Jess: Birling Gap - Portrait Session

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Jess

Birling Gap: Portrait Session

This was one of those days that remind you completely why you're in this 100%, with all your heart. And why you cannot imagine yourself even wanting to do anything more than this. 

The other week I got to meet, photograph, and be photographed by Jess Mcghie, who is a very talented and whole-hearted couples photographer, and a beautiful human being. We adventured together, took a bus over some hills with the most beautiful scenery of the sea, and walked some windy, autumnal country roads to get to Birling Gap, a beautiful spot on the South Coast of UK. It's got cliffs, it's got sea and a beautiful lighthouse, it's got everything our adventurous hearts desired. But it left me thinking about one of the most important aspects of being a photographer. That is the people we get to meet & the connections we make. As photographers I think we’re all in love with the beautiful landscapes, with light, with shadows and days of getting to adventure somewhere & create with our hearts, but most of all, as photographers of people, we are in love with humans. I am endlessly grateful for each connection I form with people I photograph, and the chance to capture them in their presence. And like the photographs, those connections will always remain with me, in my heart & in my mind. It’s what makes photography matter so much. And for me photography is all about experiencing the human life with my little human eyes, and sharing it with the rest of the world. I love and desire to photograph light, and people are light, a very magical kind of light. 

And as we're on that subject of light and the importance of capturing it's fleeting shine, after our journey to Birling Gap I was left thinking about how important it is that we, photographers, get to frame these places, like Birling Gap, that are constantly changing and moulding due to the elements. We walked on ground that day that most likely will not be standing there in 20 years or so. Due to the rate of erosion, the cliffs are coming in closer and closer each year. We were there only a few months ago, when my mum flew over here to visit me, and the staircase we then used to get down to the beach is already being moved as the cliff edge has come too close to support it. Whilst the lighthouse was moved back 20 years ago as the cliffs had eroded so close, and it is now standing next to the edge again. What will this place be like in a 100 years or so? Will it be completely unrecognisable? What about all those homes that are still stood nearby, and the people that live in them?

This world is constantly changing and photographs of the past & present allow us to look at the world through a lens other than that of our own constrained understanding of reality.  They transport us to places we may never be able to visit, they show us the realities of the world, they remind us of the past, and they tell us the story of this Earth, which is uniquely intertwined with the story of humanity as a whole, and the stories of people who once walked, or are walking upon this ground.

I’m so glad I got to meet you & adventure with you, Jess, before you set of on your further travels!

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