It’s a constant struggle to live with cancer. Patients have to adapt to the mental pressures that include exhaustion, anxiety and no self-esteem. They also have to deal with the physical changes the disease brings, like changes in appearance. Wouldn’t it be great to make them forget this worries if only for a second?
The Mimi foundation and Vincent Dixon, a photographer did just that. They made portraits of 20 cancer patients in a series tabbed “If Only For a Second“. The patients were to keep their eyes closed throughout their makeover process. They were then placed in front of a two-way mirror and asked to open their eyes. Dixon, who was behind the mirror, captured the priceless reaction to the makeovers by the patients.
The idea behind the campaign was inspired by one of the patients wish to live a carefree life, like they did before they discovered they had cancer. Dixon’s role in all this was to immortalize that moment the patients forgot their disease. According to him, the experience was humbling and enjoyable. The patients forgot their illness for a moment and these brought him a sense of laughter and joy that moved him deeply.
“The moment the patients opened their eyes was magical. They knew what their disguise was because they had chosen it, yet you see that moment of disbelief as they try to register how fantastic they look,” says Dixon. “The video was shot at very high speed but this all happened in a fraction of a second — then they burst out laughing.”
It was a bittersweet moment though as not everyone got to see their portrait. Katy, the lady on the cover of the book “If Only for a Second”, that was made from the images, passed away a month later. Dixon hopes that the photo created a memorable image for her daughter and husband. The proceeds of the coffee table book go to the Mimi Foundation.