Juliette Mills – Brothers

Juliette Mills


This is the story of my life with my two boys since moving to a special place where we all feel closer to nature than ever before. It’s a magical garden where we can fly. It’s a place where the boys can be free. Where they run, climb, wade through a giant pond and hide in a bamboo forest. Where we walk through long grass and beneath ancient trees to catch the school bus. It’s a place where they can watch ferns unfurl and tadpoles grow their legs. Where our day begins and ends with the resident song thrush singing his heart out and ends with the call of the Tawny owl interrupting our bedtime story.

And beyond the garden fence is a vast moorland to explore, where they can climb to the top of a huge tor and feel the strength of wind or the sound of silence. Where they can sit and watch wild ponies play and the sun going to bed.  The images also show a bond between two brothers growing day by day. This reminds me of the importance of family and fills me with recognition and gratitude for all my parents and siblings gave me growing up and continue to give.

At a time when half the world’s population is becoming urban and knowing less and less about nature, and in a country where less than 10% of all children play in woodlands, countryside or heaths, I want to show with this work the importance of the natural world in children’s lives, for health on all levels, as well as cognitive development and creativity.

But most of all this is simply the story of two brothers, just living.




Juliette Mills (born London 1972) is a British photographer based in Dartmoor, South West of England and has been taking pictures since a child. She grew up in a private zoo, surrounded by endangered species, with parents fired by passions for conservation and music, and she developed a love of travel and wildlife via her gallivanting father mixed with an appreciation of home and family through her rock of a mother. She graduated from Kings College London with a degree in French & Spanish, where she specialised in South American cultural identity and spent time living and studying in Paris and Buenos Aires. She went on to study film and photography in the UK.

After working freelance for several years shooting wildlife & travel and writing for magazines, she had her first solo photographic exhibition in London in 2001 – a collection of wildlife portraits, and has exhibited since in local galleries in Devon. Having children and moving to the countryside provoked a change in direction towards documentary work, with subjects closer to home. And the experience of a workshop in Oaxaca alongside some special people, had a huge effect on her way of working, inspiring self-belief and a much freer, more immersed approach to her work.

She works freelance and has several long term projects in progress.


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Juliette Mills


63 Responses to “Juliette Mills – Brothers”

  • There’s something odd about this essay, it’s probably my own feeling and sensibility but I find it’s a lot more about Mum and her idealized life than the brothers. The images are lovely but they need that something else, it all needs loosening up, a little more disorganized like kids usually are.

  • It looks like a magical, almost enchanted place to grow up in. The photography is crisp, clear and informative; wonderfully so. Congratulations Juliette on being published here; this story will, of course, last throughout your children’s childhood – maybe beyond.

    Paul, I think I understand your point about loosening up the essay. We have seen here many essays where blur, shadow etc. are used to express emotion in the photographs and DAH is just about as loose as a photog can get at the moment, but I think that this body of work feels just right. We each have our own eye and march to our own drum.


  • I long for this to be in colour. Some fine work in here however.

  • Nice pictures. I’m missing the uproarious laughter of two brothers. It’s that inter-play that brothers have because they are so close. Those brothers, as shown, are perhaps having fun but I’m not seeing it. They seem apprehensive of their new surroundings. Best of luck with your project.

  • After reading the essay about flying, freedom, and vastness I was surprised to see pictures of kids walking on roads (or next to a stone wall), playing on well ordered lawns, and lounging in safe interiors. Then there is the sword. It looks like a prop to me, and the scenes staged. There is no hint of conflict… Only #8 seemed to resonate with the proposed theme, but now I don’t know, the boy looks a bit posed (the dog looks natural), like an idea based on Where the Wild Things Are. I didn’t understand the first photo at all, until later I thought bathing WITH the dog might be a new thing. Naked kids, bubbles, a swimming hole, packing peanuts…has society strayed so far from simple pleasures that these are surprising, not cliches?

    I hate to be a negative note, and I’m glad others have said positive things first. I do like #8 and agree that the quality and technique are good overall. I also like the essay in style and content, I just felt the essay didn’t deliver — based on my perhaps biased definitions of words like freedom, magic, and vastness.

