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I still get a serious case of the jitters before every wedding.  20 years into this game and I still feel like a fraud.  What if I don’t nail an important moment?  What if I annoy the wedding party? What if, what if, what if.  I want to produce my best work for EVERY WEDDING.  I pour all of my heart and energy into each and every couple. I know how important my job and I know the gravity of each and every moment.  So I guess it’s only natural that I had a case of the nerves when I arrived to Lexci and Peters wedding last July.  I remember being a little shaky right before I walked into the bride’s room, debating whether to take my water bottle with me.  I should drink more water.  Stay alert.  Stay energetic. Breathe.

Lexci saw me walk through the doors,  stopped what she was doing, squealed and gave me a big hug.  I mean, there is no better way to start off a wedding day for a photographer than that.  My nerves were dissolved instantly and she enthusiastically introduced me to all of her bridesmaids and family.  This is Lexci.   And Peter too.  When I interrupted their dinner to take these two out for a quick sunset session, they were excited.  We chatted and joked and talked lenses while enjoying the blue hour (Peter is also a photographer).  I had no nerves.  I didn’t over think things.  I was present with friends.   I felt so embraced.

Obviously this wedding wasn’t about me.  I haven’t written a sentence about how exquisite everything was. How inky the sky against the lush grass of Devil’s Thumb Ranch.  How handsome Peter was…how gorgeous, Lexci.   And the flowers-they were to die for.  It truly was one of the prettiest weddings I’ve been to.  But what stood out to me about this wedding wasn’t in the details,  but in the hearts of the bride and the groom.  Lexci and Peter are two extraordinary people who make everyone around them feel loved an appreciated.  They know how to laugh and make fun of  what to others might be a bummer (can I say extremely windy first look?)  They are good people, good friends,  the best couple, and they also throw one hell of a party.  Thank you for the honor, Lexci and Peter.   Happy almost 7 months of marriage

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Everything is dead at the park.  I pull you in on my lap and squeeze you, breathing in your smell.  I kiss the back of your neck and play with your hair while you fumble with your new happy meal toy.  I remind myself that these are the moments.  I try to silence my mind and be present.  The wind bites and I’m miserable.

Everything is so bleak that I’m actually inspired to create.  “Winter”, it will be called.  Harsh shadows, blown out skies, an empty public pool littered with dead leaves, shut down behind a metal fence.  You start to sour when I take my camera out.  It’s time to go.  It’s nap time.

And somehow I am still happy and savoring this.  It’s my last season of mornings with you.  I will come back to this park one day when you are older and I will remember all of this.

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Everything is dead at the park.  I pull you in on my lap and squeeze you, breathing in your smell.  I kiss the back of your neck and play with your hair while you fumble with your new happy meal toy.  I remind myself that these are the moments.  I try to silence my mind and be present.  The wind bites and I’m miserable.

Everything is so bleak that I’m actually inspired to create.  “Winter”, it will be called.  Harsh shadows, blown out skies, an empty public pool littered with dead leaves, shut down behind a metal fence.  You start to sour when I take my camera out.  It’s time to go.  It’s nap time.

And somehow I am still happy and savoring this.  It’s my last season of mornings with you.  I will come back to this park one day when you are older and I will remember all of this.

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There are no words for this one…   Just cuteness overload.

The post Day in the life of newborn twins and a toddler appeared first on .

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Every once in awhile a couple crosses my path and I find myself feeling extraordinarily grateful.  I’m grateful that I get to make a living doing my art.  And I’m grateful that I get to make my art with such remarkable people.   Jordan and Pat set the bar.  They are Authentic.  Kind. Creative.  Stylish. In-love.  Today was one of those mornings when I genuinely woke up feeling grateful and excited to to write and share the images from a wedding.

