Imagery That Speaks To Me (Part One) / by Jennifer Evans

If you are reading this, chances are you follow my work.  So you probably know that portrait photography is my "thing".  Lately I've been doing a little soul searching and thought I'd share some of my favorite images that I've taken over the years.  

To be a TRUE artist...

you need to go beyond the technical.  It's more about understanding what moves and inspires you and then finding ways to bring that into the work you do.  Then, if you can take that a step further and dig into WHY you are inspired and moved - well, that is where you tap into the magic.  I'm not quite there yet, but that's what I'm working towards, and I wanted to share part of that journey by showing you some of the images that I've taken over the years that truly speak to me and offer a bit of the why behind them.

This particular set of images were taken in 2016 or earlier.  While my work and style has changed over the years, these images are timeless and truly could have been taken yesterday.  They still make an impact on me whenever I see them.

 Toddler in hat

This one image makes me stop and stare every single time.  The emotion in his eyes is just so raw and real.  This image makes me feel - no matter how many times I see it, I FEEL it.  

 Girls running away with seagulls

I love this photograph and not just because it's my daughter.  There is just so much to cherish here.  It's an experience of true joy with no other worries or cares in the world.  It's a feeling of freedom that adults so rarely get to indulge.  It's here and now, no thoughts of past or future.  It's being in the present and savoring it.

 The Lone Fisherman

I rarely name my photographs, but this one I did.  It's called "The Lone Fisherman".  I captured this at sunrise from the Barnegat Lighthouse barrier.  It was probably around 5:30 am in the morning which is my favorite time of the day.  I've always been an early riser and I love it.  There is something so serene about waking up before the rest of the world, having time to be by yourself.  This is the time of day when I get a chance to appreciate things that get drowned out once the rest of the world comes to life.  The tweeting of the birds, the sound of the breeze rustling the trees, the sound of the waves lapping the rocks and the sight of the sun slowly rising up over the horizon.  Every time I see this picture I am reminded of these subtle nuances of Mother Nature.

 Mother of the Groom

I always put a disclaimer out when showing this image...I do not photograph weddings!  This is actually my cousin, and I did it as a favor.  It is the one and only wedding I have ever photographed and ever will photograph.  That said, I actually enjoyed capturing the emotional moments of this event.  To me, a photograph only comes to life if it is true.  A wedding brings out emotion that sometimes can be difficult to withdraw from someone, but here, it was everywhere I looked. I get why people specialize in wedding photography despite the grueling work required to do it successfully.  This picture is of the groom and his mother and I really need not say much more.  The emotion is palpable.  

 On the pier

Another fisherman.  I really don't have a thing for fisherman, nor do I want to be one.  I don't even like to fish (I feel bad for the bait and the fish once it's hooked.)  This was another early morning photo.  I was the only one on the pier until this guy showed up.  I sat and watched him go about his business emptying crab traps and throwing them back in.  It was chilly and the mist was rising from the river.  It was another moment where I felt like I was just part of Mother Nature.  

 A girl and her bear.

Gosh I love this.  No...I LOOOOVVVVVEEEEE this!  This image probably falls into my top five of all the photographs I've ever taken.  Why?  I'm going deep here...Because this is me.  Well, no, it's not really me, but it represents me and my childhood.  I'm an only child, growing up I spent weekends in the Catskills playing in the woods with only my stuffed animals to keep me company.  I kept myself busy and had many adventures, but the honest truth is that it was lonely.  This picture is everything and more, especially because that actually is my youngest daughter.

You know what I find so very interesting?  As I look at these photographs grouped together, not one of them has someone looking directly into the camera.  Not one.  And when I do sessions I often have my clients look away from me and I often love those photographs the most.  I will have to delve deeper into why this is.

I'll follow up soon with some more recent images and insight.  Thanks for joining me on this introspective journey. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!