Dave and Cathy have a love story that goes all the way back to when they were little kids, sneaking kisses in the closet during a game of Hide and Seek or under the bushes outside playing Capture the Flag.
“Dave and I met when he was nine years old and I was seven years old. His sister, Michele, was my best friend growing up so I spent a lot of time at their house,” she said.
Though they never dated and each grew up, got married and had children of their own, Dave and Cathy reconnected several years later after a couple of failed marriages and a devastating cancer diagnosis for Cathy.
On July 14, 2010 she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She had to have part of her left kidney removed.
“I was extremely sick during that time so it took 18 months for my blood counts to come up to levels where the docs were not freaking out. My body struggling to heal triggered an autoimmune disease and I started losing patches of hair in 2011,” said Cathy, who added that she tried to hide the severity of her diagnosis from Dave initially by covering up with hats and wigs.
“Dave knew I was wearing hats and hiding something but he had no idea just how bad it was until I just totally gave up and shaved it all off.”
She was so nervous he would bolt when she shaved her head, but Dave surprised her.
She continued, “I told him my medical history when we reconnected back in 2013 and told him he could get out if he wanted to, but he said he wasn’t going anywhere,” said Cathy.
“He said he wasn’t going anywhere and kissed my head when I shaved it!”
Taking control and owning her looks gave Cathy the boost of confidence she didn’t even realize she was missing. And the fact that Dave not only supported her through this, but told her she was even sexier bald made her smile more than she had in years.
“I decided to rock my bald look! When I looked into Dave’s eyes I saw love but I also saw how proud he was of me for being bold and he told me I had never been more sexy!”
When Cathy discovered Allebach Photography’s couples boudoir sessions through a former cake decorating student of hers she decided she HAD to do one.
“For me, I wanted to show everyone who sees these pictures that bald is beautiful and sexy! I know so many women (and men) through social media with alopecia in various stages and levels of hair loss. There are so many children out there with this disease also. At 41 this disease was horrible to deal with but I cannot imagine being a child with this. People are defined by their hair!”
She shared some photos with Dave and asked if it was something he’d be interested in doing, not sure how he would respond, him being the conservative and reserved one of the two. Lucky, he surprised her by saying he would LOVE to and so the couple drove the three hours from Binghamton, NY. to the studio in North Wales, PA.
Cathy says they did the session for so many reasons, from wanting to capture their unique connection, to inspiring others, to just proving that being 50 and bald can be sexy.
“Dave is 50 and I am 49 and we wanted to prove 50 is still sexy! We will never be this young again, so let’s record this point on our lives with pictures that we can look at when we are 95 and say, ‘yep! We were sexy!’”
Cathy and Dave’s session was both sexy and fun, exactly the way their relationship is in real life. At one point, Cathy jumped out dressed head to toe in a zebra print oneise.
“When we were talking about the shoot, from the beginning I told him I was going to wear footy pajamas! It is a running joke with us because, at most, I wear cheekies to bed! So when I was down to cheekies and he was down to his Calvin Klein’s, I said. ‘oh shit! I forgot something! Zipped behind the curtain to where my bag was, whipped on my footie pajamas and came out in my zebra print jammies and jumped on the bed!”
Cathy has always identified herself as a free spirit and so taking her clothes off for some more intimate photos was no big deal, she says. And as for Dave, he put his trust fully in Cathy and Mike.
“I really wasn’t sure how Dave would feel when it came to the shoot but he trusted me and Mike and just went with it.”
Some of her favorite photos from their session are the ones that simply convey their sensuality and closeness with each other, like the one where Dave is staring lovingly at her body or their hands are locked during a kiss.
“I see two people who have been through so much but are stronger together and holding each other up and so loving. I was hoping Mike would capture how Dave looks at me, and he did.”
Cathy is already looking forward to her next session with the studio. When she turns 50 next year she wants to do a solo shoot that focuses on bald beauty and strength.
“When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was really a wakeup call for me. What was I doing with my life? When I die, what will people remember about me? What will people say when they think of me? What do people think now when they think of me? I want everything that I put out into the universe to be positive, loving, full of life! I want to inspire anyone dealing with this disease to stop hiding! It is OK to be bald and to embrace it!”
Book your couples boudoir session by calling 610.539.6920 or going to http://allebachphotography.com/contact/