  • Oh, and “yes” to Paul’s first comment. I agree this is more about a her mother’s view of her sons and idealized impressions.

  • Sally Mann without the ethos. I also agree with Paul. More about the mother than the boys.

  • Juliette
    These are wonderful pictures of your beautiful boys. I’m sure this will be a lifelong project. I’d so love to fast forward and view it 20 years from now.

    I have always believed that seriously documenting and examining our own lives, and those close to us is the most important photographic project we can undertake, in addition to whatever else we do. I’m always amazed at “serious” photographers who do not.

    Of course this is about a mother’s view of her sons and idealized impressions, why should it be anything else?

    I too long for colour, especially in number 8, as I know how vibrant and primal looking skunk cabbage looks when blooming.


  • Thank you Gordon, I now have the courage to comment thanks to you! I knew I’d find this part the scariest… Thank you to all who have looked and commented so far. Some photographers are looser than others… I’m just me. I’ve definitely loosened up a lot with my work in the past two years, I needed to. And DAH helped my head with that process, for sure. But I’ve also learnt that I can only be me. And allowing one’s own unique vision to shine is the most important thing. By the way, the castle is not our home! It’s a place my sons love to visit. Re laughter… of course there are many pictures of laughter – they just didn’t make the edit at this point.

  • smart shooting, i imagine Juliette not only documenting but participating in a balanced way.. i like the order/sequencing of the images.. a good start to a wonderful, and hopefully lifelong project. nice work!

    personally i think it’s ok if a bit(or a lot) of oneself is detected or put into images.. especially so when the subject matter is dear.. certainly the kids behave differently around mom than they would around a stranger.. and those moments and nuances, are part of the beauty of this. just my opinion, but i don’t see it being more about mom than her kids, i see it as well done documentation by mom of her kids..and, i’d wager, for her kids.

  • Brilliant Juliette. Love your work.

  • Yes, Mike, you have a good point that this project is going to mean so much to Juliette’s boys in the future.

    Juliette; you are so right: we all have our own vision and should be true to ourselves. Of course we should all be as loose as we can comfortably be and should experiment to keep creativity high but not follow fashion in a catch up manner or apologize for being ourselves.

    Thanks for commenting Juliette,


  • Phew harsh critics these Burn guys! Sally Mann without the ethos?!At what point is criticism constructive or destructive here? As we are all creators and viewers, selecting the myriad possibilities available to our eyes and lenses, I do not see these photographs as being more about the photographer than the subject than any other photographic essay here.Tennyson wrote “I am a part of all that I have seen”,isn’t this a given in photography now?
    Loved the clarity of these images esp# 1 and #12.I enjoyed the black and white,and didnt long for colour, particularly loved it in #12 and #13.Loved the gentleness of the light in #13.I do see freedom in these photos…scrabbling about next to streams,getting covered in mud and throwing packing stuff everywhere, moments of the children being involved in their own play,sitting naked and natural.I think there is a difficulty inherent with documenting rural images but think this is due to currrent phase of complex images,fracturing,distorting and looking for “understanding” in photos.It’s not enough to have a story of a way of life,as all our lives are stories,complex enough for sure.Thanks for sharing the brother’s story Juliette,really enjoyed them and hope you enjoy watching it unfold.Hey and well done for having the nerve to face everyones opinions!Rachel

  • Except that it’s a mom taking pictures of her progeny in B&W (sprinkled with “birthday suit” shots), this essay has nothing to do with Sally Mann. In short, with Mann, I feel we are being asked to question what has been portrayed in the frame. I also think Sally Mann is not really about spontaneity in seizing a moment, OK I may not recall all, it’s been a while since I flipped pages of a Mann’s book…. I bet I am right, though! ;-)

    The pictures and the contrasts of shade and light are processed with love and care, which echoes Juliette’s maternal love, as in the highlights on the sons bodies in the last picture. yet, not a trace of sentimentality, while we are being left no chance to doubt the affection and affect (for nature to stay an integral presence in children’s lives) that went into making these pictures.

