I wanted to include Stephanie in this project for two main reasons. First, she's awesome. Second, she represents the relationships in my life which have been formed through blogging. You see, I've never actually met Stephanie. Yesterday when we video chatted for our 'portrait session' was the first time we'd ever spoken face to face (as it were).
There is a moment when a reader/commenter relationship on a blog turns into a friendship. I can't put my finger on exactly where that moment is, but with Stephanie it was soon after discovering each other that we became friends. Much of what I know about her, you could know too if you read her delightful blog. But I'm learning more through our email and phone conversations and we have plans to meet in the flesh this summer.
It's an oddly intimate relationship where you start from a place of knowing someone before you've even met.
I know that Stephanie is trained as a social worker and worked as such until recently. And that she recently made a leap of faith to follow her dream and become a professional photographer. I know that the choice to become a stay at home mother and freelance photographer was driven by passion but that the transition to it's reality has been somewhat bumpy. I know that Stephanie has deep and private feelings about spirituality and that they aren't exactly the ones she was raised with. I know that Stephanie takes great pride in being a woman and a mother and that both of these things are paramount in her life choices.
She writes with a strong and irreverent voice but her actual voice is soft and sweet. To me, her photography illustrates her straightforward and insightful view of the world as her images are revealing without being contrived.
And in addition to all these things, I also know that when we finally meet, it will be wonderful.