Julie’s fascination with photography started early. Hanging in her family home were two side-by-side portraits: one of her sister, perfectly coiffed and surrounded by carefully arranged stuffed animals; and one of Julie, tangled hair, one sock falling down and struggling to put on a pair of shoes. Julie passed those photos every day until the idea that people and character should be in photographs was as second nature as bee-bopping to ’80s music.
Fast-forward thirty years and you will meet a self-made, successful, award-winning photographer. Julie started as an assistant shooter and then made a foray into wedding videography. After she moved from Savannah to Key West, she quickly became one of the most sought-after professionals in the city famous for destination weddings. A gigantic portion of Julie’s business is wedding photography in the photojournalistic style. She’s a wedding dress-bustler extraordinaire, cell-phone-ring-tone lover, occasional bride calmer-downer and/or mother of the bride kicker-out-er. Yep, that’s Julie.
Below the bubbly surface that will charm both bride and groom is a serious professional and incredible artist. She commits to the couple and brings her best self to every event. Her services are thorough and timely — initial consultations, boudoir photography (the classy shots makes a great gift for the groom), wedding albums, framed portraits and more. Her creativity is boundless — from shots of wedding rings on Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter to best girlfriends grooving on the dance floor under the disco lights to couples so clearly in love it’s palpable.
Julie says being a photographer is about much more than working a camera. It’s about being an emotional anchor, a willing and happy participant of the party, and a guide that can maintain order and flow. The best shooters have wedding etiquette committed to memory, carry lollipops to soothe cranky children and will take on an overbearing family member in order to keep a bride calm. The best shooters capture the whole family at a precious moment of celebration. The best shooters coax the couple’s inner self and relationship into images designed to last a lifetime.
Brides looking through her portfolio often have one things to say, softly, under their breathe … “ooooh, I want that.”
written by Sara Matthis