    I mean, with all the instagram and i-crap thrown out at everyone these days it’s refreshing to see craft, ie. work, meaning that unlike the new convemtional wisdom would have us believe, taking pictures dosen’t make one a photographer. In Juliette’s case, we can actually celebrate and reconcile ourselves with the old idea that there are people who take and make pictures because they are photographers.

  • I’m not sure what some of the other commenters are expecting to see out of any photo essay other than the photographer’s view — idealized or not — of the subject. Indeed, I’m not sure what the point is of any picture other than to let the viewer see through the photographer’s eyes. Pretty and technically perfect aren’t really ends in themselves.

    I do think there’s much more to come here. This is a short essay, and we don’t get to see the school bus or the wild ponies. It also feels like the start of a much longer story that’s waiting for its main characters to grow up.

    The ones with the sword (#7 and #8) feel a bit forced to me. I think I see the perspective shift you want us to make, but for whatever reason (and it may be the result of my own children playing a bit too loudly in the background) I’m not quite there. Maybe room to explore a bit more while the magic lasts.

    The others, though … just seem so “Juliette.” So well done on that score. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

  • Some interesting points… is being loose being able to make shots blurry and cut heads off? I can do that. I just don’t choose to. Not with this subject anyway. A mother’s view of her sons – yes of course. It’s a view through my lens. If we show nothing of ourselves in our work, what is the point? Idealized – no, for none of this is perfect or better than reality. If ever I saw truth, it was watching these two children. It’s not complicated. Children aren’t. Nothing in this was set up, forced, or ever will be. They barely notice the camera around my neck any more. I’m not photographing poverty or depravity here, nor do I have reason to rough up the edges or dirty my palette. This is a simple story told in my way. Got to sleep now!

  • Juliette,

    I love this series, and while I must agree with some of the posters regarding the “idealized” images of little boys with their rough and tumble lifestyle, I don’t feel that this is a negative statement at all… it’s just as though the images are filtered through someone who was never a little boy.

    As the oldest of four brothers (and no sisters), my daughter daily blows away my preconceptions of what little girls should be doing and are interested in. I’m sure that any woman viewing my photos of her would see her filtered through a father’s view. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so; seems pretty honest to me.

  • Kids love to perform and playing is serious business …….. the camera they can sense when it is being used and act accordingly they are responding to the camera in most shots a couple they have been caught unawares ………… playtime is different when mum’s not around and so it should be.
    a bit tame …….there is a yearning for a bit more confrontation imagery, art works better that way. Though with family there is enough in day to day dramas.
    ps it always is better when the photographer participates in the comment section

  • Juliette
    There is no need to feel at all apologetic about the “idealized” or sentimental nature of these images. Photos such as these depict the core of our humanity, the beauty and innocence of childhood. Nor is there any need to feel apologetic about the more formal nature of your compositions. This is classic stuff.
    Love it love it.

  • I really enjoyed this. Thanks for showing us the family, you’ve got some great boys. Loved the humor, too, and sequencing ( 8,9) :)) This will be such a great body of work if you continue through the years and an amazing legacy for your children.

  • Some pictures remind me on Sally Man – but thats the nature of these pictures; the last picture somehow reminds me on DAHs picture of his homepage. Different situation, but same emotion. At least for me.
    Lovely environment. Great B/W conversion.
    I love this story. I mean, who can have such a great youth these days? I like the tone of the pictures, their emotions, the moments. Yes, it is the mother’s view. Of course. Yes. Please continue this story for your boys.
    Thank you for showing.

  • These pictures have a gentle touch – it’s almost as though the boys are ghosts. I particularly like the last timeless image. The edge of the pond resembles a coastline such as the shores of their safe island England, where the boys tentatively step away from its safety and into the still darkness of their unknown future.

  • I too am a bit curious why both Sally Mann got brought into this since there are no similarities in style as Herve points out(ok, yes she is a mom and shoots b&w) and simultaneous a suggestion for being “looser” (a swing in the opposite direction)..

    if you want loose , go back and find Juliette’s original publication on Burn…how quickly you forget..

