Juliana Laury Photography | Chester County, Lehigh Valley, and Montgomery County Wedding Photographer
Technology has allowed photographers to come a long way, we have the ability to take thousands of images stored on a single piece of plastic, we lug around big bags filled with as many lenses as we can carry, and of course we can drastically adjust the pixels of our files with all the post-processing that the Adobe Suite gives us. And so, we become overwhelmed. By all the options. By what everyone else seems to be doing. By what we think we should be doing. And we stop listening to our own heart, the thing that made us pick up a camera in the first place. We become as digitized as the tools that command us.
My first images as a pre-teen-just-looking-for-a-hobby were film. It was my first love. My first miracle was watching an image appear in a dark and smelly room on a piece of paper that floated in an 8 inch by 10 inch tray. I’ve never lost that love, but love is also a muscle, and it needs to be exercised, for fear of allowing that muscle to languish with time. And so last week, I did something I’ve never done before. I packed my beloved Mamiya 7ii and a few rolls of film and headed out on a dreary summer weekday to the countryside. One camera, one lens, no plan. I had asked my friend Jenessa if she would allow me to borrow her and her newborn daughter as the two of them were enjoying maternity leave, and I couldn’t have selected a better pair.
You see, for my entire hour long drive, it was raining. Mother Nature seemed to be questioning my plans, but when I finally made it she played an interesting little game on us. Because when the three of us were finally loaded into the Jeep, the skies opened up. First, a gust of pouring rain. But then, as if to thank Jenessa for being so willing to pull over on the side of any road I pointed to, unload her 3 week old baby from the car and hike in the prickly grasses of some random private property, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Big Magic, people. (Elizabeth Gilbert’s bible for creatives, a must read).
And I made these images. The humidity from the day’s rain created a fog that blanketed the landscape far in the distance. The wind whipped through their hair and clothes, and still Nora did not whimper or stir one single time. It felt a little bit unreal, and I was thankful for these gifts.
We came home to Daniel, and I switched to what I know best: building family archives. I clicked the frames that Nora will look at when she is my age and say, “This is when my dad came home.” “This was the home I grew up in.” “Wow, look at how young and happy my parents look. Look at how small I once was in their arms.” And then the cycle will continue.