NW Ohio Photographer Encourages Families to Find Beauty in their Scars

. April 1, 2016.
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For children— who often bear scars from medical conditions or other trauma— scars are normal parts of everyday life. 

Capturing the beauty in scars, and the glow of the children who wear them, nurse Brittany Decker, from Elmore, Ohio, has been a photographer since 2012 and first started taking maternity, newborn, early childhood and family portraits. Decker recently began a new project, #prideinyourscars, featuring children and adults who have scars from medical conditions.

“A lot of people are ashamed of their scars, but they’re a part of us,” said Decker. “They are a testament to the road travelled and a big part of [someone’s life] story.” 

All in the family 

The series began when her sister, Ashley, and brother-in-law, Danny, became pregnant with their first child. Danny, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer and doctors told them that they only had one chance before he began chemo to have a child. After their miracle baby was born, they went on to have another child. Shortly after, Decker took a photo of Danny with his two daughters. 

After this first photo, Decker reached out to her second sister, Amy Slates, whose son, Carson, has a scar from two separate Cystic Fibrosis surgeries performed when he was an infant. 

“He came at 31 weeks. It was a very stressful and difficult time for us,” said Amy Slates. “We call him our miracle baby. He doesn’t mind the scars at all— they’re his battle wounds.”

Joy and awareness

Brittany began the project to encourage and empower people with scars to take pride in their bodies. Brittany didn’t anticipate that the photos would help raise awareness for conditions or diseases that are often extremely rare. 

After taking photos of Ethan who suffers from Prune Belly Syndrome— a rare disorder that is characterized by partial or complete absence of the abdominal muscles— she received messages from people (previously unaware of the syndrome} who had viewed the photos. 

“All of the little kids with scars have been the happiest kids. They come in with all smiles,” said Decker. “It reminds me of how fortunate we are to have our  lives— there’s always someone going through something so much worse.”

To see Brittany’s photos, and read 
the amazing stories of the featured 
children, visit her  Facebook page, 
“Brittany P Photography”.