    Juliette seems to be pleading with us to simply accept her life and her work the way it really is…Juliette really is THIS…most of the pictures of children photographed these days and the ones most often published on Burn and elsewhere are from developing countries…surely where 98% of the world population lives….i thought it quite interesting to take a journey where we almost never go…into this sort of idealized world…a romantic notion….for me that is ok….i like to think that somewhere somehow someplace is like this…haven’t we seen enough glue sniffers in photojournalism today?

    i think Juliette can take this further of course…i have not spoken with her about it, but i am certain she will agree….i am curious how her sons will become teenagers here….THAT is another essay! and that is where Sally Mann stopped…

    no doubt in my mind that Juliette will take this to another level….we will not have to wait long…

    cheers, david

  • Juliette, let me clarify something. I think your photos are fine. You succeeded in conveying exactly what you say, in your artist’s statement, that you were trying to do. You’ve, by design, put yourself, and them, in what you perceive as an idyllic environment for them to grow up and you are documenting it. Sentimentality is built into the situation. I get it. (I live in a rural area, also by design). Most people look at the photos through the same filter you do. They think of their own children. They “get” the sentimentality.

    But, I don’t. I don’t have that emotional response to kids. I have no kids, by choice. Thus my initial response. These are a parent’s photos. And, that’s o.k. But when I see photos of children, I’m more interested in those that reveal who that child is as a person, not as a reflection in a parent’s eye. Thus my reference to Sally Mann. Her photos of her children are revealing of who they are, in a much less sentimental way than most.

    I agree with others that your boys will appreciate this record of their lives when they get older.

  • …..maybe one of the kids should chuck one of mum’s camera in the creek. Now that would change things


    funny…i am sure that has happened …or some version of it… :)


    well thought out, well written response…

  • Call me simple (I consider myself well educated and have been a photographer for 40 years) but I’m afraid I hate too much intellectualising over an essay such as this. For me every shot was sheer pleasure and just what I would seek from both an artistic perspective and for the ongoing story yet to unfold.

    Technically I find these images well balanced and beautifully translated into monochrome. As the beginning of a long term documentary project I think Juliette has achieved her objective with distinction and one which her children will be proud of by the time they become men. Well done Juliette!

  • Juliette…

    There is nothing wrong with your essay! Quite the contrary it is beautiful and your kids will one day treasure this work of art. What threw me off was the lovely artist statement, BTW you also write very well. I found your statement extremely engaging and I must admit it inspired me to think in my usual childish frame of mind. Your words took me far away, far to near to Neverland and of course this had nothing to do with your story. I still see more of about you in this essay than your kids, but that is my opinion and what should only count is your view and DAH’s when you are at a workshop with him :)!

  • what an awesome set of pictures! congratulations.
    I love #8.
    Thanks for this :)

  • Great essay. I even liked the dog. I have four brothers and I wish my mother had grat pix like this. Unfortunately, the only picture of me that anyone remembers is the one where I walloping my third brother with a 2×4. Strangely enough, he still resents that. I mean, really, it was forty years ago; he should have gotten over it by now.

  • When I read the intro, I thought, “ahhh… someone with a mindset similar to my own!” When I got into this fine set of work, I knew she would take a few hits, but I am glad to see those who threw the hardest punches backing off a bit in response to the arguments on Juliette’s behalf and by Juliette herself.

    You have shot it differently than I shot it with my own children as they grew, Juliette, but you have shot it very well and you tell a beautiful story. You remind us that good photography need not only deal with the hard elements of life, but with the beautiful and fantastical as well. Yet, through your use the sword, you do remind us that the world these boys are growing up within is, indeed, a harsh and violent place and this loveliness and sweetness may last but a moment, but that is a moment to be treasured and remembered.

    Please keep photographing your boys and don’t stop just because they grow up. Then you can add your grandchildren into the mix. What a wonder that will be!

  • extraordinarily underwhelming and staged. It’s like Errol Morris always says about there being an elephant just outside of the frame…with these I ask myself, where’s the elephant???

