What motivated you to pursue photography?
Life is so precious and moments can be fleeting. We could attempt to draw or paint our memories, but how many of us are artists on that level? Photography offers almost completely unbiased images of our memories, captures something of the essence of that moment, the light and the shadow and the color that make our life have meaning. If we couldn’t remember anything, life would become meaningless. Having photos helps our life have rich meaning because we remember better and thinking of that truth inspires me to pursue photography more and more and continually find ways to express ideas clearer and emotions richer.
What is captured in your photos that the regular eye may not see?
There is something that goes beyond an aesthetically pleasing image, something that pulls you in, inspires you to stay awhile and allows your heart to expand and find peace. I believe that this potential exists in every photo; this part of the world that is infinite and magical. You can see it usually when a person is not aware of themself, blissfully and happily being them. This is what I always look for and to inspire it if it needs nudging. I believe that every person has a magic and a beauty that is uniquely theirs and when you are patient and thoughtful, you can find it. I create an inner dialogue before and during every photoshoot that I do, a communication, if you will, to bring out the best in that person, in their family, in their product. It is a romance and a wonderful and precious privilege to see a person change before your eyes, feel at ease and become the beautiful human being they are inside by feeling accepted and at peace. This is what I aim to inspire in every photo. To communicate to them that they are accepted, wonderful, fascinating, unique and somehow, this allows me to disappear as a photographer, it is almost as if they are looking straight at the viewer of the final image and seeing this confidence is absolutely irresistible in a photograph.
What obstacles were challenging when starting your photography business?
I had no idea how to photograph in manual, um yeah pretty important. I had no money, kind of important. I am living in Orange County, California, an area of the world saturated with photography talent, potentially overwhelming. I had only one supporter, my loving boyfriend who believes in me, but after him most people thought I was a little crazy. I was compelled by sheer love of creating a beautiful and meaningful image and was willing to learn, be humble and work hard at it and not give up even when I wanted to, even when I didn’t do very well, even when I did very badly. I still have so much to learn, but I have come to love the learning process, the criticism, the failures, because that means I am getting better and if I am getting better then what more can I ask for?
How has your past prepared you to step into photography full time?
My dear mother was a passionate amateur photographer. She took photos of everything we did growing up. During the days of film, she still made it a priority to get it developed and make albums for every year growing up. She has since passed on but it is a cherished inheritance to have the photo albums she lovingly put together year after year. I am reminded of what an amazing woman she was and that I want to do my best, as she did, to remember every part of this fantastic life I can. She gave me the advice to always look through the viewfinder of the camera until you come upon a scene that looks beautiful to you. That confused me for years, but I realized later that what she was talking about is an emotional connection. I look until I feel something in my heart that moves me, connects me with the subject. That is where the magic happens, in that exchange. I am a lover of life, a constant seeker of beauty in the world and in people. I search my heart how to be better and kinder and more transparent, all of this translates into seeing the world better, kinder and more transparently.
What do you love most about your job?
No two days are the same. Even with the same people, the same theme, somehow the photos have a special quality, a uniqueness that is so wonderful. I love meeting with people. I adore the endless creativity that is possible and encouraged if you want it. I love that anything is possible. I love that I help people remember their lives and have an excuse to get dressed up and share moments together in a beautiful place. What is more evocative of what life is all about than that? I love it all, it is something very special to be part of.
What are your business goals for 2016?
A studio is in the works, which would allow for me to have an environment that is 100% beauty, magic and meaning, Juliet Peel Photography-style. I imagine glamour and serenity, peace and romance. The studio would have a mini gallery space, another dream fulfilled. I want to connect with my clients and really create a community of lovers of life and magic and beauty, where we can share ideas and help one another accomplish our hopes and desires and dreams over Rose champagne, candlelight, vinyls and personal stories and of course photography.
You can find Juliet @julietpeelphotography