Juliana Laury Photography | Chester County, Lehigh Valley, and Montgomery County Wedding Photographer
Today’s post is deeply personal, but I guess in a way most of what I do is personal. I believe that every image I make is a self portrait in a way, because there lies a part of myself in each of my images. They are how I intuitively see the world, and choose to click my shutter. I have always viewed myself as a very nostalgic person, but I recently realized that all photographers are innately nostalgic, because we capture memory. We freeze a moment, and by doing so we keep that moment alive for a few days, years, centuries even if what we make lives beyond us.
Most photographers, myself included, experience work in seasons. And of course, winter is a slow season for us, but also one of self reflection as we prepare for the year ahead. I myself got caught up in the whirlwind of last year, and only in the past couple of months have I picked up my first true love and allowed myself to be enchanted by its power. Film. Full of life and vibrancy, we appreciate our film images in a way we cannot appreciate the pixels inside our digital cameras. Because this is tangible. There is something about the unknown, and with film you have to trust your instincts, which is magical.
Why am I typing this post right now, at 2 in the morning, laptop in bed, weary of a busy weekend ahead? Because I want to share my journey. I want you to see some of the first images I made that truly made me feel something inside. The first 4 images were taken at my great grandmother’s funeral. They are raw. They are real. And they were the first time I was surrounded by such emotion and I knew I wanted to remember it, prints in my lap, to hold when the day was gone. Then there are the images of my brother, the one whose body I held when he was a baby, and I couldn’t help but document that body grow, that awkward stage between adolescence and adulthood, when his skin and bones stretched further every day. My grandparents. The first couples I ever photographed, their love etched deeper with time. I always knew that the things closest to me were those I would photograph best. That’s why I spend so much time with my brides and grooms before their wedding day even arrives. I know if they let me in, give me access to those real moments, not the staged ones, I can give them the intimate portraits that they deserve. So they can keep those moments alive, preserve them and pass them on.
You see, I see things I don’t want to forget. It’s why I live my life, camera in hand. To preserve the quiet vignettes that later become the history of a life well lived.