A portrait is a powerful thing. Programs like Help Portrait — which is dedicated to spreading joy, inspiration and hope by taking portraits of people who have never had one taken before — are easy proof of this. But just in case you find yourself in need of more proof, the If Only for a Second portrait project is here to provide it.
If Only for a Second is a project by the Mimi Foundation and Leo Burnett France with the stated purpose of “allow[ing] [cancer patients] to forget their disease, if only for a second.” It’s impossible for me, or anybody who has any first hand experience with cancer and/or cancer patients, to express just how important this is.
So, photographer Vincent Dixon brought together 20 cancer patients and offered them a free makeover with one condition: they had to keep their eyes closed while it was happening, so that the reveal could be as surprising as possible. What they didn’t know is that this wasn’t a typical makeover — they were being made-up in silly and funny ways… and when they opened their eyes, Dixon snapped their photo through a two way mirror to capture their reaction.
What is captured on the participants’ faces is a mix of surprise and joy that is bound to put a smile on your face as well:
The portraits were taken back in June in Brussels, but all 20 participants got back together last month at an event where the 60 page book of their portraits was revealed. You can find out more about the project and purchase the photo book for yourself — all proceeds go straight to the Mimi Foundation — by heading over to the If Only for a Second website here.
Image credits: Photographs courtesy of the Mimi Foundation