Underwater Healer About Face Underwater Healer About Face

Nou Magazine

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Happy Thursday! This week has just flown by. It’s been another fantastic week - I’m so happy to share with you all that NOU Magazine, an online cancer magazine for cancer survivors, featured my work! I submitted an essay entitled “Healing Effects of Water – One Cancer Survivor’s Way of Helping Others Heal” and was thrilled when the contacted me to tell me they had chosen it to publish! NOU Magazine is part of the Women Survivors Alliance, and event who’s mission is to establish a network where women affected by cancer can find their voice, improve their quality of life, and embrace their 2nd Acts. They empower, educate, and connect women whose lives have been touched by cancer. Their publication, NOU Magazine, is not just an online magazine or blog, it’s a digital community that gives cancer survivorship a voice - written and spoken - all over the world. It’s a wonderful place that shares motivational stories of female survivors sharing their gifts of life and experience with the world. They want to move people. They want to amuse people. But most of all, they want to motivate. They motivate others to find themselves again after cancer. It was very much a perfect fit to share my story with NOU Magazine. My aim is to help cancer survivors experience the healing effects of water immersion and to encourage survivors to see themselves as beautiful through portraits. I assist them with their own transformation, just as NOU Magazine aims to assist...

Sign Up Now For an Underwater Transformative Daycation!

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Join us Saturday, May 14th, in San Jose for a half day dedicated to transforming your body, mind and soul - all while having a fun time - the Underwater Transformative Daycation! I’m excited to be teaming up with a personal trainer, body builder and nutritionist, who will work with you to start a change both inside and out. Then, we’ll rediscover your beauty, heal emotional scars, and improve self-esteem through an underwater photo therapy session. Start the Transformative Daycation at noon with an introduction and then at 12:30 we’ll dive in with a hour body sculpt transformation class. After a break and some healthy snacks, we’ll jump into an emotional transformation with an underwater photography shoot with yours truly! All participants will receive one group shot and one individual portrait. We will then end the day with a nutritional education class for maximum wellness. We then will all enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal with wine together before parting ways. It’s sure to be a fun, engaging and enlightening experience not to be missed! Spots for this Transformational Daycation are extremely limited - only eight slots are available! Sign up now to ensure you participation and lock in the early bird price of $275. Please contact me with any questions. And as an added bonus, proceeds go towards my Underwater Healer About Face Project! No cancer survivor pays for their transformational underwater portrait shoot - attending one of my events or booking a portrait shoot yourself helps support my work. I...

Wigs for Kids

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As some of you may know, I just celebrated a birthday! I spent it with many people I hold dear and loved every moment of it. Thank you to every one of my family and friends who sent lovely birthday wishes or helped me celebrate. It was a wonderful day and this year is going to be the best one yet! For this birthday, I wanted to do something extra special - something that would make a difference. A friend of mine suggested I look into Wigs for Kids, an awesome organization that creates wigs for children that suffer from hair loss due to illness. Wigs and hair replacement treatment is always covered 100% at no cost to the families. There are many ways you can support a child through their organization - either through sponsoring a child’s hair replacement treatment for a year, a monetary donation or a hair donation. It’s a wonderful charity and I was so moved by their mission that I decided I would donate my own hair for a child’s wig!  See my dramatic birthday transformation below! Change is wonderful and I’m thrilled that I was able to help make a difference in a child’s life. The hairpieces and treatments Wigs for Kids obtain for children in need help boost their self-esteem and not feel self conscious about being “different”. Growing up is hard enough, and battling a difficult illness is something no child should ever have to go through. I am happy to go through my...

