ViewBug community member ianpett  suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and put together a book called "SaltyGirls", about women living with Cystic Fibrosis. CF is a fatal genetic disease, with a median lifespan of only 41 years. In total, 77 women were photographed for the project throughout the USA and Canada over a period of about 6 months. Since the book came out roughly 2 years ago, 12 of the woman featured have since died of the disease. Luckily, the woman featured here (Bailey) is still with us. Bailey is a wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls, as well as an accomplished ballerina.

Where did you take this photo?

This photo was taken in the subject's home. As the entire project was a traveling project, the studio had to be very mobile.

Anything worth sharing about lighting?

Taken inside the subject's home, this was lit with one studio light. An AlienBees Ab1600 was used with a large Rotalux octabox, directly in front of subject. Backdrop was a large, portable collapsible white backdrop.

bailey, Cystic Fibrosis by ianpett

What equipment did you use?

Camera: Canon 5DMII with Sigma 35mm Art lens.

What inspired you to take this photo?

This image was part of a book called "SaltyGirls", about women living with Cystic Fibrosis. CF is a fatal genetic disease, with a median lifespan of only 41 years. In total, 77 women were photographed for the project throughout the USA and Canada over a period of about 6 months. Since the book came out roughly 2 years ago, 12 of the woman featured have since died of the disease. Luckily, the woman featured here (Bailey) is still with us. Bailey is a wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls, as well as an accomplished ballerina.

Did you do any post-processing? 

In the book, the women were featured in colour but for certain features and awards some of the photos were changed in RAW to black and white. This was done first in Lightroom, then the final tweaks were made in Photoshop using both NIK software and Totally Rad "Radlabs".

What equipment do you normally have in your bag?

Right now I am using a Sony A7rII with the Sony/Zeiss 35mm, and still using the PCB AlienBees light system with elinchrom modifiers. I also sometimes use the Voigtlander 65mm and Sony 85mm G lens. Soon I will be adding a 24 and 50mm Sigma e-mount lens as well. On some occasions for certain jobs I will rent gear as needed.

Any advice for others trying to capture something similar?

This is a tough project to describe. As the photographer, I ALSO have Cystic Fibrosis, so the entire project was very personal to me. I think that is what comes across more than anything - if the project truly touches you in a certain way, especially personal, then that will come through in the photos. Like many great portraits, you want the honesty to come through in the photos, and that is about having a rapport with the subjects. Sometimes its putting the subjects at ease, and other times its not!! Its about the tone of the project. Either way you DO have to know how to deal with people, how to deal with different personalities, etc. Some subjects are extreme introverts, others extremely extroverted. You have to know how to deal with both to get the photograph YOU want to get.