Julie Wilmes is an elopement photographer for those who live their lives to the fullest, love emotion, and believe in the deep power of marriage. For those who don't always follow tradition and want to forge their own path. For those who are honest, raw, vibrant and fearless.
Look I’m an emotional person.
I find an emotional vibe to connect to in every situation. Being an emotional person has served me well in the past, but it’s not been without it’s ups and downs. Yes, I may cry at iPad commercials (and Dustin laughs at me for it) but I am able to look past the mundane moments and try to see the emotion that’s been laid before me.
It’s this desire to connect with others on an emotional level that has really influenced my photography more than you can imagine. I try to find an emotional wave-length to ride at every wedding, during a session and pretty much throughout my day-to-day life.
Recently I was lucky enough to be featured on SLR Lounge for the article “20 Photographers Share their most Emotionally Significant Images” the image that I submitted was this one from Nicole and Mitchell’s surprise elopement.
Once their wedding was over and their family was celebrating with them, I stood around capturing as much as I could (not really paying attention necessarily to what was being said been more to how everyone was reacting to the news). I took this photo because I noticed that the hug between Mitchell and his Grandfather was really intense. I knew that his Grandfather wasn’t a fan of having his picture taken (I had been forewarned that they might argue with me about having photos taken) and I didn’t think much of it at the time I just thought all that’s a great photo that I was lucky to have snapped, given the situation. But when I showed it to the Groom, he stared at my camera for the longest time, I thought at first that maybe I had offended him but he started smiling and told me,
“This is the first time in my memory that I recall having seen my granddad in a picture.”
Mitchell started calling his mom and other family members over telling them “Quick look!” and everybody was amazed at it, again I didn’t realize how important this image was to them. I’m just happy that I got it. His Grandfather was even happy to see it, which really was the biggest approval I could ask for.
When his Grandfather passed away a few weeks after the wedding and upon hearing the news of his death, I cried – not because he was gone but because his family was celebrating his life with such jubilation and they were using my image over and over and over again, talking about the amazing man he was and the legacy that he was leaving behind. I’ve seen this image so many times throughout the last year and it warms my heart each and every time. It drives me to be the kind of emotionally welcoming person that I want to be.
That’s what I’m here for, that is the kind of legacy I want my photography to be a part of.