What I learned from my own Beloved Session

Ben and I had our own Beloved session with Kristin! (Trades are awesome.) I can delightfully say that I am quite fulfilled now that I have experienced this first hand for myself!

All images courtesy Kristin Brown. 


A few things that I learned by being a “subject” of a Beloved Session

1. I was surprised to see many expressions of myself that I had never seen before.

The expression I see posing in front of the mirror is pretty much identical to my practiced camera smile. Since these images are very much a digital capture of our responses to one another, it was really neat to see myself the way that other people do.


2. My flaws and imperfections were still there. Only it really didn’t matter.

I’m as self-conscious as the next person about what I look like in pictures, but even though these images still show my rather unfavorable characteristics, it didn’t bother me like it had in the past. I really believe that this is because of two main things:

a) The images are not about creating perfection. There is a foundation of posing present, but the intent draws the viewers eye most powerfully to the emotion, rather than a carefully staged pose.  By all means the technical and composition elements are still vital, but it is the feeling an image communicates that resonates the strongest.

b) Because the most powerful draw of the image is the authentic emotion, as the subject you are transported back to the way you felt in that moment. You feel the joy again. You feel the love again… And you can not feel love and joy while simultaneously feeling insecure and self depreciating. They’re incompatible feelings and can not co-exist.


3. I’m a better person and better wife after this experience.

One of the main visions of Beloved actually has little to do with photography. Its about removing the distractions in our life that cloud our perceptions of ourselves and each other. Life is busy, chaotic, and few of us regularly take the time to truly connect with each other or share stories or feelings that have shaped our relationships. This is a powerful gift to experience in life. A short hour or two with no distractions and the opportunity to connect? Worth every cent you may spend!

I was reminded again in a refreshed sense of how wonderful Ben is and how blessed I am to have this amazing person to share my everyday life with. I’m now more loving and patient, and even weeks later, I am reminded of the perspective shift I experienced that night. When you integrate the actual photographs back into the scene, they serve as powerful reminders of that shift so we can experience it again and again.

Every marriage needs this experience.

Thank you Kristin for allowing me and Ben to share this experience. It was amazing and continues to have a lasting effect. You are incredible!

24 Responses

  1. These photos are incredible, you are so lucky to have had a beloved session yourself, it must give you a complete diferent perspective. These are the sort of pictures that will show your grandchildren how much you loved each other and the real true relationship you shared. I am so jelous!

  2. Kristin is a rockstar! =) I love all of these images, but the sequence of the last 4 is my favorite! I’m so glad you decided to do this trade, because both of you did a wonderful job!!!

    1. Oh Rhonda… you just need to make another trip to Utah and we can make that happen 🙂 Probably not on the same day as running a marathon though 😉

  3. Makes me wish I was a little more confident in my photography to branch into this. Adore the concept and LOVE how you stated you didn’t notice imperfections because you were noticing the emotion. sweet!

  4. AWWWWW! These are some great pictures. Wow. You will most certainly enjoy and love these, but I think posterity will treasure them for years to come. What a great gift to your children. 🙂

  5. You two look soooo beautiful! What wonderful pictures! I love them lots and lots! So glad you got to be on the other end of a beloved shoot. 🙂

  6. You are a breathe of fresh air. I LOVE these sessions. I do think that my hubby and I need this with all that we have been going thru. Kristen a job well captured. Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Nice, nice, and soooo nice. Kept wondering where Buzzy was and then I remembered he probably wasn’t invited on this shoot!

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