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SCAR Project

November 4, 2007
by David Jay, photographer

My name is David Jay. I'm a professional fashion/beauty photographer recently moved to New York from Sydney, Australia. I wanted to share with you a project I've started recently. It is called The SCAR Project, a series of large scale black and white portraits of young women surviving beast cancer.

       Last year, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Paulina was only 32 years old and had just given birth to her second child. She underwent a mastectomy, removal of lymph nodes and chemotherapy. I was terrified for her, and humbled by her strength, resolve and courage.  I wanted to tell her story and others like her the only way I new how: By taking their pictures.  Im hoping to portray through photography the raw truth of the experience of breast cancer. The hope and fear. The courage and vulnerability. The scars. The beauty.

       I started shooting this project in Sydney just before I left for NY.  Im now shooting at my studio in Soho, NY.  Ill be doing a fund raising exhibition and perhaps a book. I have been wonderfully shocked by the reception so far; young women from all across America are flying to NY to be photographed for The SCAR Project.  Although my original goal was to raise money for research and increase awareness of early onset breast cancer, I was not prepared for something much more immediate . . .  and beautiful: For these young women, having their portrait taken represents their personal victory over this terrifying disease (even temporarily). It enables them to reclaim their femininity, their sexuality and their life, after having been robbed of such an important part of it. Through these simple pictures, they seem to gain some acceptance of what has happened to them and the strength to move forward with pride. 

      Having seen first hand the power of this project and based on the reception to it so far,  I feel strongly that it has the potential to not only raise money and awareness for breast cancer, but can do something immediate, real and beautiful for these young survivors.


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