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News & Insight

The Light That Shines: Beauty in Tragedy Portrayed in Stunning Documentary

By Tanya Goodall Smith on March 6th 2013

Australian Photographer of the Year, Sue Bryce, and film director Hailey Bartholomew have created a stunning documentary telling the story of a young woman battling terminal breast and bone cancer.


When Bryce received an email about Jill Brzezinski-Conley’s desire to raise breast cancer awareness, she knew she had to be involved. Jill wanted to show other women and men they could still be beautiful and sexy, even with cancer.

Bryce and Bartholomew decided to take Jill to Paris for a dream photo and video shoot. The documentary and portraits created during the trip feature a glamorous Jill strolling through the iconic sites of Paris. Images of her double mastectomy, revealing the harsh reality of breast cancer, are also shown. Jill chose not to wear her prosthetic breast for the shoot, since she doesn’t usually wear it in real life.

The light that shines from her soul through what the world might call a “damaged” body is so beautifully portrayed by in this touching video, you might want to grab a box of tissues before watching.

Bryce and Bartholomew recently taught a workshop at CreativeLive about promoting a photography studio with video show reels where footage and examples of Jill’s Paris shoot were used.

Since the airing of the film last month, Jill and the creators of the film have appeared on the Today show and in several other news and media interviews. Jill’s hope in sharing her story is that more women will be educated about breast cancer and that women who already have cancer will feel confident and beautiful.

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Tanya Goodall Smith is the owner, brand strategist and commercial photographer at WorkStory Corporate Photography in Spokane, Washington. WorkStory creates visual communications that make your brand irresistible to your target market. Join the stock photo rebellion at

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting.

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