Inspiring Young Minds

Underwater Healer About Face
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As you may remember, one of my resolutions for 2016, is to increase my speaking engagement frequency - and yes, still aiming for that TED Talk! I’m so excited to tell you that am speaking at not one, but two, college photography classes this month! First, I’ll be speaking at City College San Francisco in mid-April, and shortly thereafter at City College San Jose. I’m excited to share my passion with young, budding photographers. My work, and my Underwater Healer project, has evolved so much over the years. I’ve learned and grown so much. I’m excited to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned and hopefully inspire THEM to tell their own empowering stories. Hopefully this is a great opportunity for me and the students alike and that they will also find an interest in my project sharing survivor stories. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll find myself leading them in a workshop because they discovered an interest in underwater photography! The possibilities are endless. I’m also happy to try out some of my new-found presentation skills and tips I learned at a public speaking workshop I attended earlier this year! I am taking my resolution very seriously and am proud at myself for accomplishing what I have so far this year. I have a few more surprises in the works that will bring me even closer to my goal. Stay tuned, only good things are...

Announcing The Transformative Daycation!

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The Empowering Transformative DAYCATION I’m very excited to let you all in on a secret project I’ve been working on! I’m thrilled to share I will be co-hosting a Transformative Daycation with Chelsea Good! Join us for a day dedicated to transforming your body, mind and soul - all while having a fun time! Start the Transformative Daycation with Chelsea, who will lead us in an empowering body sculpt class. Chelsea - a personal trainer, body builder and nutritionist - will work with you to start a change both inside and out. After the body workout we jump into underwater transformation with an underwater healing photography with yours truly! Rediscover your beauty, heal emotional scars, and improve self-esteem through this mini underwater photo therapy session. All participants will receive one group shot and one individual portrait. We will then end the day with a nutritional education class, led by Chelsea, for maximum wellness. It’s sure to be a fun, engaging and enlightening experience not to be missed! Spots for this Transformative Daycation are extremely limited - only eight slots available! Sign up now to ensure your participation and lock in the early bird price of $275. Be sure to stay tuned for more details on this first-of-its-kind event! I look forward to hosting this event and many...

San Diego Trip Recap!

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I’m back in San Francisco after an amazing, whirlwind trip to San Diego to shoot three beautiful and strong cancer survivors.  As you may remember, this trip included working with two tattooed mastectomy survivors in collaboration with Shane Wallin, founder of Mastectomy Tattoo! It was incredible to meet him and see his work in person. In addition, I also was blessed to document a happy couple, one of which is a two time testicular cancer survivor, expecting their first child in May! It truly was an incredible weekend. Photos are coming soon, but in the meantime please read and watch their testimonials! JUANITA SAYS: It was my father’s birthday yesterday and this is dedicated to him and all cancer survivors. My underwater photo shoot was a great experience! I felt so free, happy and relaxed - to be underwater my soul was at peace. Underwater I was able to find joy. Having this experience alongside two other survivors was incredible; I am happy I was able to share that moment with them. Erena made me feel so comfortable and at ease, she is a great photographer. I would recommend anybody who survives anything traumatic to go for it - there’s peace in the water! Also, thank you Tony and Shane, my great tattoo artists, for helping me find my “sexy” back. There is beauty after breast cancer! I am a survivor hear me roar! 

TINA SAYS: I felt it was harder than it sounds! In turn, it was more fun than...

Available for Corporate Speaking!

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My first love is to be behind the camera and under water.  But some may not know that I also love to share my story and survivors’ stories in person. Two of my three most favorite 2015 moments were speaking engagements and I very much am excited to see where 2016 takes me with public speaking.  I love talking to small groups, large events and everything in between.  Whether it be an Apple Store presentation, speaking at a university or corporate function, I am enthusiastic and open to speaking at your event! I offer a unique, uplifting and empowering story that motivates employees to follow their passions and make a difference in the world.  I help others find their inner inspiration which encourages ambition.  Motivated employees are more satisfied with their jobs, are an integral part in your company’s productivity, work harder and are more satisfied - which leads to a higher retention rate and less employee turnover. Employees are unique individuals with unique ideas and values - they are looking for a unique corporate learning experience that leads to personal growth. If this interests you, I encourage you to contact me! I’m more than happy to share previous experiences at corporate events (such as Genentech) and how I can be of service to your organization.  Please check out my featurette and my press page for a sneak peek to the stories I love to share with others. My work has been featured by Buzzfeed, CBS News, USA Today, The Huffington Post,...

