Entry Title: "Four-Time Cancer Survivor"
Name: Callie Giovanna , United States
Category and Expertise: Nudes|Portrait|Portrait_P|Deeper Perspective, Non-Professional


Entry Description: My grandmother is a four-time cancer survivor. She finished chemo for breast cancer in June 2013. She has been self conscious of showing her hair loss, wearing wigs out, and scarves when at home, only removing them to sleep and shower. Knowing how much it would mean to women who may see these photographs, she willingly sat for this portrait session. She approaches life with unmatched vitality and positivity, taking each circumstance head on. Her beauty and strength emanate in these photographs, chronicling her journey, her fight, and her ability to embrace her plight keeping her head held high.

Story: My grandmother is a four-time cancer survivor. In her thirties, cervical/uterine cancer; in her fifties, a cancerous radical tumor in her bladder; in her late sixties, breast cancer; and skin cancer on - going. Each time diagnosed, she approached surgery and treatment without hesitation - having a hysterectomy, her bladder completely removed and replaced by an Indiana pouch (an internal urinary diversion made of her intestine and colon), a double mastectomy, multiple surgeries for skin cancer, and undergoing chemo twice. In addition, she has had many complications with infection, she battled sepsis in 2012, and lost one of her breast implants after her reconstructive surgery. She finished her last round of chemo for breast cancer in June of 2013. She has been self conscious of showing her hair loss in both rounds of chemo, wearing wigs out, and scarves when at home, only removing them to sleep and shower. Knowing how much it would mean to me and our family, as well as the women who may see these photographs, she willingly sat for this portrait session. I have never met a more spirited and positive woman. She approaches life with unmatched vitality and takes each circumstance head on. Her beauty and strength emanate in these photographs, chronicling her journey, her fight, and her ability to embrace her plight and keep her head held high.

About the Artist:

Callie Giovanna, a native of Hawaii, is an acute observer of life. The nomadic lifestyle in her childhood and adolescence – living in over twenty different homes before the age of twenty-one - instilled in her a love of travel. The constant stimulation from her change in environment lent itself to her incredibly sensitive and discerning eye. Callie’s images are gentle, tender, and her point of view incredibly disarming. Her sensitivity to natural light and subtle nuances in body language make her photographs haunting and memorable. She is the omniscient viewer in the room – always letting you in on a little secret and showing you the non-obvious perspective. There is a story to be told in each one of her photographs. Callie attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as well as the Brooks Institute, developing her skills in both photography and digital imaging. From 2005-2010, she worked for portrait photographer, Norman Jean Roy, as his Senior Retoucher and Studio Manager. Currently, she owns her own post production company in addition to her many photographic projects. Her greatest photographic influences have been Steve McCurry, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, James Nachtwey, Sebastião Salgado, Irving, Penn, and Richard Avedon. Callie lives and works in Los Angeles, California as a photojournalist and travel photographer. She always has a camera in her hands and shoots daily.