24 April 2010

the post about justin hackworth


here is the story of our photo shoot with justin hackworth. why does the name sound so familiar? you may have seen justin's work on steph's and nie nie's blogs, among hundreds of others. he has been in the photography business long enough to have perfected each aspect of his craft (identity packaging in every detail, letterpressed business cards, a slideshow to pick our favorite shots, music in the background) yet still he's fresh enough to express an unjaded view, a love for his career, a passion for creativity. his joy is contagious. be forewarned, this post is heavy on the details and heavy on the photos.

the whole experience was magic. the anticipation was even fun. it felt glamorous to have something to get ready for. an event to pick out earrings for (i wore my mom's diamond studs). something to discuss outfits over and something to celebrate just me and my mom. like a little piece of luxury. a welcome break from ordinary life wherein sid the science kid and firetrucks rule. i was excited about justin's annual 30 strangers project and delighted to be picked from a huge array of commenters. before i met him, i thought of him as a photographer who has the strength of an artiste, has a recognizable style of photography and a knowledge in capturing the best light.

excited and nervous, mom and i arrived to his studio; a rad historic space right in the heart of provo, utah. she and i both lived in provo as newlyweds, so we reminisced and did the obligatory drive-bys. and of course the conversation about living in a trailer as a newlywed ensued. i was lucky enough to live in the villa maria apartments, which has sadly had a name change since then. justin greeted us with a big smile and a vivacious personality. the type of person you want to be friends with. he sat us down and asked us all about ourselves. marty and i lapped it up, not ones to shy away from attention. after a getting to know you session–which felt more like long lost reunion than a forced meet and greet–we headed into the studio where he positioned us next to windows to capture the elegant sunlight pouring in. we were anxious about being in front of his canon camera, but he put us at ease. with very little instruction he started snapping shots as we stood together. he asked us questions and we attempted some jokes and he just clicked away.

what i like is that he doesn't do trendy, he does real. he takes photographs that tell a story about the people in them, a photograph that will be treasured because it is a perfect portrayal of that moment in time. real and genuine. justin seems to understand what i learned in art school, it's all about having something to say. revealing truthfulness. pablo picasso quipped, art is a lie that makes us realize truth.

and while we're being truthful, it must be said, i usually don't love photos of myself. i always want to erase them from my hard drive because my nose takes up the frame, my pores show, my posture isn't the best, my face isn't flawless, my teeth are crooked and my hair rarely behaves. the real me is not perfect. not something a perfectionist likes to mention. however in the days building up to our big photo shoot i decided, i'm only twenty-eight once, lets make the most of it. lets get a portrait of who i am in the here and now, the me that has grown in front of my proud parent's eyes, the me that dan sees and loves day in and day out, the me that tucks benji in every night and the me that he bounces around with all day, every day. to be photographed, you have to let loose, let down your guard and be okay with yourself. easier said then done. i swallowed my pride and looked his lens square in the face. to be honest with yourself means to accept who you are and all the unique parts that add up to be yourself. since the self is ever changing, ever evolving, this acceptance thing is an ongoing challenge in life. it's not something you can conquer in high school alone. that would be too easy, i was real cute in high school. we all were.

at the photo shoot, i loved watching my mom, she looked so pretty. she looked wise and brave and beautiful. at one point she got all choked up watching me pose and then i started tearing up too. it's a mother daughter thing. since i am rarely a weepy person, i've wondered why i got emotional that day. i realize, it's not in my daily routine to stop and celebrate and focus in on someone who means so much to you. it was just a simple moment of being put in the best light with my mom. my one and only mom. realizing the beauty of her person, inside and out. justin was sweet to just roll with our little moment. we wiped our cheeks, hugged each other and started laughing. justin kept shooting. a very classy guy.

i especially loved his theories on picture taking. justin told us that his goal was to take a picture that hasn't been taken before. his goal that day was to take a photograph that shows what it's like to be around marty and marta. i loved that. i think he accomplished what he set out to do. take a look.



thank you, thank you mr. justin hackworth. am seriously so happy with the experience you gave my mom and me. a perfect gift for mother's day. i can't wait to introduce justin's lens to my better halves, dan and benji someday in the future.

subscribe to justin's blog to see his latest work. and if you're getting married soon.. don't miss justin's love's first year project. oh, to have the newlywed stage captured in photographs, just brilliant. last year, stephmodo posted justin's photography tips. and you'll find even more enlightenment over on justin's formspring page.


