I wrote the following 2 years ago and never quite finished it or published it. I think I was afraid to share it. Probably no one will read it or even care.  Fuck it. I’m going to put it out there. Because, if you don’t, you’ll never know who might find it and connect with it right?


For years I had wondered if there was something wrong with me. Was I the only one who felt this way about the world? I always felt as though I feel too much. Too sentimental, and prone to be melancholic. I laugh at jokes or silly things that most might not find funny, I tear up or cry at movies, tv commercials (maybe just that one, but still), reading books etc.

I always thought maybe I’m just super empathetic and sensitive to emotions, and I wear my heart on my sleeve. And that’s that. But last night, I attended a seminar that quite possibly changed my life. Jesh de Rox is the founder of Beloved, which is a series of interaction techniques for photographers. When I first heard about Beloved, I was a little skeptical. Everything sounded really touchy-feely to me (I know, the irony is not lost on me). Then a friend sent me a set of them to check out, and I thought some of them were pretty neat, mainly the light hearted interaction invites or cues. I’ve been using them in my sessions this past year and they do help my couples get a little more comfortable in front of the camera and brings a sense of playfulness to a pretty unnatural situation, that is, having a virtual stranger take photos of you.

But I had not been able to go beyond the lighthearted, fun invites and get to the ones that would evoke deeper feelings. I now understand why. I’ve been afraid to go deeper, to even dare to evoke those feelings. I was afraid I would be judged, and that my couples would think I was weird. I couldn’t get pass the wall of social pressure, real or imagined.

In the short 4 hours or so we were at the seminar, Jesh had said so many things that resonated with me. One of them was that “To be human is to feel“. He also talked about art, and creativity, and yes photography even. But more importantly he delved into the why. Why are certain pieces of art considered great works of art, such as the Mona Lisa? Or The David by Michelangelo? That reason doesn’t even have to be universal, it’s probably different for everyone and it’s personal.

We consider a work of art to be great when it reaches out and touches us, moves us and affects us.

And boom! Suddenly everything made sense to me. I feel a lot, maybe because I’m more easily touched, moved and affected by the things, places, people I see, interact with, and experience. And what’s more, all those feelings, I now know have a deeper purpose; to help me be the photographer that I’m meant to be, to see, connect with and share others’ stories.

“Stories are the bridges that span the distance between people. Photographs that tell stories are the only ones that move us.” – Jesh de Rox.

He talked about seeing the light in our couples, the spark, that thing that someone fell in love with. It’s there, in everyone. And if we can’t see it, then we have no hope of photographing it. It reminded me of this amazing blog post I read from photographer Tamara Lackey.

Love and connections; time frozen still; a moment that disappears, never to return or happen again, but because you took a photo, becomes an “always”. These have always been why I’m driven to photograph.

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June 29, 2015
I saw you post the link to this on Facebook the other day and I've been trying since then to figure out what the Beloved method is. Every photographer's blog post I read about it talks about it in such monumental way, but also veils any secrets. I'm curious to know if you have tried any of the "deeper" techniques now, 2 years later? And I would love to know what it actually entails! haha. Thanks for sharing this post, you've definitely sparked some curiosity in me!

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