In my crazy everyday life as a mother of four and as a full time photographer running multiple studios, I sometimes get lost in the “crisis of the moment” and forget why I fell in love with photography to begin with over 20 years ago. Every now and then something always happens to make me rediscover that love in its purest form.

Yesterday was one of those moments.

One of them made me a paper crane while patiently waiting for his turn in front of my camera, and then, as a thank you, proudly thrust it into my hand. Another hugged me so tightly and for so long that I couldn’t move nor breath very well… but I wasn’t going to be the first to pull away! Yet another made me the loveliest of crayon drawings depicting a beautiful house with a green yard and a bright yellow sun.

These were the kids of the Primo Center for Women and Children, the Chicago area’s preeminent and pioneering shelter for homeless women and children. They visited me in my Winnetka studio to work on a very special photo project. We are attempting to put a face on child homelessness in Chicago. Our goal? To create 15 beautiful 30 x 40 canvas art pieces for display at Primo’s annual gala showcasing the beauty and reality of these vulnerable little people. We hope to create a traveling exhibit of the pieces after the gala in September.

Everyday we hear that there are people in need. Living in Winnetka, Illinois, I almost never actually run across them. My ardent belief is that once you do, there is just no turning your back. This is especially true with these little darlings. They truly are the most beautiful children with the most tender hearts. They are so completely innocent and in such dire circumstances. Even though most people will never actually get to meet these special kids, my hope is that my photos will be enough for viewers to make that critical connection. I am hopeful that the shots I have chosen will give the viewer a window to their souls.

The kids were so incredibly grateful for the attention paid to them. The photo shoots made them all feel special, highly valued and like key contributors to a special cause. Just wait until they see their gorgeous portrait hung proudly on the wall!

Photography is love.

That is why I love photography.

-Julie

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  1. Melissa Mitchell: Beautiful faces - one of a kind shots! (08/27/14, 10:50 am)

  2. Nafisa Skeie: Wow. This post just gave me the chills. I love photographing kids, and the connection and affection I get from them in the process is the reason why I want to further my career with children and photography! These photos look amazing! Thank you for sharing one of the reasons why people do what they do. :) Nafisa Skeie (08/29/14, 1:19 pm)

  3. Wedding Photography Portland: Beautiful photos! These are all amazing... :) Great work of arts! (09/03/14, 9:55 am)

  4. Tera Landman: Thank you so much! (09/03/14, 11:11 am)

  5. Tera Landman: Thank you! :) (09/03/14, 11:11 am)

  6. Denise: Wow... Amazing set of photos! Their eyes were very bright. :) (12/19/14, 12:16 pm)

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