shop. Affordable and seriously great tasting food, great drinks (caffeine!), plenty of space, and beautiful decor made this our dream spot.
Few of the team members had met before the day of the shoot, but this gorgeous backdrop easily led to the camaraderie I hoped to build. Just perfection. At the end of the day, I wanted everyone to not only feel accomplished in their skillset, but I wanted them to feel like they were part of something bigger than us. I think the tears and hugs proved it worked.
The Photo Location: Downtown Flint, MI
Why choose a city that has had so much controversy surrounding it over the past few years? (okay, more like decades) This decision did not come lightly, but I didn’t want to select just any pretty place. Like with all my clients, the location was chosen based on the subject, Cindy. She was born, raised, worked, and still lives in the city of Flint. This is her home. So, where better to photograph her? Plus, the setting was a perfect metaphor, of which I will discuss at another time.
The Support Group : Cindy’s Squad
Individual sponsors and community members, truly made this project a reality. Their generous offerings allowed us to serve lunch to the team and present Cindy with amazing flowers from FloraDora, Flint, MI. When all is said and done, she will also receive archival prints of her portraits and a beautiful video to accompany them.
Thank you, from all involved, for making this the perfect day.