This was one of my most emotional shoots to date:
A couple of years ago I was approached by a teenage girl who had terminal cancer who really wanted me to photograph her, I was in the US and she was in the UK and didn’t make it back in time before she passed. I’ve never talked about it till now but it left me feeling both sad and determined to work again with someone who had/was suffering from cancer. There was absolutely no hesitation when the Willow Foundation approached me for this assignment, I drove 10 hours to Scotland and drove back the next day.
As part of their ‘Just One Word’ project, the foundation approached 10 top UK photographers to photograph beneficiary’s of their ‘Special Day’ program, which is coming to its 10,000th iteration. Special Days give those suffering from cancer a special day of their choice to extrovert their attention and improve their quality of life.
I had asked if there was anyone I could photograph in my favourite place on earth, the Scottish Highlands, and was therefore given the awesome Andrew Wright as a subject. Andrew’s Special Day was spent in a recording studio and while Andrew has now pretty much made a full recovery from Thyroid Cancer, he credits his special day with reenergising him and setting him on his current path.
He’s working on his new music project ‘Willow Drive’ and is becoming somewhat of a poster boy for the Foundation.
I couldn’t have asked for a better subject, project, charity or location to work with.
I got to hang out with Andrew’s family, at the incredible ‘Rest and be Thankful’ outside of Glasgow. My team was comprised of my assistant Matt Richards and the awesome Adam Moffatt and Siobhan Stewart, both great Scottish photographers who volunteered their time for this.
The exhibition with my ‘hero’ image is running at 62 Buckingham Gate in London as part of Willow’s ‘Just One Word’ project. It features all 10 photographer’s shots plus behind the scenes images from each shoot.