BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When most women go through chemotherapy, lose their hair, maybe even lose a breast, or both to cancer, it's difficult to feel beautiful. But one photographer in Biddeford is hoping to re-empower those women through a photoshoot he offers for free.
Irvin Serrano calls his project, "The Beautiful Faces of Cancer." It started in 2006, when his wife of only 3 months was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Luckily, Tanya was in the early stages.
Tanya was losing her hair to chemotherapy and eventually decided to shave the rest of her hair off. Irvin says he thought she looked so beautiful that he wanted to photograph her.
That prompted more shoots with more cancer survivors. Irvin offers an entire, professional photoshoot (including a makeup artist) for free. He makes no money off of it... but hopes to one day gather all of his photos and create a book or an exhibit.
One of his most recent shoots was with Andrea Juers. Her first breast cancer diagnosis was 15 years ago. Since then, she's been diagnosed two more times and lost both of her breasts.
The photoshoot is a reminder that she is still beautiful... without her hair, without her breasts, she still has plenty to smile about. She and Irvin spend the shoot sharing their stories and discussing their lives after cancer.
For Irvin, it started as therapy for him; a way to deal with what was happening to his wife. Someday, the collection may be inspiration, or extra support for someone else just getting their diagnosis.