We think it’s really important to use people in our publications and on our website who have experienced breast cancer.

Their images alongside quotes from people who have been there give our resources warmth and honesty. They also mean we’re reflecting the people who use our services.

In January we held a photo shoot with a number of models affected by breast cancer. Some were younger and more recently diagnosed some older with their experience further away. We had a couple of models who are living with secondary breast cancer as well as a man with breast cancer.



I admire the way our volunteer models throw themselves into what can be a long day. There’s lots of waiting around for shots to be set up (or for it to stop raining!).

The up side is that this gives them a chance to get to know one another. On one shoot last year as we were later told two men who had both come along to support their partners got mutual support from sharing their experiences with each other while the modelling work took place.

The images we take are used (with the models’ permission) across the organisation. Stock photography bought from image libraries can be expensive and often looks posed and artificial. By having our own photo shoots we get just what we need as well as offering pictures that allow others genuinely to identify with the people in the images.

Often the people who step forward for our photo shoots are our press and media volunteers or members of our Breast Cancer Voices panel.

Talking to them at our most recent shoot many of them told me that having their photograph taken is very far from their idea of fun. However they felt it was important to do it so that we can show real people living with or recovering from breast cancer.

So when someone affected by breast cancer picks up one of our publications or looks at our website they can be sure the people they see have been there too.

If you're affected by breast cancer and would like to volunteer as a photographic model for our patient information please email the Publishing team. We'll take your details and contact you when a suitable opportunity comes up.