We first met the McKays around 18 months ago when Catherine brought her two children Andrew and a tiny Fraser along for a photoshoot at Muiravonside Country Park.
She recently got back in touch because she wanted to update her family photographs. The shoot was arranged for April, but after a couple of emails back and forth Catherine disclosed to me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be starting chemotherapy at the end of March. We rearranged the shoot so that we could photograph her before her treatment starts as she wanted to look and feel like herself in the images. However, it was rearranged to a day when Bryan was unavailable and so I set out to do the shoot myself. This always makes me slightly nervous as our working method means we have come to rely on each other. I can't do Catherine the justice of telling her story so her words are below, but I hope I did her the justice of capturing our fun, relaxed but deeply meaningful morning together with my camera.
"I am a young woman fighting breast cancer. I have always loved photographs and capturing moments in time to look back on. This photoshoot was particularly important to me as I wanted family pictures to capture our strong and loving (and energetic!) family. I don't know what the next 6 months of treatments is going to be like for me but these pictures will help to remember the good times and to keep fighting. I am so lucky to have found my lump early. I didn't rush to the doctors as there is no way I thought it would cancer. I was young, had no history of any cancer in the family, breastfed both boys and there were no other indications it was a tumour. I just want to get the message out there that it can happen to anyone and if you're not sure about something get it checked. Stacey we also had a lovely day the boys were shattered but very happy. I would not have wanted anyone else to help us during this time. Your pictures are amazing and the fact that you are so passionate and caring comes through in each image. I love my pictures. I will treasure them always. Keep doing what you are doing because it's brilliant! Best wishes and see you sometime for another session when fraser will hopefully be a bit more compliant! Thanks again x"
When I first asked Catherine if I could feature her photographs in a blog post I had intended that they'd be to show off a beautiful family session as I was unsure how open she was about her cancer. She instantly said she'd like to help in getting the message across and gave permission. Aside from that though, these are lovely photographs and in our opinion just how a family photoshoot should be - a lovely day out at the park capturing real memories. We wish Catherine and her family all the best for the next few months and look forward to seeing them all happy and healthy soon.