Hey there. My name is Julie Hanna Laflamme and photography has always been my creative calling. I took my first photography class in 2003 and went on to get a degree at the once prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography (RIP). Originally, I wanted nothing to do with photographing people, and weddings were the very last thing on my mind. My grad portfolio was all architecture photography. See below...
Before graduating, I took a really special black and white film photography class, where I had the freedom to choose any subject. My Grandma was going through chemotherapy at the time, and so I chose to photograph her (and my Grandpa).
After she passed, I submitted one of those photos to a contest entitled “Photograph Your Love” and I won the grand prize; a flight to Portland to attend a photography workshop by Jesh de Rox entitled “Life: As an Artform.”
Another transformation took place as I learned over three days, the art of evoking real emotion in order to take the most beautiful and honest photos… something I had done with my grandparents by circumstance, but something I learned to create with clients like magic.
The following year, I hid in the bushes with my camera and a long lens while my friend was proposed to, and then got some close-ups of them afterward. It was exhilarating and much to my surprise, even pretty fun.
I still wasn’t quite sold on “young love,” (it was personal) and so I took the opportunity to photograph the love between older couples, and also between grandparents and grandchildren. I got to meet some of my friends’ grandparents and experienced very intense emotions during each session.
I often sobbed in my car after these photo sessions.
Then, again, some other friends got engaged, and I was excited to do an engagement shoot with them (pictured below). At their wedding, I introduced myself to their photographer and followed up with an e-mail, and she was apparently impressed. From there, I started associate shooting with her and was catapulted in to the wedding world, photographing 30 weddings in my first season. I shot around 80 weddings for her and also luckily found two very incredible photographers who became my mentors and friends, Gabriel Harber & Calvina Nguyen, and shot alongside them for several years.
While dating Maurice (who's now my husband), I had been teaching him the ins and outs of photography. As a wedding approached where I needed a second shooter, I realized he was ready, and Mojo Weddings was born. We shot under that name from 2014 to mid-2019, when we decided to drop the Mojo name and go with the obviously woman-led business name, Julie Laflamme Photography.
Which leads me to us getting married. Pictured here.
I definitely tried to downplay it. To us, we were already committed and in love and living together. We had a dog and a cat. But we thought there juuuuust might be something to the whole marriage thing.
Our family gathered around us on the beach at Big River in Mendocino. The full story is posted here.
But without trying to, we saw how our ceremony, the impromptu toasts on the beach afterward (with the very planned out champagne on hand), and being surrounded by our family was the most special thing we had experienced together.
I finally experienced firsthand the real beauty of a wedding, and marriage, and I'm excited to share that with all of my clients; I make sure they know something special is about to happen, no matter how they choose to celebrate.
To sum up the rest of my life very quickly...
I love cooking, making hand-sewn drawstring bags, and wandering around without a plan. Maurice, besides being a photographer, is a long-time and full-time artist. He works mostly with acrylic and spray paint but can bust out a mean chalk pastel.
Together we've lived in San Francisco and Oakland, Mendocino, Trabuco Canyon, Grass Valley, and oh, the 200+ places we parked and slept while living full-time RV life for two whole years. A glimpse of Maurice's art and our home on wheels is posted below...
We are so happy to now call Point Arena, on the Mendocino coast, our home.
P.S. We have an almost 4 year old daughter and she is awesome. She went to 5 weddings with us in her first year of life, and was a perfect angel. We plan to bring her with us again as our little shooter once she passes the not-so-perfect-angel (but really fun and silly) / toddler-hood stage.