WARRIOR: noun, often attributive war·rior \ˈwȯr-yər,ˈwȯr-ē-ər,ˈwär-ē-alsoˈwär-yər\ a person engaged or experienced in warfare; a person engaged in some struggle or conflict.
And when you are diagnosed with cancer, it is a war! Cancer is trying to take the most precious thing from you....your LIFE! And you are fighting for YOUR life! And in the midst of this battle, you are experiencing terrible side effects from one of your most powerful weapons....chemo. You are nauseous, your hair might be falling out, you struggle to get out of bed, you have chemo brain.....but still you fight like hell! You are having your breasts removed, you are having surgery to remove your uterus, you are having radiation treatments, you are having surgery to remove a brain tumor.....but still you fight like hell! And as you are going through all of this you still find the strength to be a mom, a friend, a sister, a wife! So yeah, when you are battling cancer you are a freakin' WARRIOR!
We did our very first WARRIOR photo shoot last year because we really wanted to celebrate women in the Memphis community that were either currently battling cancer or were cancer survivors. We also wanted to use this experience as a way to remind them that they are still beautiful and vibrant women! You can learn more about our 2016 WARRIORS and see the images for that photo shoot by clicking on the link below.
And 20 minutes into the photo shoot last year, I knew that without a doubt we would be doing it again this year and as many years after this as we can. Which brings me to our 2017 WARRIORS.....and what a kick ass group of beautiful & diverse cancer slaying WARRIORS they are!!! And once again, I was inspired and moved to tears by the amount of courage and straight up grit that these ladies have! And they are so hilarious and have learned not to take themselves too seriously which is why they didn't protest too much when I asked them to dance and shake their booty in front of my camera. What can I say?! I love to dance and so I assume that everyone else does to so I ask them to. It rarely ever backfires on me:)
I also want to say that it is pretty special to see a group of women from all walks of life come together and have an instant connection and bond. They were laughing, sharing stories, and supporting each other in a very real way. No one will deny that CANCER SUCKS but I've seen good come from it. These women are living proof of that!
Ok, ok! I know you are ready to see these gorgeous women so I'll get on with it. The day started with a whole lot of pampering for our WARRIORS from a group of very talented make up artists and hair stylists and then each of the WARRIORS got her very own photo shoot! It was like and episode of "America's next Top Model" but way better!
And now I present to you......drumroll please............The 2017 WARRIORS!!!
Dr. Monica Pasley - ovarian cancer WARRIOR
Amy Ramkhelawan - breast cancer WARRIOR
Michelle Whitlock - cervical cancer WARRIOR and author of "How I Lost my Uterus and Found my voice."
Kari Daniel – breast cancer WARRIOR
Allie Allen - brain cancer WARRIOR and ambassador for St. Jude hospital
Debbi Allen - breast cancer WARRIOR
Tammy Davis - breast cancer WARRIOR
Sally Mattis - breast cancer WARRIOR (and the cutie in some of the photos with her is her daughter that stopped by to cheer her mom on!)
Nicole Savage - breast cancer WARRIOR
Jennifer Ryan - breast cancer WARRIOR
Carolyn Whitney - breast cancer WARRIOR and founder of Memphis chapter of sister's network.
You see, I told you they were BEAUTIFUL! Well, super gorgeous is more like it!
This year we wanted to find a way to use the images from the WARRIOR photo shoots to help & inspire even more women so we decided to put together a 2018 calendar using the images from the 2016 & 2017 photo shoots. A HUGE thank you to Lesley Gilmer, my wing woman here at Ramblin' Rose, who volunteered her time and talent to design our first official WARRIOR calendar!!! We are selling these calendars for $20 and all of the proceeds will be donated to a local Memphis charity called The Pink Wig project which was actually founded by Teri Trotter who was one of our 2016 WARRIORS.We want one of these calendars to be in the hands of everybody out there so click on the link below and grab yours today! And then also grab a few to give as gifts to your friends!
And now, I have some thank YOUs to hand out. I mean, you guys didn't think I pulled this off on my own did you?! Because that would NEVER happen!
Thank you to the 2017 "Memphis Kick Ass Glam Squad" who volunteered their time and talent to help make our WARRIORS feel extra gorgeous!
Make up artists: Seven Moore, Kasey Acuff, Faizah Husniyah, and Kimberly Yasmine
Hair stylists: Allison Becksfort, April Dawn, Ashley Troughton, and Emily McElhaney
Thank YOU to the ladies ofPropcellar, Karlee Hickman & Nick Cunningham, who opened their doors again to us so we could have the coolest spot in town for this shoot!
Thank you to Cathy at Parker Prints hooking us up with the coolest and softest WARRIOR t-shirts!
Thank you to Mary Claireat Falling into Place on Broad Ave. and Rose Conway of Nautilus pottery for sharing their artistry with our WARRIORS this year! Mary Claire's handmade candles are always divine and when Rose showed me this sweet little piece of pottery that she had created especially for the WARRIORS to hold their rings, earrings, and such......I was blown away! So beautiful!!!
Thank you to Shelby Hartman with Twenty Two Magnolias Productions for creating the beautiful and emotional video below that gives you a real time look at the 2017 WARRIOR photo shoot. Seriously, it's so beautiful that I cried the first few times I watched it! We are so lucky to have it and will cherish it always!!!
And even though it really goes without saying, THANK YOU to all of our amazing WARRIOR women! You are the reason we are doing this and will continue on this journey with new WARRIORS every year. Hearing your stories and getting to know you has truly made my life richer! NEVER STOP FIGHTING!!!
Kim Miller, owner of Ramblin' Rose Photography, is a Memphis portrait photographer specializing in Memphis boudoir photography, Memphis Kick Ass headshots, Memphis fitness photography, Memphis family photography, and Memphis newborn photography. Simply put, she LOVES photographing people! Ramblin' Rose Photography is also available for travel to just about anywhere in this great big world!