JOANNA
BROWN

5th August

It’s August and the sun is beating down most days from dawn to dusk, the sea is warm and inviting beckoning me down there most days.  I love the ritual of dipping in and out of the water, getting too hot so dipping and then drying off and repeat.  As I dry I shut my eyes and start to drift off, listening to the giggles of children, squeals of delight and random pieces of conversation.  My hair and skin is becoming more crispy as the summer evolves.  Days and nights are spent on the beach with Fox and friends, breakfast, lunch and tea takes place amongst sand and pebbles; it feels like an endless summer.  I have been shooting all the while of lockdown and I am feeling ready to shoot human beings again.  For a while there it didn’t feel appropriate and safer in a way to concentrate on objects however it really is now time to get back to what I love.  Organically an idea has emerged to shoot couples on the beach.  I want to create some pictures that feel very raw and energetic, often we see couples posing and static; frozon on the spot fearing what the picture might look like.  The sea cannot be tamed or controlled; to swim with another is like to dance together.  The waves pick you up and swirl you around and bodies become intertwined and this pushes for me the element of energy between people.  I am interested in ‘connection’ and ‘creating space’ as the foundation of creating pictures; this seems like the ultimate conditions for me.  I want the images to feel like they are taken in the sea, with the sun splitting through the images and the sea filling the frame.  I shoot these sessions on 1 disposable water proof camera! The sessions are simple, 1  roll per couple, you get a whole roll of film shots.  I am currently offering these sessions,  I just need you and the sea and I will give you images like these.  For rates and dates just mail me and let’s create some pictures for you.


3rd August 2020

July has come and gone in a flash and with the passing of time these familiar words which punctuate and usually structure our lives are becoming more and more redundant.  Ha, this is becoming a word association game.  Redundancy I feel like Covid-19 handed me my very own P45 back in March and I am still looking for a job!  Life is still fragmented for many and my heart goes out to my fellow colleagues who work in either the wedding industry, beauty, music, theatre, events….. it is a time of treading water and regulating the breathing slowly.  I continue to shoot, create in the shadows of this time, breathing life and hope into the cracks as they appear.  Some days I feel miserable as hell as I miss my work and worry about the future, others I feel liberated and on some kind of endless holiday and whilst the sunshines this can be kept up.  Here is another roll of film that I shot in July, you can’t take away from this beautiful weather we have had! Thank god for that hey otherwise where would we all be.  Beauty is still in abundance.



1st July 2020

I am a cliche, I live in Brighton and I have a strong liking for Nick Cave he lives round the corner. I have bumped into him a few time, he is other worldly yet warm,I would say magnetic.  I want to go down the pub with him to the ‘Hand in Hand’  with him and Susie and eat pork scratchings and drink ale until the sunrises.  Music is my second love after photography, singing and dancing is one of life’s  pleasures ; every minute of my day has a soundtrack running to it. Anyhow I am losing my thread, the thing is I subscribe to Nick Cave’s ‘The Red Hand Files’ which is a newsletter.   He is a deep thinker and feeler; vulnerable and generous with sharing with his audience in a weekly letter form.   I feel compelled to share his letter/responses this week as it is wonderfully articulate on the subject of ‘love’, over to Nick ;


The Red Hand FilesISSUE #103 / JULY 2020

If you feel that he is beside you… and within you, why would you need to look for him? (This is not a challenge, there is no aggression in this question; I simply want you to think about it and elucidate).
TOM, MANCHESTER, UK

What is love for you?
PABLO, GUARDAMA DEL SEGURA, SPAIN


Dear Tom and Pablo,
 
The voice in ‘Ghosteen Speaks’ is not my own. It is the emergent expression of an invisible, migratory spirit — the Ghosteen. It is the spirit of love and mercy. Throughout the song, the Ghosteen announces its presence — I am beside you. Look for me.
 
It says — I am invisible, but I am here. Search for me, and you will find me.
 
It calls to the compassionate act of witnessing — of seeing.
 
Love has something to do with the notion of being seen — the opposite of invisibility. The invisible, the unwitnessed, the unacknowledged, the isolated, the lonely — these are the unloved. Loving attention illuminates the unseen, escorting them from the frontiers of lovelessness into the observed world. To truly see someone — anyone — is an act that acknowledges and forgives our common and imperfect humanity. Love enacts a kind of vigilant perception — whether it is to a partner, a child, a co-worker, a neighbour, a fellow citizen, or any other person one may encounter in this life. Love says softly — I see you. I recognise you. You are human, as am I.
 
To pay witness to another, in an alert and loving manner, is essentially an act of forgiveness for it is to acknowledge with compassion our mutual human capacity for all things, both good and evil.
 
