THE STORY OF #PINKDAYTOSHINE


#PINKDAYTSOHINE
LIFTING SPIRITS & EMBRACING STRENGTH

The idea of PINKDAYTOSHINE was sparked during a regular personal branding shoot Nithya had with her client.
A woman professional (let's adress her as Z**) , approached Nithya for some photos to update her Linkedin profile image, as she was looking to get back to work. Nithya conducts regular pre-shoot discussions prior to every photoshoot to understand her client, prep for their outfit etc.
"This helps me bring out the true essence of each individual through the images I capture", says Nithya.
During one such client discussion Z** revealed that she is a survivor of stage 3 breast cancer. She shared her story, and mentioned that having taken part in one of those #pinktober check ups for breast cancer awareness helped her recognize her condition. She shared stories of her troubled days, the ordeals as mother, how her family & undeterred hope for a better day helped her through the tough days fighting cancer.
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 & a woman.

"I could sense her fear being in front of the camera. Eyelashes and eyebrows barely present and the change in skin texture owing to the chemo seemed to be some of her primary concerns. 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."​
I decided to extend the shoot for free and collaborated with a makeup artist who helped highlight her natural beauty & alleviate any lack of confidence if at all Z** carried. I am often like a cheerleader behind the camera, cheering on & boosting the confidence of my clients. I could see Z** shine & bloom in front of my camera. "- Nithya

Soon after the shoot, while viewing the images on Nithya's camera, Z** 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 as such, could have such a profound effect on another being. That day, I learned that sometimes a small act of lifting the spirit and morale of a person can be enough to create a positive and lasting impact. It became my mission to offer this experience to many more survivors, fellow mothers and to those who have been gracefully fighting breast cancer.", says Nithya

It was then that Nithya decided to create and organise a probono photography project that honors & celebrates the brave warriors of Breast Cancer. #PINKDAYTOSHINE was born.
"The word ‘SHINE’ came up and I thought to myself, ‘A day celebrating the inner light & zest for life carried by these ladies , a day for them to truly SHINE" . It was a word that made sense for what I envisioned.", 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
Respecting Z** 's wishes Nithya has kept her name anonymous. Nithya recollects Z**'s concerns of how her condition of Breast Cancer wasn’t well accepted in her community.
"Sharing stories of Breast Cancer warriors & together raising awareness & normalizing it became my 2nd purpose under PINKDAYTOSHINE."- shares Nithya

#PINKDAYTOSHINE is celebrated every OCTOBER 26th , and shares stories of hope & inspiration , it elevates the spirits and it oozes with positive vibes. It is a casual get-together open exclusively for the survivors and fighters of breast cancer, it is a day to connect & share the zest for life with one-another. It’s not easy to talk about the most vulnerable days of your life. Yet these women come forward in hopes to help others.

In 2019, Nithya organized the 1st #PINKDAYTOSHINE in Dubai. #PINKDAYTOSHINE extended a special portrait photoshoot inclusive of makeup to 10 Breast Cancer warriors who have volunteered to raise awareness. As a token to appreciation for coming forward to share their story and to applaud their strength and positivity, PINKDAYTOSHINE offers a small goodie bag with special gifts 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 & an inspiring story to tell.

Nithya thanks all those who supported her & her vision. Nithya shares, "This probono event wouldn't have been special without the support of some amazing brands & individuals."
They came forward & offered services and gifts. Nikon MEA lending their voice as imaging partner , Rove Hotels sponsoring the space , professional makeup artists - Gracie , Kosha Vora, Paula Goia , Priyanka Sarkar and women run small businesses offering gifts towards the goodie bag. Behind every brand were individuals who were deeply passionate about the cause, some of whom had lost a close family member to Breast Cancer.

#PINKDAYTOSHINE 2020
The PINKDAYTOSHINE 2020 shoot was organized over 2 days, with all Covid safety measures.
As it was amidst the pandemic, Nithya decided to continue to conduct the casual get-together on 26th October , however she moved it to an online zoom session. Being online, it was now open to Breast Cancer warriors and their family members from around the world. The virtual get-together had over 180 registrations, with participants from various emirates of UAE, Germany, Canada, USA , India and Nithya's home state Kerala. This year, it became Nithya's mission to offer more than just a get together for Breast Cancer warriors. The event saw a panel of medical experts who threw insights on importance of early detection, surgery & post care, on the importance of self care & mental wellness & on how to cope with this medical condition. The guests speakers also addressed questions from the varios participants.

Nithya had no hopes of organising Pinkdaytoshine in last year owing to an accident in September 2020. But then she got a call from a woman who had participated in PINKDAYTOSHINE 2019. The woman spoke of her friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and how her speaking up made a huge difference to her friend. “I didn’t fully realize the impact PINKDAYTOSHINE could create until then. So I lifted myself up and went ahead with it,” Nithya says.

2021 marks the 3rd official year, and again Nithya joins hands with like-minded socially responsible brands & 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.

For the #PINKDAYTOSHINE 2021 Zoom session scheduled on 26th of October, Nithya is organizing a great line up of speakers - including an oncologist, a senior nursing staff, an oral health specialist, a dermatologist , a mental health specialist offering valuable insights to those managing Breast Cancer. The online event will also have few #PINKDAYTOSHINE warriors share their experience & positive message to others.


"Special thanks to Nikon Middle East & Africa , the official imaging partner for lending their voice & for all the encouragement, Rove Middle East the official location partner for Dubai offering their lovely Marina space & catering , Makeup artists - Koshaa, Paula & Priyanka, for the wonderful work & support consistently over the past 3 years. And thanks to all the brands and individuals who came forward and supported this project over the years. I would also like to thank the Breast Cancer warriors for trusting me & my project #PINKDAYTOSHINE."

"I wish to give a special mention to my darling daughter, who is a pre-schooler as takes on the responsibility of packing all the lovely gifts into the goodie bags for the "PINKDAYTSHINE SUPER WARRIORS" as she calls them. All cheering me all the way, every year. Amma loves you"- Nithya Rajkumar

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Nithya Rajkumar Photography LLC