Yosra El-Essawy

Remember when Beyonce’s team went on a frantic pursuit to get rid of all the singers unflattering photos on the internet? Well, this moved Beyoncé to ban photographers from her Mrs. Carter Tour and to hire an individual who could capture her in the best light possible. Yosra El-Essawy, a 32-year-old London native scored job of a lifetime: to photograph the 5-time Grammy-award winning singer on one of her most anticipated tours yet. However, her gig was cut short when she found out she was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer.

She wrote on her blog:

“My name is Yosra El-Essawy.  I am an artist and photographer, nomadic NY:LON (Londoner living in New York), recovering perfectionist with incurable photo OCD and Beyoncé’s official world tour photographer turned slug slayer.  In June 2013 whilst on Beyoncé’s ‘The Mrs Carter Show World Tour’ just shy of my 32nd birthday, I was diagnosed with stage 4, inoperable oeseophageal cancer.”

El-Essawy is using the space to chart her “blessed journey through cancer”, which has already presented some surprises:

“Doctors said they couldn’t cure me, that they could only hope to maintain my cancer, yet 3 days ago, we found out that it has reduced by 30% in just 3 chemo cycles. Shocked and perplexed, my doctors hugged and high fived me, looking at me with confused smiles on their faces. I am the talk of the department.”

In honor of her photographer, Beyoncé created a tribute vi3eo on her Tumblr page, which showcases El-Essawy’s journey from a wedding photographer to a celebrity photog.

Watch Beyonce’s tribute video.

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