I wanted to photograph Eden during my previous trip to NYC. I thought she lived in Brooklyn, but when she texted me her address, it turned out to be in Queens, where her mother lives. Because I had several shoots planned that day, Queens was too far away and I had to pass on the opportunity. So in 2018 I got another chance, and this time we met in the apartment I was staying in. When I asked her about last time, the story came together. Before Eden left for Dubai for her modelling career, she found her mom in a coma after a stroke. Ever since that incident, Eden has been taking care of her, first in the hospital and then at home, where they returned for her slow recovery. At one point, being a bit clumsy because of sleep deprivation, Eden rode over her own foot while pushing her mom in her wheelchair. It took 3 years, 2 metal pins in her foot and 1 incredibly energetic character to bounce back. But she did, and I was honoured that her first shoot was with me. Eden moved like a gazelle, clumsily bumping against the furniture with a smile that made me smile. She’s an incredible person.

New York City, US

Photographer: Sander Dekker
Model: Eden