As part of our recurring series of interviews, The Power of Her, featuring remarkable women, we are proud to present to you an interview with Elizaveta Bulokhova. Elizaveta, a renowned young fashion model, lost 95% of her jaw to cancer while being pregnant with her son. Her story is that of strength, determination and all-powerful motherly love.
Elizaveta Bulokhova is from Ontario, Canada. When she was 24-years-old and pregnant with her son, Valentin, she received a shocking diagnosis – an osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumor in her jawbone. Following a 16-hour long surgery to remove the tumor, she was told to terminate her pregnancy before undergoing chemotherapy. However, complications in post-surgery wound healing delayed chemotherapy and allowed her enough time – she safely delivered her son 10 weeks early via cesarean section.
Prior to the diagnosis, Elizaveta worked as a fashion model for over 7 years. We were honoured to photograph her in our studio and ask her a few questions about her views for the future, goals in life and what gave her the strength to go through this life-changing experience.
WHAT ARE YOU FOCUSING ON RIGHT NOW?
Right now my main focus is to raise Valentin, shower him with family love and attention. Show him how wonderful this world can be.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AND ASPIRATIONS FOR THE FUTURE?
For now is just to take it day by day, take care of my health, my wellbeing. I am preparing myself mentally and physically for upcoming reconstructive surgeries possibly scheduled next year. Hopefully by than medicine will come up with creative, less complicated way to fix my jaw. It takes lots of energy, strength and patience to recover after surgeries. Post-surgery can have lots of complications and recovery process is not a fun ride.
Usually everything in my life happens spontaneously, quickly and last minute. One day I’m pregnant and the next I am diagnosed with bone cancer. My life is full of surprises. I accept my present and all the challenges life has to offer. I prefer not to make plans for future, I do dream a lot though & set short-term goals.
YOUR STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS INSPIRED THE WORLD AND ESPECIALLY THOSE BATTLING CANCER. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL PEOPLE GOING THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE?
- Have something to look forward each day, something that keeps you going and gives you reasons to wake up every morning with a smile.
- Everyday do things that make you happy. It can be anything (eating your favourite food, watching favourite show, take a bubble bath) something for you, that would bring joy.
- Write everyday on a piece of paper or personal notebook ten things that you love about yourself.
- Write down all the positive things you can think of that happened to you same day.
- Remember tough time doesn’t last forever. If you have done everything that is in your power let universe take care of the rest.
- Try to stay focus on your next step.
- Problems always have solutions. Find solutions that make your life easier, even if it will be just a tiny fix.
- Speak up! Ask lots of questions!
- next time you are feeling shitty challenge yourself to come up with ten things which are awesome that you like thinking about, that makes you happy and you look forward to.
- No matter how hopeless and painful and difficult choices you have to make, you have to keep going because things can change very quickly
- If something is not going the way it is planned, it’s not always a bad thing.
- Believe in yourself
- You are stronger than you know
- Take it easy on yourself
- You are not alone
That’s what cancer does – it takes away parts of you, gives you crazy number of challenges to handle, tests your patience, breaks you apart. But at the end how I feel bout myself is my choice. Today I choose to feel happy, beautiful, to love myself and to accept myself the way I am and that’s all what matters.
HOW DID YOU LIKE WORKING WITH Lora @ Kissed by Light studio?
I had an amazing experience working with Lora at Kissed by light studio. It was really easy to work with her and the team. Lots of light and positive energy. The attitude and professionalism made me feel comfortable and confident in myself. I didn’t even notice how time flew by.
Thank you for being our muse, Elizaveta. We wish you many many years of love, beauty, health and happiness and hope to see you again in our studio!
Styling by Ameri Ozigis, Kissed by Light Photo Studio
Photography by Lora Vertue, Kissed by Light Photo Studio
Some gifts are bittersweet. Our beautiful muse, Miss L, wanted to surprise her boyfriend, who was leaving shortly after, with a gift of boudoir images. Since the early days of photography, women gave their men photographs of themselves, a going away gift to keep their loved ones’ spirits up, a photograph to cherish and look at in times both good and difficult, and when there are no other means of communication – to be reminded of and reassured in each other’s love. Mixing both glamour and “girl-next-door” looks, sensual and sweet, we created a selection of images of our beautiful muse that left her boyfriend speechless. Thank you for being our muse, Miss L, we wish you both luck and happiness!
Enjoy our selection!
