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LIKE MY FATHER | Photographer: Maika Elan

LIKE MY FATHER | Photographer: Maika Elan | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Mortality is an irrevocable fact of life, yet when inevitable reminders of it surface it can be earth shattering. When Hanoi-based photographer Maika Elan‘s father was in treatment for cancer, Elan was suddenly thrust into the role of adult during his treatment. In order to keep his spirits up during this process, Elan took her father to the same park he took her to as a child, photographing him and even playing with him as he used to with her. In her World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass project statement, Elan says, “I think it’s my turn to do something for my father, as he has done for me in the past. We both went back to the same park and played like old days. I hope these pictures I make will be a big motivation for him. I hope they let him see that he is not as sick as he feels. In my heart, he is always a happy person and full of optimism.” As of now, Elan’s father has recovered enough that he has been able to return to work. That he gets a kick out of seeing his daughter’s photos of him disseminating through the ether seems to indicate her ploy to brighten his spirits worked.

Photo report's insight:

Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai) was born in Vietnam, and lives and works in Hanoi. After taking a BA in sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2006, Maika started to use the camera to document her daily and private life. She soon turned to professional photography, working for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010, she took up documentary photography.

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The SCAR Project | Photographer: David Jay

The SCAR Project | Photographer: David Jay | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

“In our society, breast cancer is hidden away behind a little pink ribbon. The public needs to be educated.”

David Jay, a professional fashion and beauty photographer of over 15 years, hopes to make a step in that direction with The SCAR Project, a series of large-scale portraits of young women and the scars from their journey with breast cancer.

 

The series came about five years ago when the disease hit home. Jay’s close friend Paulina was diagnosed when she was 29, and within two weeks she had a mastectomy. She modeled for Jay since the age of 17, so after her surgery Jay knew he couldn’t stop there. “I took her picture because, perhaps as a photographer, taking pictures is my way of confronting, understanding and accepting the things I see,” says Jay.

 

Coming from the world of fashion, where beauty is actually skin deep, The SCAR Project gave Jay an honest chance to capture the real complexity and beauty of strong, real women. Jay, however, was torn during the making of the series. While wanting to create raw and sincere images, he also wanted to honor his subjects who desired to feel beautiful. “They had already suffered greatly, and although I desperately wanted to serve them, I knew in my heart that compromising the visual integrity of The SCAR Project for the sake of easily digested beauty would serve no one.” The result is an unforgettable, emotional series, powerful in its message and subjects.

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