Project Overview:

This personal project originated from a shoot I did of a woman who was about to undergo a bone marrow transplant.  I had photographed her years earlier when she had just found out she had cancer, before any treatment.  I offered to photograph her during the process, but she declined.  Years later, during another round of chemotherapy, she contacted me asking if I would photograph her.  Having gone through it before, she realized that there would be some value to chronicling the experience, for herself.  The hour+ that we spent together was a wonderful experience for both of us.

I’ve tried to describe the reason why I want to photograph more chemotherapy patients and the closest I can come is that there is something about the face, the expression that is more apparent.  I’ve been a commercial portrait photographer for 20 years, and I was moved by the clarity of the moment.  Clearly there is a literal aspect to it, without the hair that we have to embellish, create, or hide behind, our face is left more present, in a way.  However, that aside, there is a personal quality to the experience – the result of many things – one most likely being the personal reflection going on during the treatment period.  In the beginning I wanted to call this C Faces – not only for the C, but more for the fact that there is a quality to seeing the face that you don’t normally get.

Sessions take approximately 90 minutes and can take place either at the subject’s home or at my location in the SF East Bay.  If you know someone who would be interested in being photographed for this project, please forward this link or send them my email address –  I will give files from the shoots to the subjects for their personal use.



Young woman, pensive about her challenges with cancerrobert houser photography ad in select magazine

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