Beyonce’s Tour Photographer Yosra El-Essawy Loses Battle To Cancer

Yosra El-Essawy, the talented photographer that captured Beyonce’s sweeping Mrs. Carter World Tour, has unfortunately passed away at age 33. She lost her battle with Stage 4, inoperable esophageal cancer, which she was diagnosed during her time on the international tour. Aside from shooting Beyonce as she conquered the stage, the British-Egyptian artist also contributed to Bey’s 2015 calendar, shot everything from weddings to the Egyptian revolution and even had a London photography exhibit last year called “Eye.Soul: A Constant Work In Progress.” Yosra was very transparent about her health and her treatments after her diagnosis, sharing pictures and videos of her chemo treatments and posting updates via her Instagram. Last spring, Beyonce dedicated a performance of “Halo” to her during the tour as well as sharing a mini-documentary on her passion for art and life.

We, as well as the BeyHive, are very saddened by her passing.

9 months ago today, I was diagnosed with stage 4, inoperable oesophageal cancer, a cancer that statistically I should never have got and today marks a significant milestone in my journey because according to my doctors, I would be lucky if I made it to this day, alive. The last 9 months have been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, chemo, surgeries and hospitalizations, not to mention all the practical, mental and emotional adjustments to our new reality. Being a ‘cancer patient’ has been such a full time job, that I’ve not had the space to contemplate my life outside of it, that is, until my tour family returned to London recently, stirring in me the highs and the lows of knowing your passion. Wonderfully supportive, they insisted that I could shoot as much or as little of the show as I wanted to. Truth be told, I was nervous about shooting because I hadn’t shot in so long and didn’t know if I’d have the energy to weave my way through the arena like I used to and if I wasn’t going to do my best, I’d rather not do at all. But I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try, so I did. It wasn’t until they left however, that I realized that that night, doing what I love, was the most alive I have felt in a really long time. It hit me that whilst I was still alive, I wasn’t really living, a thought that sunk me deeper in despair and self-deprecation. “Get up! What have you done in the last 9 months? You’re wasting your life just sitting here.” As these voices invaded my thoughts, I grew more and more frustrated that I was succumbing to weakness. Whilst my mind knew to get up and start creating, my body didn’t follow and I didn’t know what to do. And so I had a decision to make; I could either be a cancer patient or I could be someone living with cancer. Though easier said than done, everyday is an opportunity to be who you want to be and do what makes you happy, because how alive are any of us if we’re not happy? #WeAreNotStatistics #StatisticsDontMeanShit #DoWhatMakesYouHappy #SeizeTheDay #Live #Blessed #neverforgettosaythankyou

A photo posted by Yosra El-Essawy (@itsyosra) on