In the last photography breakout I did over Christmas (Embracing the edge by Lauren Greyson), Lauren pointed out how important it is for a photographer to know what he or she wants to achieve with his or her photos, why we take pictures and with which purpose. Every time I look at the pictures of this family session, the answer becomes clearer to me: I take pictures that make me feel emotions, that touch me; photos that make me feel joy, tenderness, love, fondness; photos that, when I look at them, give me the sensation that my heart is going to explode. I say to myself that if I feel all this, the family on the other side of the camera will hopefully feel at least part of what I feel too. And this makes me happy, very happy.
I met Julie at Nienke’s birthday party (I already mentioned Nienke on this blog). Nienke had told me Julie and her husband were wedding photographers. We started to talk about photography, family and life in general right away. We met again for lunch and the connection was unbelievable. She’s one of these persons it seems you knew in a previous life, with whom you can get emotional the second time you meet just by chatting about your family. The third time I saw her, she told me that she wanted to do a family session with me, something I wasn’t expecting at all. As photographers, Julie and her husband have lots of pictures of their kids, but not many of all the family.
I believe she didn’t realize how happy I was. I felt a mix of excitement and anxiety about meeting their expectations – taking photos of a family of photographers isn’t something I do every day. Preparing the session wasn’t easy: they gave me carte blanche. You may wonder what is wrong about that. Actually, having the responsibility to decide everything meant that I would be the one to blame if something went wrong. What if they didn’t like the place? What if the pictures weren’t what they had hoped for?
When I now look at the photos I took, I can only thank them for giving me that absolute freedom. This was probably one of my favourite sessions. Not only because I had the chance to put into practice my vision of photography, but also because of the connection I felt with them: the connection between Marc and Julie, between them and their children and between all of them and myself. I was thrilled to have the chance to be part of their family universe for a few hours.
I can’t thank Julie and her husband enough for these photos which have stirred so much in me. I hope you will perceive a little bit of this sensibility of mine through the screen.