BMJ Blog

We're With You Yosra - my Amazing Friend/First Assistant and Beyonce's Staff Photographer

Posted on September 23, 2013 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments

I'm sharing this story with sadness, awe and gratitude.  My dear friend who also was my first ever employee, was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness.  Her courage, perspective and story are so inspiring.

Recently, Yosra had been on tour with Beyonce as her photographer when she fell ill. Beyonce and her tour family put together this wonderful video where she shares her story. I hope you will watch it and join me in sending warm healing thoughts her way.

Yosraa and I met by chance in 2006  at The School of Visual Arts,  in a class for artists about creative expression and getting it together.  I was immediately taken with her openness and sensitivity and we quickly became friends.  At the time, she was determined to be a painter and even more determined to experience life in NY and everything it had to offer.   I think I casually mentioned my frustration photographing jewelry she generously  offered to help and invited her supermodel friend along!  Here are a few images from a fun photo shoot back then. The very beautiful Yomi Abiola, was our model and Michelle and I were helpers. Yosra, wishing you the health & happiness!  Thanks for being my friend.  XO   To join Team Slug Slayer and follow Yosra's journey more closely please visit her blog  Jewelry photo shoot 2006

Photographer Yosra El-Essawy, Model Yomi abiola, Key grips Michelle and Barbara Polinsky, Jewelry by Barbara Polinsky


A sad update to this article:

Yosra passed away at the age of 33 on October 25th 2014.  Shortly before her death friends and family surprised her exhibiting her work at a London gallery. Yosra generously shared the lessons she learned throughout her journey and battle with cancer. I will miss her playful optimism and her passion for life.  May she rest in peace.

Posted in BMJNYC News, Uncategorized