One of the reasons behind building a sustainable business (besides paying the mortgage that is!) was to be able to give back to my community and gift photographs to families who may not be able to afford it, or, in this case, who wouldn’t think of hiring a photographer during such a difficult time in their lives.
Back in January 2018, Réiltín was diagnosed with Leukemia. In July 2018, I visited their family home.
Réiltín had a tube called “Freddy” that her strong amazing mama used for her intravenous chemo while her equally amazing daddy held her gently. She also had a toy called “Chemo duck” and was fed through a tube.
The previous 6 months had been like hell for this family.
Yet, during this session, what most touched me was the love they all had for each other. The singing. Réiltín’s big sister’s serious dance moves. Réiltín’s smiles.
This is what Ciara said, back then, when sharing the images with her friends & family:
The day Johanna came, we did some really abnormal things. We gave our daughter intravenous chemo and we fed her through a tube. But this is our normal and this is how we care for Réiltín. Johanna managed to capture our day so beautifully and more importantly, she captured the simple things that we will never take for granted… our children’s smiles.
Ciara in July 2018.
Today, before publishing these images, I asked Ciara how she felt about the images now:
It’s fabulous to look back now where we were 18 months ago. She was so sick. And now, we have just 8 weeks of treatment to go. A time to celebrate all she has achieved with a smile on her face.
Ciara in January 2020.
You may also wish to read an update of this family through this article published in The Irish Times a few weeks ago. After Réiltín’s chemotherapy being cancelled last minute, once more, Ciara shared their story with the media. The hope is that politicians finally focus on some much needing improvements to the country’s health system.
Pay What You Can Program
In 2020, I will be opening a few slots to photograph families on a “Pay-What-You-Can” basis. If you would like to apply, please fill out my contact form and let me know why you wish to be considered. You may also want to nominate another family. Every family session will be merit-based and limited in availability.