I don't normally write too much about my sessions, but this one was special and it taught me many lessons. Ant has terminal cancer. Cancer sucks. He was diagnosed in October 2015 and has been through bowel operations, a liver resection and lots and lots of chemo. He is now receiving pain management and is not expected to see the end of this year. His wife Megan and two young children are living every day watching the person they love more than the universe slip away and deal with the horrendous side affects of the cocktail of pain medication he has been prescribed. I can't even start to imagine, nor would I ever pretend to try to begin to understand what that it like.
I was put in contact with Megan via another photographer as she was holding their last family Christmas in the Blue Mountains and the lovely Fairmont Resort, surrounded by family and close friends to celebrate, love, laugh and probably cry together. I had the privilege to meet a few of Ant's close friends and watch them "geek out" reminiscing and talking comic books and good old times. Some very special presents were given to his children which I know they will treasure for ever.
I'm sure Megan hears a lot how strong she is, how brave and how hard it must be going through this journey, and she is all those things, and so much more. In my conversations before we met i was reminded that despite the magnitude of the situation, daily life doesn't stop - the needs of her beautiful children, school, sports, homework, activities, food, cleaning, laundry, birthdays, baths, bedtime stories... it all has to carry on. So I think I caught a glimpse of understanding how strong we can be when we have to be and it's incredible.
It goes without saying i left with a huge sense of sadness. I didn't do this shoot for personal reasons, for gain in any way (I did this for free), only because it was the right thing to do, but I have taken away something very personal, a reminder of life. It's bigger than all of us, and we cannot escape, hide from it, press pause or waste it. People will argue the meaning of life, whatever the answer, surely it's about what you do with it that counts? Making a difference in the world, whether to a nation or one other person, standing up for what is right, and loving the people in your world. Because your world may not be there tomorrow.
So here are a few images to show the unbreakable bond of family, the details that I hope his children will remember and the face of a loving husband and dear friend.