As part of our recurring series of interviews, The Power of Her, featuring female artists we love, we want to present to you an interview with a founder and owner of Anouk Jewelry, Anat Kaplan. Enjoy her story and breathtaking photographs featuring her latest collection photographed by Lora Vertue.
Please tell us about your jewelry and unique style that defines your current designs.
I create fine jewelry inspired by nature and the ancient world. The bohemian and rustic look of my creations is achieved by hand carving, which results in highly sculptural and textured designs. I love working in all shades of gold, incorporating natural gemstones, especially raw diamonds and green sapphires.
What are your sources of inspiration?
I draw inspiration from the organic elements, especially water, its colours, flow and shimmer, and the textures that compliment it, like sand and rocks. I’d like my pieces to echo the raw beauty of nature, and to evoke that serene feeling of timelessness.
How did you decide to become a jewelry artist, tell us about your background?
I come from visual arts background; I fell in love with ancient jewellery during my university years studying art history. I took a course on ancient Greece and Rome and they showed us some jewellery pieces that blew me away. These treasures had so much character and personality, they really spoke to me. Still today ancient jewellery is endless source of inspiration.
Who are your clients, what kind of people come to you?
My clients are those who look for something different than the traditional wedding jewelry. They are often nature lovers, or creative folk, who appreciate local, artisanal pieces.
Often people come to me in search of a unique piece that would reflect their personality and those are my favourite clients to work with. Together we translate their story into gems and metals, creating a one of a kind, bespoke piece of jewelry.
Please tell us about your recent collection.
My most recent collection is the Golden Leafs line (http://anoukjewelry.com/product-category/collections/golden-leaves/), it was born in anticipation of spring after a long winter, and it’s all about growth, renewal and awakening.
How did you feel about working with KBL’s Lora Vertue on the recent photoshoot?
Shooting with Lora is always a big treat for me. I’ve worked with many photographers, but Lora’s impeccable style, great attention to detail and professionalism truly stand out.
But most of all, she’s a true artist with a unique creative vision and an amazing talent for capturing beauty. I can’t wait to work with her again!
Where can we find your jewellery?
My line is also available at:
Made You Look, 1338 Queen Street West, Toronto, Canada
Magpie Jewellery Westboro, 430 Richmond Road, Ottawa, Canada
Magpie Jewellery Glebe, 799 Bank Street, Ottawa, Canada
FireWorks Gallery, 1569 Barrington Street, Halifax, Canada
Gallery of Jewels, 4089 24th Street, San Francisco, USA
Photography: Lora Vertue of Kissed by Light Studio
Model: Fredau Wallace
Styling: Ameri Ozigis of Kissed by Light Studio
MUA: Irene Sy
Sometimes you don’t need an elaborate outfit to achieve a boudoir look and classy, sensual photographs. When getting ready for a boudoir photoshoot, many of our muses are concerned which outfits to bring to the studio. Some wonder what type of lingerie would work best for their boudoir photo session, what to do if their home lingerie collection does not seem sufficient enough and whether they should buy a few new sets of bras and bodysuits (after all, a photoshoot is a great excuse to update the wardrobe!). Not everyone has a large collection of lingerie at home, or is able to spend hours scouting lingerie boutiques for unique outfits. While we strongly recommend to bring a variety of outfits to the shoot (lace, silk, classic lingerie pieces all work very well for our boudoir sessions and we love photographing unique pieces too! – see our Shopping Guide article), sometimes less is more and one simple item such as a dress shirt, a cozy cardigan, stretchy t-shirt or a blazer can make as much of a statement as an intricate lingerie outfit. For our boudoir photoshoot with a beautiful blue eyed muse, Miss M, we’ve mostly used just one outfit – her partner’s dress shirt in basic white and a pair of plain white panties. It proved to be one of the most versatile and sexy outfits, which allowed us plenty of room for creativity. Miss M’s natural beauty and sweet personality shined through every image and the simplicity of the outfit only highlighted her most beautiful features. Thank you for being our muse, Miss M!
Enjoy our selection!
Our beautiful muse, Miss S, chose an airy bohemian theme for her maternity photoshoot. Miss S brought unique, ethereal outfits in delicate pastels and lovely floral headpiece for a session in our photo studio. Her flowy, lace embellished dresses in neutral palette emphasized the gentle shapes, curves and elegance of maternity. We took a few portraits of Miss S and her husband as well, capturing beautiful gentle moments between them, their love shining through every photograph we took. Thank you for being our muse, Miss S!