“It all began at a regular business portrait session (2018) that I had with a woman professional and fellow young mother , who was looking to update her LinkedIn profile image. ’’ recalled Nithya.
As a practice, Nithya conducts pre-shoot consultation prior to every photo shoot to understand little more about her clients, to help them prep for their shoot offering them outfit guidance etc.
"This helps me get to know them a bit better and bring out their true essence in the images I capture", says Nithya.

During the consultation prior to the shoot, coincidentally on October (26th ) , the young lady opened up about being a stage 3 Breast Cancer survivor.
She mentioned that having taken part in one of those #Pinktober check ups for breast cancer awareness helped her recognize her condition.
She shared about the harsh treatment process, the ordeals she faced as a mother and, how her family and undeterred hope for a better day helped her through the tough days fighting cancer.
She also mentioned how owing to lack of acceptance amongst her society, she struggled to survive through in silence.
Nithya shares, “ She mentioned her concerns of having scanty eyebrows and eyelashes from all the chemotherapy treatment. With a desire to boost her confidence and to applaud her incredible strength, I decided offer the photo shoot as a gift inclusive of makeup by a professional artist.”
Nithya's eyes were opened to a whole new world, to the effects of breast cancer , to the importance of early detection and to the hardships faced by a fellow mom and a woman.

"As a young mother myself, I was deeply touched by her story. I could sense her fear being in front of the camera after long. She was concerned about her scanty eyebrows and eyelashes and the change in her skin texture owing to the chemo. I sensed that cancer had changed how her body used to be. To me she was nothing but beautiful. All I could see in front of me was a woman of great strength, passion and positivity. And felt I honored to photograph this amazing woman. "
With the desire to boost her confidence and to applaud her incredible strength, I decided to gift her the photoshoot and collaborated with a makeup artist who helped highlight her natural beauty and alleviate any lack of confidence if all", shared Nithya.

Nithya dwells on certain finer aspects of the photography process. She explained, " Our eyes are like the windows to the soul. During every photo session, there are a few seconds where the eyes of the subject, simply light up. Their eyes connect with me and my lens, images captured in that moment, capture the true beautiful essence of that individual.
In those moments my camera shared with the lady, all I could see was a true Phoenix , a strong beautiful woman whose spirit and inner core was untouched by Cancer. It was a delight to watch the young mom & cancer warrior shine in front of my camera."- Nithya.

Soon after the shoot, while together viewing the images on Nithya's camera, the lady remarked, "I am so glad to be alive, to see myself the way you have photographed me." Her emotional words struck deeply with Nithya.
"Though I knew, I was doing something nice, I didn't until that moment realize that a simple act, could have such a profound effect on another being. I knew it was much beyond the photographs. For the first time, she saw how far she had come, she saw the beautiful strong powerful woman she truly was. It became my mission to offer this experience to many more Breast Cancer survivors, mothers and to those who have been gracefully fighting breast cancer. "

It was then that Nithya decided to create and organise a probono photography project that honors and celebrates the brave warriors of Breast Cancer. And #PINKDAYTOSHINE was born.
"While searching for a name for the project, I knew it should not carry the heaviness of the word "fighter" not have the word "Cancer" in it.
And one morning the word ‘SHINE’ came up and I thought to myself, ‘A day celebrating the inner light , inner strength and zest for life carried by these ladies , a day for them to truly SHINE" . It was a word that captured what I envisioned.
Though ", Nithya says.
"I wish to take the power away from the cancer and give power to the amazing individuals who truly deserve it. A project dedicated to those who have shown strength and risen like a Phoenix despite all the odds.
A day for them to truly shine!"
-Nithya Rajkumar
Nithya recollects her concern of how her condition of Breast Cancer wasn’t well accepted in her community. Respecting the lady's wishes, Nithya has kept her name anonymous.

"Sharing stories of Breast Cancer warriors & together raising awareness and normalizing conversations around it is the 2nd purpose under PINKDAYTOSHINE ", shares Nithya

#PINKDAYTOSHINE is now celebrated every OCTOBER 26th .
Every year 10 to 12 Breast Cancer warriors keen to share their cancer journey and personal message are invited for a photoshoot and casual get-together open exclusively for the survivors and fighters of breast cancer, it is a day to connect and share the zest for life with one-another. The photographs are taken against a beautiful backdrop and special refreshments & gifts are organized for the participants. It’s not easy to talk about the most vulnerable days of your life. Yet these women come forward with the hope of helping others. "The portrait images and personal messages captured, tell stories of hope, positivity and resilience and have the power to catapult someone out of their darkest moments. It has the power to give hope and strength to someone coping with Breast Cancer.", shares Nithya

Nithya thanks all those who supported her and her vision.
Nithya shares, "This probono event wouldn't have been special without the support of some compassionate brands and individuals who equally feel for the cause. They came forward and offered their services to support the event and gifts for the participants probono."

