As a makeup artist who works on photo shoots, I‘ve had the thrill as well as the frustration that comes with working on top models, academy award winning actors, and luminaries in many fields of expertise. Getting up close and personal with people of all temperaments is literally part of the job description.
Forty-something years of experience did not prepare me for the emotions I’d have after working with FACE Stockholm’s National Women’s Day honoree, Dr. Sandra Lindsay.
It began as a typical advertising assignment. Photographer John Abbott and I went to Northwell Health on Long Island, N.Y. to shoot Ms. Lindsay on location for the New York Times. I found her to be a lovely, professional, soft-spoken delight to work with. John put on some Reggae music from her native Jamaica while he took photos, and our small crew danced and sang in the hospital room turned photo studio.
Sandra was photographed in her mask; I had only made up her beautiful eyes to avoid getting foundation on her white mask. When we finished, she asked if I wouldn’t mind finishing her full face because she had to hustle over to a video studio to pre-record her speech for the Presidential Inaugural program. Makeup and hair styling were not discussed for the recording. I told her, “I’m going with you, this is too important”.
On the drive over to the studio, we talked about the media circus and global spotlight that she’d been thrown into from the moment she’d volunteered to take a shot of the Covid 19 vaccine and unexpectedly became the first person in the United States to receive it. She had no idea this would happen at a press conference and that the photo of her receiving that first vaccine would be seen around the world and catapult her to sudden worldwide fame and fanfare. I advised Sandra to decide (and quickly) what she wanted from her fifteen minutes of fame; as a woman, mother/grandmother, healthcare provider, survivor, and eyewitness to the arrival and ensuing pandemonium that started the day the pandemic arrived at the doorstep of her hospital. Sandra is the Director of Critical Care, presiding over hundreds of nurses.
My brain was trying to comprehend that I was chatting with someone whose reach would go farther and deeper and was more important than anyone I had ever met. She will join the good company of the likes of RBG, Harriet Tubman, Greta Thunberg, Shirley Chisom, Rosa Parks. I was prepping and powdering while she was sitting on a still point in global history. Sandra continues in the honored tradition of remarkable women who break glass ceilings, and barely break a sweat. Sandra embodies grace under fire, and I got to choose her lipstick shade!
Since then, we’ve worked together several times over the past year, and I’ve taught her how to do her own makeup, so she is always at the ready.
Sandra remains steadfast in her commitment to global public health, exposing health disparity and racial inequity. This tiny warrior has become an unstoppable force for the better good.
I have recently joined the team here at Face Stockholm. It is with joy and gratitude that together, we honor Dr. Sandra Lindsay.
Photography by John Abbott