The Beauty Book: A Photographer's Tribute to a Lost Friend

With the help of some famous faces, photographer Darren Tieste brings attention to brain cancer.
Nov 4, 2011
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

In 2008 international photographer Darren Tieste lost one of his best friends to brain cancer. “Natalie was only 35 years old,” Darren tells TakePart.

In memory of her, Darren has dedicated the last three years to putting together The Beauty Book for Brain Cancer. The 312-page coffee-table book features photos of celebrities, musicians and models who donated their time to bring attention to brain cancer. Celebrities include Justin Bieber, Scarlett Johansson, Gerard Butler and Jessica Alba.

Scarlet Johansson on the cover of The Beauty Book for Brain Cancer. (Photo c/o Darren Tieste)

With the holidays right around the corner, this is a gift you can feel good about giving to your loved ones. One hundred percent of proceeds go to SNOG (Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group) and Head Rush—two charities that focus on brain cancer research. SNOG is an Australian charity, while Head Rush is based in the U.S.

Darren says Leonardo, Natalie’s husband of 12 years, was incredibly moved by the book and the outpouring of support. He was present on many of the shoots, and Darren remembers one session in particular that made an impact on Leonardo.

Denise Richards “was really touching” and opened up about losing her mother to cancer, Darren says. Hearing from other people who have gone through something similar has helped both Darren and Leonardo deal with losing Natalie. About 60 percent of the people who took part in the book were touched by cancer, Darren says.

Darren hopes to not only raise funds for brain cancer research, but to also raise awareness about the disease. “People haven’t really talked about brain cancer, yet it is one of the leading causes of death for people under 35,” he says.

Darren is happy to have gathered so many people together to “give brain cancer a voice” and we urge readers worldwide to buy a copy online here. The book will also be available in bookstores near you. The Beauty Book for Brain Cancer costs $39.99 USD.

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