20 comments:

swell.life said...

oh marta, this is so so beautifully written. (as per usual.) i loved reading such a richly worded description of how it feels for a regular girl to be in front of the camera. to feel absolutely glam. it's so inspiring to me as my husband and i are getting our just beginning to get our toes wet in the photog biz. justin is one talented guy. that's an understatement. i just know you'll cherish these perfectly documented photos with your mom forever and ever.

Eeny said...

gorgeous pictures
gorgeous words

melanie said...

The pictures are stunning .. what a treasure!

Christie said...

You are both so beautiful - he did such a fantastic job capturing that. Thank you so much for sharing them! They are amazing.

Diane said...

They are beautiful. You will treasure them forever. Thank you for sharing the experience.

Melissa Allam said...

Beautiful description. We wouldn't have know all that went on behind the pictures if you didn't describe it so well. I've got tears now. I love the second picture with you leaning into your Mothers shoulder, it's kind of child like and very tender.

Miranda said...

Absolutely gorgeous. The words, the pictures, the time spent with your mother. What a wonderful pair the two of you are.

crissy said...

“The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.”
― Havelock Ellis

Good to hear you had such a great time. Justin really is an amazing photographer and person.

Bluebelle said...

Those are beautiful words to go with beautiful pictures Marta, thank you for sharing!

Travelin'Oma said...

You told the story perfectly. Thanks for entering the giveaway and picking me to go along. After all, you could have chosen some gorgeous model and passed her off as your mom. (Shall we set up a joint M & M blog that just features hundreds of pictures of us?)

NatTheFatRat said...

Your photos turned out just lovely! I really like your shirt! I probably think about my shoot with Justin once or twice a day still, it was SO MUCH FUN, and I completely agree, it was freeing to suspend my vanity for a bit (I am sure I am ten times worse than you on the photo issue) and see myself through an artist's eyes. Cheesy moment alert: that hour with Justin has changed the way I look at my face and the parts of me I had always considered "flaws." Isn't that wonderful? I think I might love Justin Hackworth.

And hey! I think I'm speaking with your mom at CBC in May on blogging about faith! Will you be there too? I hope so!

mandiegirl said...

Lovely! :)

Julia said...

lovely pictures Marta. I must say though, I think the photos you take are pretty awesome too! You could be a pro! x

Erin said...

These photos you and your mom are just beautiful. What a treasure!

Marija said...

SUCH amazing pictures! Now if only I lived anywhere near Utah. By the way, you are very photogenic - don't sell yourself short ;)

Happy to have found you and now following via bloglovin!

Marija

Krystal Celeste said...

Y'all are beautiful! How special to create memories like that with your mom. :)

summer said...

oh my. i like what jessica says in comment no.1 about how you described a regular girl being in front of the camera. (a bigtime camera!) it was such a treat for me to read about. and what a surreal opportunity! it's utterly unique to have a photoshoot with just you & mom.. i love it. it's so beautiful! i love the one of you two leaning on the wall (and a bit on each other) and having a laugh. perfectly relaxed and perfectly lovely. it really looks like the first time it's ever been snapped.

you guys were perfect for this.
and ps. your eyes are positively stunning.

Kristi said...

I love the pictures of you and your mom...there really is nothing sweeter than a mother and her daughter. I love the connection that is visible....beautiful.

Ginnie said...

You look stunning!

jason said...

Great writing! Descriptive!

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