When we reduce each other to symbols or representations, rather than see each other as the complex, flawed human beings that we are, we engage in the very antithesis of mercy — heartlessness, condemnation and sanctimoniousness. Within this baleful clamour the luminous spirits of compassion retreat.
 
I am beside you. Look for me — call the windswept voices of love, to all that have the forbearance to hear.

Love, Nick


30th June

In the olden days {PC pre-covid} I am mid season and bedding into a lovely rhythm; travelling most weekends having adventures whilst capturing stories far and wide.  The house is usually a tip as my bag is never unpacked, batteries are charging at ever socket and the fridge is filling up with film.  I do admin in the day and seem to edit late into the night often end up falling asleep with fox in his bed so I get a full nights sleep.  This is how we live for about 5 months of the year, a kind of beautiful chaos of picture making, juggling, fatigue inducing and sheer joy and happiness making. This year the rhythm is so different, my schedule is disrupted, my adventures are restricted to the town I live in and I am generating work trying to navigate this unfamiliar landscape.  It feels so weird and I really miss my job, my job is more than just that; it is an honour and pleasure.  Every couple, family and tribe I meet is unique no wedding party are the same and I bloody miss this.  There is a lot of uncertainty in the wedding industry at the moment with inconsistencies coming from that bloke that I can’t even utter his name here.  Panic not, as there are many ways to celebrate your union and commitment, elements, portrait sessions, intimate smaller gatherings.  This is the time to get creative, think about what is important and start from there, create something that aligns to this moment in time, love still wins right?  One thing lockdown has taught me is that all I need are good people, connection, nature, love and everyday mindfulness and to carry on being creative with life and I urge you to do the same.  If you are reading this feeling bogged down and frustrated whilst trying to plan your wedding maybe become a bit playful with the idea and encourage your imagination and just see…. This brings me to Lyndsey & Dyfad;  I was lucky enough to be able to document their beautiful emotional London ceremony.  This wedding was small and just perfect, with just both there mums and dads present… 4 guests in total and in total 8 and it was a wonderful celebration.  After the short ceremony we headed off for some portraits.  It was the hottest day of the year last year with balmy temps in London hitting the 30s, however it didn’t stop these two being effortlessly cool and stylish.  Lyndsey & Dyfad are two successful actors who have the world currently at their feet {you may recognise their faces}.  They have an infectious energy between them; playful, funny, caring and loving.  I know that their lives will be full of adventure as their success grow alongside their love and friendship, it was a joy to capture and witness this moment in their lives.  If you fancy a small ceremony or an intimate wedding or a portrait session drop me a line, I will be there in a heartbeat, my batteries are charged and I am ready x



22nd June

I guess this diary entry is more of an insight into who I am;  this space is about sharing more about my work beyond my wedding images and so this fits in with that idea to naturally share more about me.  

During lockdown it has become more and more obvious that my world and crack is full of people, I love ideas, I love energy, sharing experiences and being creative.  The wisdom which comes from ageing I can honestly say I have never felt more free and assured of what I love to spend my time doing.  Don’t get me wrong I like to let me hair down but in all honesty creativity is at the centre of the world I create for me and Fox.  I am so grateful that it informs my life choices these days from growing flowers and fresh veg, to running my own photography business and renovating a house in France.  At this exact moment in time I am able to fully express myself in my work, my life choices with the love and support of my friends and many inspiring networks.  Part of this process is to raise each other up and help one another and inspire, support and come together as communities enabling the creative process to flow.  This is a really long introduction to an interview well it is more of a conversation piece.  It is part of a series that the ‘Postmodernist bridal’ collective have been working on where they are conversing with women creatives who are at the top of their game whilst trying to push the edges of their discipline.      Pippa (Bon Bride), Anya (L’eto Bridal), Mannie (Bowie Rae), Ann-Marie (AM Faulkner) and Prea (Prea James Bridal) are a few of the powerhouses behind the collective, looking to disrupt the bridal industry. What began as a support network of like-minded women, working mothers, designers and friends soon became an unstoppable force.  Mannie and I chatted across other sides of the world and it was like she and I were sitting around my kitchen table like old friends catching up with a glass of wine.  I think it is probably easier for you to listen to the interview, we had a whole heap of questions which transpired were not needed as we naturally ebbed and flowed in brilliant engaging and inspiring conversation. I wholeheartedly echo the values and intentions of this group of talented and fearless women;  we are all one big community and sharing and collaborating is in this time of crisis never so pertinent. I have never been more inspired and motivated to create with a sense of playful irreverence than I am right now. My hope is that this interviews helps shift something in you as well. In whatever way you interpret this energy within your own work.  Please do message me if it does, I love to chat and collaborate…….. 

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