Last Saturday saw me booked as Guildford Brand Photographer for a Mini Branding Photography session by Gemma from Puremess: handmade Natural Skin & Hair care products. It was a truly enjoyable couple of hours in which we managed to create some great business images and some very special personal images as well.
You see, Puremess wasn't created by chance.
Gemma is a three-time cancer survivor and on her journey to get to this point she has had a double mastectomy. I'm not even going to attempt to try to tell her story in my own words, because she has already done so beautifully herself. You can read all about Gemma and her story on her blog. What I can tell you is that from this incredibly challenging time in her life her brand, Puremess, was born.
Puremess consists of a range of skin and haircare products that are natural, toxin-free and handmade by Gemma herself who - by the way - not only has a science background but also sports a Masters Degree in Environmental Science! The products are created by using ingredients like oils, butters, waxes and botanicals (sourced from local trusted suppliers) and avoids any chemical nasties like SLS, SLES, petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, palm oil, synthetic or artificial fragrances. Not only that, all packaging used is refillable, reusable, recyclable or biodegradable... how's that for an eco-friendly business!
As she is a savvy business woman, she knew she could do with some new personal branding images for her website and social media, so a few weekends ago we got together and got to work :-). She also had another request, far more personal and one I felt extremely humbled and proud to honour.
After her double mastectomy, Gemma had decided not to opt for reconstructive surgery and to "go flat". As this is still an uncommon choice for women, Gemma did a photo shoot a few years back to encourage and empower women to make their own decisions based on what they feel comfortable with and not what the outside world might expect them to look like. As an avid advocate for feeling good & happy in your own skin, she decided it was time to update her images and so we did. *Special appearance by Merlin*
Thank you Gemma for giving me your trust and allowing me to capture you in all your beauty - inside & out. You are a truly remarkable woman and I have immense respect for you, the decision you took and the way you live and celebrate life. The time we spent together for your mini branding photography session, as well as your personal photoshoot was very enjoyable and I hope we'll do it again some time. Love, Caan.
If you'd like to find out more about Personal Branding Photography and how I can help you with that, please check out this info page.