Photography by Mapuana Reed Photography
Meet Tabitha. She is Beauty Revived.
Tabitha Tavares, 25, was born and raised in Hawaii and is a mother, wife to a beautiful little girl, and a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in January of 2014 with Stage IV Adult Hodgkin’s-Lymphoma and shares that “ Of course you hear the word “cancer” and it is the one word you do not want to hear because it is pretty much like a death sentence. ” Going through chemotherapy and treatment was physically straining but more than anything her self image had changed. “ I remember looking at myself in the mirror and I didn’t know who I was. I had no hair and I felt horrible. I was just a shell of myself, and I didn’t love myself. ” Having a two year old daughter at the time really gave Tabitha the motivation she needed to learn how to love herself and feel confident again. She felt stripped of her self identity; no hair, pale skin, and no energy to do the things she loved in life.
Tabitha reached out to Mapuana and expressed an interest in doing a photo shoot. They spoke on the phone several times and she shared how she felt the shoot was important because she felt she had lost her inner beauty. Her cancer was in remission and she was ready to celebrate the new Tabitha.
On the morning of the photo shoot, she had butterflies in her stomach because the day had finally come. The first time she saw herself in the mirror after having her hair and makeup professionally done, she was in awe of her reflection. She told us she has never felt so beautiful in her entire life. The transformation of inner beauty being brought outward was apparent in each shot taken. By the time we got to her third outfit, there was a confidence and beauty that radiated off Tabitha unlike before. It really was so much more than just a physical change made with makeup and hair; Tabitha seemed to be a new, refreshed version of herself. Mapuana asked Tabitha at the end of her shoot “ Do you feel like you have found Tabitha again?” Tabitha replied, “ I feel like I have found a better version of Tabitha than there ever could have been.” Tabitha also said, “ You never really realize how much beauty you have inside of you. I never knew how much beauty I had inside of me until today.”
About the Photographer
apuana Reed is a women’s photographer based in Hawaii. She specializes in bringing a woman’s inner beauty out. She photographs women through all stages of their lives, included 3-4 generation shoots, mother and daughter, maternity, glamour, boudoir, and family sessions. She began her photography business in California in 2009 before moving back to Hawaii.