Rochelle Wilhelms Photography
I first met Zoe this summer when I photographed her senior portraits. A stunning, sweet and somewhat shy girl, Zoe lights up the camera in the best of ways. In January, her mother emailed me to tell me that Zoe had just been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. They were devastated. 3 days before her 3rd round of chemotherapy, Zoe allowed me to photograph her just as she is right now… a gorgeous 17 year old girl whose life has been turned upside down by cancer. She was really afraid to have anyone see her without her wig, but the idea of having her portraits taken so that she could help us with a fundraiser for Caring Bridge is what convinced her to do it. I was so proud of her. As hard as it was for her, she took her wig off to have her makeup done before we started shooting and she didn’t put it on until we were completely done. After the session, she was still worried about having her pictures seen by others. I emailed her a few proofs late that night, and then the night before she went into the hospital, we showed Zoe and her family all of the proofs. Suddenly, she was totally comfortable being seen without her hair, and the process allowed her to realize that not having hair does not take away from her beauty or courage at all. The response to the sneak peak on facebook and my own blog (local) has been amazing. We’d like to share her images with others so that her courage and vulnerability might help someone else in the same situation realize that the courage people have when fighting cancer is simply stunning.