Bosom Buddies is a support group known locally in Lincolnshire as a fabulous group of women, all with something in common. Breast Cancer.

As a newly established, self-taught photographer based in Humberston in Lincolnshire and a background in nursing of some 25 years I found myself drawn to creating something different, something simple and something above all, that would ‘scatter kindness’ 
I am a passionate photographer and a true believer in romance, ‘sass and class’ specialising predominantly in Women’s Photography & Portraiture and predominantly and maybe a little uniquely, in Health and Wellbeing Confidence Building Photography.
My aim is always to capture natural and beautiful photographs, full of emotion, and most importantly lots of love and laughter and for this project I considered it to be a very special honour to capture not one woman’s beauty and embrace her health and wellbeing, but ten women ! As part of my Perfection is Perception series this project tells the story of showing the true beauty of real people with real stories.

‘ I believe that photographs are made and not just taken, moments are captured not directed, and true life can be reflected back to the viewer and in turn help centre people back to their true self.’

It was through meeting a very special lady, Carolyn, some time ago in hospital that I had the very simple idea of scattering kindness in the only way I know how. Theres no training course or qualifications required, its merely about being kind and showing others that you care. While in hospital as a patient myself, I offered Carolyn, a lady recently diagnosed with cancer, a make-over photography session, to help show her the beauty I was witnessing from across the ward each time I listened to her stories, watched her with her loved ones and talked to her late into the night about love and life. I wanted to let her see herself as everyone else did. A beautiful, strong, inspiring woman. 


Carolyn montage

Through Carolyn, I met her beautiful daughter Lisa who was a member of Bosom Buddies and I went on to develop the idea to show other people what Carolyn had experienced in finding her beauty. So often the focus is on physical health, especially when under hospital treatment and emotional wellbeing is often put to one side. This project generated interest not only because of its nature and how it all started but also for where these sessions resonate for each person who attends, for whatever reason, be it a physical or emotional health issue of any kind.

In November 2016, I offered The Bosom Buddies a photo-shoot experience at a local hotel, with the aim of each of the ladies in this support group seeing ‘perfection in their own reflection.’ 

The event was organised by a wonderful lady called Emma Coleman who has been so supportive about my work since I began this journey. It was held at Healing Manor Hotel, and I asked my team of Make-Over Fairies to work their magic for each of the ladies. Natalie George HMUA and her assistant Natasha, who work with me on these sessions on a regular basis, led a team of other Make-Over Fairies, including Lavender Hill Hair Rooms, Nadia Baxter ‘Travelling Make Up Artist’ and Emma Richardson, Beauty Therapist and Sara Allen Hairdresser. All these women, worked together in their spare time on this day to show kindness and help inspire others. The day was a huge hit with the ladies having such fun and embracing the treat.
The intention for this project was to utilise the images and the ladies words about diagnosis and treatment around breast cancer. Each of the women told their story and this has been presented with their photograph. The fantastic news around this project is the interest that the local NHS Services have shown. As a result of the project I was asked to present to the Pink Rose Suite at Grimsby Hospital and tell the story and why I want to get these sessions out there and grow the network further. This in turn has led me to presenting my patient journey to the Trust Board and explaining how everything began from my admission into hospital , through to meeting Carolyn, and beyond into making positive change happen for others. We are currently furthering this concept for patients, to produce a leaflet with The Bosom Buddies for the waiting area of The Pink Rose Suite. Even more exciting news is that we are also looking at progressing this experience as a service for a wider audience within the NHS.

So here are my wonderful strong beautiful ladies, with their fabulous words, which in turn I hope will resonate with others.

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This project has not been focussed on highlighting or embracing the scars of surgery but more to suggest that there is so much more to breast cancer and its effects are often far reaching into our emotions. It’s not the scars that define a person but the healing from the inside of how a person perceives themselves. This project was about using portraiture in a beautiful sensitive way to reflect these ladies and their beauty and in turn enable them to view themselves beyond a diagnosis and use the experience as part of a healing process.

Bertha

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Margaret (Sue’s Mum)

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Sue (Margaret’s Daughter) 

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Paula

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Diane

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Kim

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Lisa

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Pam

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Carol

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A big Big thank you to everyone behind the scenes. Emma Coleman and Healing Manor for your superb hospitality, even including the fluffy white dressing gowns for the ladies! and of course the Make-Over Fairies! Without you wonderful ladies, I could not have achieved this for The Bosom Buddies, and I wanted to thank you all for giving your time to this, and being part of scattering a little kindness.

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A huge thank you to The Pink Rose Team, Miss Jenny Smith DM FRCS, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon and The Quality Team at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust, for giving this the attention and platform it deserves, so that others may share the same experience.

For more information on this and my other projects and sessions please contact me at my Facebook Page : Janey Kay Photography

To view my Health & Wellbeing Work:

Facebook

Instagram

Articles:

Fionas Story 

Confidence Building 

A Family Affair 

 

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