I met Jordan serendipitously through a wedding coordinator  7 or 8 years ago.  Little did we know then, that we share a long line of friends and history.  Jordan’s Grandmother lived right next to my grandmother out in Eastern Colorado and were best of friends.  When Jordan found out 7 years ago that I was going to name my daughter Ramona after my grandmother, she put two and two together.  Ramona Harris.  Julie Harris.  Nonie (my grandma, Ramona).  I learned that Jordan is almost a cousin to me.   And that was just the beginning…  As I’ve gotten to know Jordan and Pat, I’ve come to appreciate who they are so much.  I find myself wanting to connect with them more and more every time I look through these pictures and relive their wedding day, and I hope that this will be just another page in our history.  I hope to foster a deeper friendship with them and get to know them even more.  And so I feel grateful. I feel grateful that my art has brought me to Jordan and Pat.  Thank you, guys for giving me the opportunity to get to know you and the honor of shooting your wedding.  I adore you both so much

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I think it’s been two years since I’ve posted a maternity session on my blog.  I just don’t get around to blogging much these days, but I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this particular session.  This sweet couple is expecting a baby at the end of the month.  To top that off, they just purchased and moved into her great-grandmother’s home a few weeks ago.  The home was built and lived in by her great-grandparents and so it remains in the family–hopefully for many many years to come.  I loved the vintage, yet simple feel of this session as this couple showed me their garage with the old Thunderbird in it, unpacked boxes in their tiny kitchen, and made up the beds.  It was such a sweet session all around.

The post Denver in-home maternity session appeared first on .

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My “people” are the ones who are comfortable with who they are as a family. They don’t feel the need to present a pristine home or  dress their kids in matching clothes.  Sometimes juice is running down their kids faces or they have marker all over their hands.   Sometimes there is spit-up.  Dirty diapers.  Fighting siblings. Overturned furniture.  These families are honest–I know this because I have two kids myself, and keeping things in perfect order is impossible–in fact to try to capture perfection in my own home would be a lie.  It’s this authenticity that makes me feel safe and allows me to document the good stuff.  The stuff memories are made of.  The stuff called “life”.  These are my people. This is what I love.   Thank you, Chavez Family–I’ll miss you.

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We are finally at a place where we can travel together as a family and actually call it a vacation.  The kids are fine on a plane with a bag of candy and a couple of devices.  We can get a home on VRBO and Ramona and Sylvie can share a room, while Jesse and I can have our own.  (Netflix, baby!)   Meals are easier when we go out. Bedtime is flexible.  The kids can swim.  It’s pretty dreamy, actually.

Travel is my jam.  I don’t care what kind of car I drive or how big my house is.  I don’t care if my dinner plates match or even if I get my roots done every 6 weeks.  But travel is an actual necessity.  I can’t live without it.  I really can’t.  For awhile it was tough, I won’t lie.  We had to find someone to stay with the girls while we went away. I couldn’t actually be present wherever I was, because my heart was at home with my kids.  If we did bring our kids, we had to bring a nanny so that we could actually enjoy our vacation and that was breaking the bank.  But we’ve arrived.  Traveling together works now.  We have fun, and we are making memories.

When I was growing up, my  parents used to load all of us four kids into a big Econo-van every Thanksgiving and drive to Arkansas.  WE WOULD DRIVE. This wasn’t just when I was little, either. This went on through my college years.  But in all seriousness, these are some of my best memories as a kid.  Stopping at gas stations every 4 hours and loading up on junk food, sleeping in the car, fighting over the game boy–these were the times when I would actually be forced to be with my family for hours at a time.  And that was just the drive.  When we would actually get to Arkansas we would be bored out of our minds, so we would have to find things to do.  Me and my brothers would go on long walks together or my sister and I would go to Walmart (which was always a highlight of our trip, might I add).  It wasn’t fancy hotels or trips to amusement parks that I loved.  It was the time together–the memories made.  Collective mindfulness, if you will.  It was rich.

I want my kids to have this.  I want their memories of our time together to go beyond our backyard.  I want them to appreciate our vacations even if it’s just ordering pizza and sitting in a hot tub or sharing a can of coke in a HOJO. I don’t have forever with these girls.  In 15 years, there won’t be family vacations like these.  Ramona and Sylvie will be taking their own spring breaks or God forbid, trips with their boyfriends.  Their priorities will be different and Jesse and I will yearn for the days when we could just hole up in some house in some random state and simply be together–just a good vacation from the hamster wheel.

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Meet baby Linden. I got the pleasure of meeting and photographing this little nugget last week.  She is the first daughter and second child to a very special couple whose wedding and engagement session I photographed way back in 2011.  I have kept in touch with Cambria and Anson only through facebook and was overjoyed to get to work with them again to document this sweet time in their lives and to meet their gorgeous children, Woodley and baby Linden.  It’s incredibly rewarding to get to work with old clients again–especially when they become parents and  we get to connect on this whole new level.

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