mf34-4564People get naked in front of me.  I’m just as shocked as you are.  Yeah, yeah, when I was a 20-something, flitting around Chicago, frequenting the ‘in’ spots and living for the ‘now’ that wouldn’t have come as such a shock.

But I’m 41.  I have kids.  I live in a small town… AND I NEVER LIKED GIRLS!

I do now!  I love them.  I used to liken the same sex to aliens from another planet.  I moved carefully amongst them, watching their every move but never getting too close fearing they might retaliate should they realize I had avoided them (and spoke oh-so-unfavorably about them) for yeeeeaaaarrrs.

I don’t know how it happened.  Well, that’s a lie – I do.  A friend of mine asked who did my hair and make-up for a play.  I did!  They asked if I’d do their’s for a pin-up shoot.  Of course I would.  But being Julie, I thought, well then why shouldn’t I shoot it too???

One month later I bought a studio.  I renovated it.  I turned a ROUGH building into ‘Julie’s Giant Dollhouse’ – the most relaxing, inspiring place on earth… (OK, in Mifflin County, but dammit, I’ll take that!)

Soon after I realized I’d have to actually take pictures… of women!  Good heavens.  Talk about outside my wheelhouse.  I had killed them in movies, written long, cathartic monologues for them to purge away my deepest secrets, but never invited them in to hang out with me, one-on-one, alone, while I do my best to bring out their beauty, the beauty I had been so envious of all my life.

And what do you know?  It was exhilarating!  I’ve never been more surprised at how good something could make me feel.  I was bonding, building, creating… with women!

I’ve seen the timid, the torrid, the reluctant and the resolute.  They march in my door, sometimes pushed and sometimes charged with all that life has to offer.  The most important thing is that they all leave feeling empowered, inspired and maybe just a little bit different.

All I want with what I do is to show people what I see.  I see into the far corners of everyone.  I see the beauty.  It might be dark and decadent or natural and light.  What it is – is singular to that person and I’ve never felt more liberated than when I was allowed to capture that individuality on film.

I am, by far, one of happiest humans on the planet.  I get to do what I love without having known that I was going to love it!  How weird is that???

People come in, feeling slightly apprehensive (or totally apprehensive), occasionally break out in hives and can’t comprehend or accept that they are about to step further outside their comfort zone than ever before.  By the end of our shoots they are lounging lazily on the comfy shag rug, hanging out, brain storming with me and coming up with their own amazing ideas. Watching them, really see themselves, is the most satisfying feeling in the world.

Once again the universe has taken me by surprise and I wouldn’t want it any other way.