San Diego Update: Cancer Survivor + Maternity Shoot!

Travel, Underwater Healer About Face
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As you read last week, I am headed to San Diego March 12 - 14 for two transformational underwater shoots. I’m excited to announce a third portrait session has been scheduled, a first for me - a lovely couple who is expecting their first child and the father-to-be is a two-time Testicular Cancer survivor! Scott and Mandy are thrilled for their upcoming photo session.  Scott, who beat Stage 4 Testicular Cancer in 1999 and Stage 2 in 2004, and Mandy, who is expecting May 15th, have many reasons to celebrate and participate in my Underwater Healer project.  They were told they had less than 1% chance to conceive.  But thanks to hope, good energy, doctors and the modern practice of IVF, Mandy is now pregnant!  A very expensive undertaking, a GoFundMe page was created and successful helped fund the expensive procedure. Mandy and Scott have expressed how excited they are for their upcoming photo shoot and what they are looking forward to the most.  Scott says: “One way I can explain the feeling of cancer was the feeling of being trapped, secluded, and confined.  I was in the hospital for weeks at a time and sometimes so confined that I couldn't get out of bed.  Only immediate family members could come in the room after they were gowned up and cleaned; much like quarantine.  The freedom, calm, and limitless possibility of movement being underwater brings me happiness and takes me so far away from the confines of cancer and those dark memories.” They both...

Headed to San Diego!

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I’m thrilled to announce I’m headed to San Diego!  From March 12th - 14th I’ll be in sunny SoCal to shoot two tattooed mastectomy survivors in collaboration with Shane Wallin, founder of Mastectomy Tattoo!  Shane leads a tattoo studio built for breast cancer survivors to reclaim what cancer has taken from them. He does an amazing job and I am so excited to work with him and two of his tattoo recipients. The first mastectomy tattoo survivor is Juanita, a San Diego native. A two-time breast cancer survivor, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 in 1987 when she discovered a lump on her left breast while pregnant with her third child.  In 2010, Stage 2 breast cancer struck again, this time on her right breast.  She first saw mastectomy tattoos on Pink Ink Fund.  She was so happy to see pictures of tattoos covering the scars of surgery she cried.  She was joyful to know there is beauty after breast cancer. Juanita wants to participate in an underwater portrait shoot to help her mentally and physically cleanse her soul. She now knows there is beauty after breast cancer and wants to let women, men and children of all nationalities know there is hope and peace within. She dedicates her shoot to all woman who have battled breast cancer, especially those who died fighting.  She says, “Cancer breaks you down in all kinds of ways, but if you are strong we can conquer anything” and I agree!  I can’t wait to meet...

How We Can Heal Maui Yoga Retreat 2016 Recap

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I can’t believe the How We Can Heal Maui Yoga Retreat has come and gone!  I had an amazing time of relaxation and meditation with a wonderful group of people.  We laughed so much this past week - we all have amazing memories that we have taken home.  In fact, we had so much fun we forgot to take yoga pictures!  But have no fear, we did take underwater portraits!  You saw a few sneak peeks earlier this week on Facebook (see below!), stay tuned for more! I wanted to share feedback I received from two of the retreat participants.  It warms my heart to hear I have made a difference in someone’s life and also confirms I am on the right path with my work.  Feedback is critical and I am so thankful for their kind words! First is Participant A, who had a strong fear of water. Notice, I said had! :) “I was very apprehensive about the underwater photography session because I've always had a very strong fear of having my head under water. Erena has a wonderful gentle, beautiful spirit that touched me and helped me want to try to face and overcome my fear. I've come back to the yoga retreat for 3 years--and getting to work with Erena to face my fear was a major part of why I wanted to keep coming to Lumeria.  I Just finished my third year and I had so much fun in the water-- and more importantly, I feel so...