Women of Substance: The Doctor and the Neuro-Science Student

I had the honour and privilege of photographing the second mother-daughter team for the Women of Substance series over the weekend. The doctor, Shahri, and the neuroscience student, Melissa, are a power team that have weathered every storm that came their way, developing a friendship and bond that is a joy to experience.

Melissa has been my daughter Maike’s BFF ever since Kindergarten. From the moment they met they were two peas in a pod and kept closely in touch with each other even after we moved away from Berlin. You can’t even say it was a friendship that endured thanks to the internet, because these two just homed in to each other the moment Maike set foot in Berlin each summer. This year they celebrate 18 years of friendship, and it is fitting that Melissa grace the series with her lovely mother, Shahri, who has been more than a second mother to Maike.

Shahri and I are proof that you don’t need a daily dose of each other to maintain an authentic, profound and sincere understanding of one another. We could have completely lost touch over the years, but considering the closeness of our daughters I think that was a sheer impossibility. Nevertheless, we reconnected brilliantly and it was great fun to photograph two women, who couldn’t be greater opposites in terms of style preferences and degree of comfort in front of the camera.

For the complete series, click HERE

The photographs speak for themselves and will tell you a story that offers laughter, joy, sacrifice, patience, understanding, acceptance, and celebration of individuality. It was a lovely experience for me as a photographer to inaugurate part of my mobile studio gear, and practice my hand at directing. Establishing rapport is one thing, communicating what you want from the pose and angle is another, but getting people to smile naturally, genuinely enjoying themselves so that it radiates through the lens requires a bit of a stand-up comedy act. Well, I did promise myself to come out of my shell…

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