|Hi, I'm Julie ... artist, photographer, potter, etc. I am so happy you are here! I consider this blog my creative journal where I can share my recent work, ideas and dreams, and lots of little details about my life. Please make yourself at home. Whether you are a bride-to-be, a photographer, or just a visitor, I hope you will find inspiration here and even become a friend.|
Can you forget everything you ever thought about what a photo shoot should or would be like? Can you let go of your expectations and judgments and allow yourself to simply be open?
I've been practicing a new technique in photographing people called Beloved. This genre is really impossible to describe because it's not something you can explain or see. Instead its something you can feel. So good luck to me in trying to write this blog, right?!
I just have this need for my work to have heart and spirit and purpose. I have become disenchanted with photographing people in a superficial way: Dress up, pretend to have fun, smile on command, etc. The style of Beloved resonated with me in a powerful way. This is how I can get beyond what is superficial and invite people to be real in front of my camera. I am most inspired by moments that are genuine and not just pretending to be genuine (“look happy”... “laugh at each other”) but moments that hold a memory or tell a real story.
And so in an effort to practice the Beloved technique … I held the “home contest” on my blog a little over a month ago. You can read more about it here. Brandon and Brenda were the contest winners and the following images are a teeny tiny part of what resulted from our session together. I say "teeny-tiny" because we all got so much more out of this session than we expected or planned.
It became difficult for me to edit these images because they made me so emotional. Knowing Brenda's story from her contest entry … and then sharing the time we spent together during the session … It just had me in a beautiful mess. I am so grateful to Brandon and Brenda for being two people who love each other with complete abandon. Their openness and connection to each other was so powerful for me to witness and it has changed me. It was an unbelievable experience for me to tap into a tiny piece of who they are together and create a collection of images that represents a bit of the joy and sadness and everything in between that they have shared together in their 10 years of marriage.
I want to share Brenda's email that she sent to me after the session, before she even saw the pictures:
I just wanted to email to let you know that our photo session with you will go down as the sweetest, most intimate, most touching moments of my life besides having my daughter. The session with you took us away from the world and placed us in a blanket of love. Sometimes I would completely forget that you were even there … not in a bad way. But in the way that I fell in love with Brandon all over again, and in this world at those moments there was not another soul alive. Somehow some of the things I felt before that were unhealthy for my marriage and my life, they have drifted away like the insecurities were never there.
Thank you for a life changing session. Thank you for putting us back into the honeymoon state. You helped remind me how far I have come and how far I am going to go with this wonderful man and thank you for that too. I love you for what you have done and I love you for what your going to do for other married couples. Thank you so very much again and I can't wait to see the pictures.
Love, Brenda Lynn
Well, I can't read that without getting really weepy. I am shocked and awed by how powerful and yet how simple the process of Beloved really is. It's such a beautiful thing that I am honored and humbled to be a part of. I feel like I have chattered way too much here ... but if you are still reading, thank you! I will get on with the images!
It just so happens that Brandon's wedding band is inscribed with a bible verson (Song of Solomon 6:3) in Hebrew. The translation: “I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.”