Long Story Short: Jacqui Simons
Jacqui Simons (3rd from right) with the crew from Take 2 Hair Studio getting in the spirit for The Breast Intentions
By ANTHONY PANCIA with Photos by Mark Boskell
G’day, I’m… Jacqui Simons.
About 20 years ago… I bought a second hand Pentax K1000 with two lenses at a backpackers in San Diego for $40. This was the start of my love affair with photography.
Straight away I was… Hooked on the possibilities. When I got back to Australia. I continued to photograph everyone and everything and it was through a friend that I scored my first paid job.
Before long, photography became… A very busy, very full-time job. In the beginning it was the wedding market that consumed my time. It was a bit of a right place right time scenario. There were only a couple of other photographers in the area and I was the only female, so I had a nice little niche market.
So years went by, then I really started to notice… The amount of people in my close circle of life being affected by cancer. And then my father died from secondary cancer just over 5 years ago.
And it made me think… Of creating some kind of photo philanthropy situation, but it wasn’t until the idea for this “Bare your Boobs” concept was presented to me at the Enjo Fundraiser for Breast Cancer held by Edwards Winery on the 2nd of May that the penny dropped.
So the idea is… I’ll take pictures of boobs, then all the pictures will collectively be used to create one image, the first one being of Boranup Forest. Effectively from a distance you’ll see Boranup, but then when you look up close you see that it’s a collection of boobs. Each area I visit, i.e. Denmark, Busselton etc, will also have their own iconic location image created. Once we have 12 images, it will be turned into a calendar.
At first, the idea seemed… Something that could either boom or flop. I remember the day of the first shoot, consulting a friend as to whether or not she thought women would participate and we were both a little unsure. But on the first night, 63 women braved the cold and from there, the concept grew wings.
Now I’m… Thrilled to pieces. I am a little bit of an obsessive person and this project is certainly consuming my every thought, but it’s such a positive experience that I just seem to have endless energy to make it grow. In saying that I have never been in this type of situation where people including the press are contacting me and want to be involved. I feel truly blessed!
The goal is… To see how far I can take this. The project has got endless possibilities. Breasts for breast cancer, eyes for brain cancer, kids faces for kids cancer – the power of imagery. Two main objectives are fundraising and community awareness and growth getting people to share their stories. People mixing and having fun at these Boob Shoots is such an added bonus! The money raised (participants donate $5) in the Margaret River area will go in part to the River Angels and in part to the Pink Ribbon Day appeal on the 24th of October. For now, money raised outside Margaret River will go to Pink Ribbon Day, but in the future it could perhaps be separated to partially go to local support groups.
And I’m… Amazed at how far its come in just 4 months. Where will it be in another 4 months who knows?
The most valuable thing I’ve learnt is… Mmm, lots of things. People are generous, people want to talk and share and giving them a platform is my gift. There is a hell of a lot of disease in this world. I want to focus on prevention rather than cures.
I couldn’t have done it without… Fiona Edwards and Jenny Monteith, they provided the idea, and the community as a whole for embracing it!
You can learn more about this by… Checking out the website www.thebreastintentions.com.au or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thebreastintentions2014 or by emailing me email@example.com
Oh, and one more thing… Yes, I have bared my boobs.