Words and photographs provided by Neil Mortensen
After taking a break from shooting, last Saturday I picked up my friend Jeanna in Petaluma and we headed out to Point Reyes. She had just gotten a new camera that she wanted to try out and I was in need of a new adventure. It had rained the day before so it was as fresh out as I had hoped. Luckily it was the only day that weekend that it didn't rain and there were still lingering clouds that created the diffused light I was looking for. After exploring Point Reyes, we had to make a stop at In-N-Out which is essential after an adventure. Then finally, after it got dark and we were on our way back to Petaluma, we saw this Christmas tree farm off the freeway that was illuminated by these little white lights strung up around the farm. Jeanna probably loves Christmas more than anyone.. I've never seen someone so happy to see Christmas trees haha.
I love taking photos of Jeanna because of how fun and easy-going she is. She doesn’t force anything or take it too seriously. A lot of the portraits I took were serious but most of the time we were cracking up in between shooting and a lot of them during but most ended up out of focus haha. I always love the photos I capture of her because of how naturally happy she is. That, coupled with her beauty, always makes for some amazing photographs. To be honest, these photos are some of my favorites I’ve ever taken for a number of reasons, but mostly because of how genuine and organic they are. I’m known mostly for taking photos of landscapes and cityscapes but portraits are secretly my favorite because of the story they tell and the memories they capture. Nothing can tell more of a story than the emotion on someone’s face. I think of my photos as a journal, capturing memories from my travels and stopping moments in time that I don’t want to forget. I think of the pictures I take as something I'll show my kids one day and hopefully inspire them to see the world, and not just for what it is, but for what it could be- for what they could make it. Same goes for everyone else I share my photos with. Photography has taken me to so many places I never would've seen if I hadn't picked up a camera and for that I'm forever grateful. It's changed the way I see things and enhanced my perspective on life while keeping me on a positive track. This day was the most fun, rewarding day I’ve had of shooting in a while. It was a reminder as to why I love photography when sometimes, its over-saturation and hype discourages me. Thanks for stopping by. With the holidays approaching, I hope everyone enjoys the time they have to chill with their friends and families.