Personal Projects: The Legacy of Smoking
My aunt Phoebe was a huge inspiration in my life. She was a Juilliard graduate and the first woman partner at Morgan Stanley on Wall Street. She was brilliant, beautiful and very supportive of her family. I spent a summer in college living with her while I interned in New York. She encouraged me to work hard and pursue my dreams, whatever they were. She was very successful in a male dominated field and gave me great advice.
Phoebe was a cigarette smoker and was diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Cancer in 2006. She passed away from the disease 4 months later at the age of 53. Way too young. Cancer does not discriminate. Cancer does not care if you are rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful, young or old...Cancer kills and addiction to cigarettes is a huge part of Lung Cancer. Cigarettes and Cancer piss me off.
I visited Phoebe at her home in Newport, RI while she was in hospice care...as a niece, not a photographer to give her love and support. I brought my camera, but wasn't sure how she would feel about me photographing her. After a couple of days I asked her if I could photograph her and she said yes with no hesitation. She trusted me and knew it would be done with love. She was a courageous, spitfire of a woman and has inspired a personal project called the "Legacy of Smoking"
The ugly truth is cancer and cigarettes kill and I want to do my part to help fight Lung Cancer by doing what I do best...Telling personal stories through photographs.