As a photo project ,the support and encouragement offered by NIKON MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA lending their voice as the official imaging partner has been invaluable.
Rove Hotels sponsoring their lovely Marina space & catering , professional makeup artists, Grandstores LLC, Dr Sunny's Health Care Group and hearty women run small businesses in UAE offering gifts towards the goodie bags.
Behind every brand were individuals who were deeply passionate about the cause, some of whom had a personal experience of Breast Cancer in their family.

"Though I initiated the project,I FEEL THE PROJECT CHOSE ME AND IT HAS A PURPOSE OF ITS OWN. Each year expanding its wings to reach out to more with a strong vision to give hope to those coping with Breast Cancer and to create awareness in others. "

2022 marks the 4th official year of #PINKDAYTOSHINE.

This year again Nithya joins hands with like-minded socially responsible brands and individuals who support her in celebrating breast cancer warriors, uplifting their spirits and together raising awareness on breast cancer and on the importance of early detection.
Since the onset of pandemic, the photoshoot is organized over two days. This year the shoot will include 13 Breast Cancer warriors, with the shoot organized on 16th Oct in Abu Dhabi and 22nd Oct in Dubai.

The #PINKDAYTOSHINE 2022 get-together is an online the Zoom session that is scheduled on 26th of October. The official unveiling of PINKDAYTOSHINE 2022 photographs will be done by the General Manager of Nikon Middle East.
Nithya is organizing a great line up of speakers - including an oncologists, a mental health specialist and an oral health specialist offering valuable insights. The online event will also have few of #PINKDAYTOSHINE 2022 participants share their experience and positive message to others.
This session is open to all, especially those coping with Breast Cancer, their family members and Breast Cancer survivors. You can login from any part of the world.

In 2019, Nithya organized the 1st #PINKDAYTOSHINE in Dubai. #PINKDAYTOSHINE extended a special portrait photoshoot inclusive of makeup to 10 Breast Cancer warriors who volunteered to raise awareness. As a token of appreciation for coming forward to share their story and to applaud their strength and positivity, a small goodie bag with special gifts were offered to the participants of the photoshoot.
"While the photoshoot lifts the spirits and shares the story of some brave warriors of Breast Cancer, the getogether was equally important as a platform for the women to connect and share their personal stories.", shares Nithya . The casual getogether in 2019 saw over 40 lovely ladies, each of whom had a unique Breast Cancer journey and an inspiring story to tell.

The PINKDAYTOSHINE 2020 photo shoot was organized over 2 days in Dubai, with all Covid safety measures.
PINKDAYTOSHINE had a purpose beyond the photo project.
Having met over 40 women with diverse stories of battling through Breast Cancer, each with the power to inspire & give hope to someone coping with cancer, Nithya knew the get-together had to happen.
As it was midst the pandemic, Nithya organized the casual get-together on 26th October as an online zoom session. Being online, it was now open to Breast Cancer warriors and their family members from around the world. The desire to reach out to women back in her home country India was becoming a reality.
The virtual get-together had over 180 registrations, with participants from various Emirates of UAE, Germany, Canada, USA , India and Nithya's home state of Kerala, India. In 2020, it became PINKDAYTOSHINE's mission to offer more than just a get together for Breast Cancer warriors. The event saw a panel of medical experts who offered insights on importance of early detection, surgery & post care, on the importance of self care and mental wellness, and on how to cope with this medical condition. The guests speakers also addressed questions from the various participants.
Nithya had no hopes of organizing Pinkdaytoshine in October 2020, owing to a head injury from an accident in September that year. But a call from a woman who had participated in PINKDAYTOSHINE 2019, who shared how her speaking up made a huge difference to her friend who got diagnosed with early stage breast cancer . “I didn’t fully realize the impact PINKDAYTOSHINE could create until then. So I lifted myself up and went ahead with it,” says Nithya.

#PINKDAYTOSHINE 2021 too followed the pattern of 2020 event. The photo shoot was organized over two days, however this time we extended our reach to Cancer warriors in AbuDhabi and Al Ain with a one day shoot organized in Rotana Yas Island.
With the desire to empower women back in her home state of Kerala, Nithya organized a remote photoshoot for a Breast Cancer warrior making her the 12th participant of #PINKDAYTOSHINE 2021.

"Special thanks to Nikon Middle East & Africa ; Rove Middle East , the Doctors - Dr Muhamed Al- Bashir, Dr Rafia, Dr Jeena, Dr Humaid Al Shamsi, Dr Rekha ; Makeup artists - Koshaa, Priyanka, Paula, Naila, Mehreen and Sonia, for their wonderful work and thanks to all the brands and individuals who came forward and supported this project probono over the years. The lovely ladies at PINKLADIES breast cancer support group for always spreading the word.I would also like to thank each of the Breast Cancer warriors who participated in #PINKDAYTOSHINE for trusting me and my project #PINKDAYTOSHINE.

I wish to give a special mention to my darling daughter, who is a pre-schooler and takes on the responsibility of packing all the lovely gifts into the goodie bags each year for the "PINKDAYTOSHINE SUPER WARRIORS" as she calls them. "- Nithya Rajkumar FOUNDER #PINKDAYTOSHINE

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Nithya Rajkumar Photography LLC