  • I think there are two main things of interest that have come out of this commentary for me…

    The first is this: the words were written alongside a wider edit and in hindsight, maybe I should have changed the writing when the collection was cut down to 14, but strangely it didn’t cross my mind to do so. It’s only now through the comments that I can see that my words are somewhat out of sync with this smaller selection of pictures. There are so many pictures to this story already shot.. I guess they were all in my mind when I wrote.

    Andy Gray – thanks for looking and commenting – you might be interested in seeing a much wider edit of Brothers on my website, which may work better for you alongside the words! Regarding simple pleasures and these being cliches… who said I wanted to show extraordinary moments? Children are not aware of cliches, which grow in the minds of those who have lost touch with the magic of seeing something for the first time, as reason takes its toll on their soul.

    2nd thing is this:
    ‘more about the mom than the boys’ – I say hooray! to this. If you see me in my pictures, I have succeeded.

    Lastly, there’s a tendency sometimes I think to presume that something is forced if the composition is gentle or classic. My nature is to move and contort myself into a position where the view is soft and balanced, but this doesn’t mean contrived. Thanks Imants, I also think I need more confrontation. It may come… but hopefully not in the form of a camera chucked in the pond though! Bring on the spears zdb22 or whatever your name is or planet you hail from, I’m enjoying this!

  • Juliette

    An elegant beginning of a long and very beautiful journey.

    Buen Viaje

  • Julliette,

    I didn’t mean to throw any spears. It’s clear from your personal website (the Faces section is beyond fantastic) that you’re a photographer that won’t be forgotten. I just didn’t think this personal work matches what else you have to offer…it just feels a little bit like a family album you might show at a reunion or a wedding…and in that sense, it doesn’t seem on par with what else Burn has to offer…though it’s clear why Burn would want to support your work. Keep on keepin’ on…

  • I want to show with this work the importance of the natural world in children’s lives, for health on all levels, as well as cognitive development and creativity.

    You have very beautiful children. You live in a very beautiful place. You seem to have a very beautiful life. You photograph it quite well. And I really love the dog. I once had a similar dog for a neighbor. He was my favorite dog of all time.

    But I look at your statement and the line I quoted above and wonder. Is that some kind of subtle British humor or am I missing something? Most of the photos are taken indoors and most of the outdoor photos show the children indifferent to the natural world around them. As a parent who shares your recognition of the importance of the natural world and its relation to cognitive development, I understand that it’s all good, but from a strictly photographic perspective, I’m not so sure you’re communicating that.

    So I guess my question is a bit more about what you’re seeing in those photographs. What insights do you get from them?

  • Of course when capturing the image, what is excluded from the frame, is as much a choice, as what is included.

    At every turn, images are thrust at me… they clamour for my attention, aiming to sell to me, frighten me, inform me, manipulate me. Images of carnage, wreckage and degradation beckon… each more appalling than the last and this has resulted in my becoming anaesthetised… the more I see, the more able I am to ignore these hard-hitting images of cruelty by man to man, by man to nature, by nature to man.

    In Ms Mill’s work, I am heartened to see someone be brave enough to use her lens to capture, with gentle love, some of childhood’s innocence and feel privileged to have been allowed a glimpse of that private world. While looking in, I was able to close off the clamour and lose myself in marvellous images, images which opened me up.

  • A study of subjects so near and dear to the photographer is certainly not detrimental, as I see individual and universal truths expressed within these images.

    I hugely enjoyed these photographs for their composition, use of light, content and sequencing.
    Images 3 and 4 have stuck in my mind and I find it satisfying to have them placed together.
    The facial expression on 3 reveals a boy, well equipped for the cold, still finding his journey difficult. Juliette has managed to capture an overall look that beautifully blends facing harsh obstacles with a sense of courage and determination to continue the journey (big breath in). Seeing this metaphor of the human condition in such a young subject is accessible and powerful.
    And 4, for me, represents the successful accomplishment and aftermath of that goal (big breath out). There is often drama and strife in our lives, no matter how idyllic they may seem to others and we don’t always surmount obstacles, but there is just cause for some sort of celebration when we do.

    I certainly look forward to seeing more of the journey as it unfolds. Thank you, Juliette!

  • Tough critics. I guess when you agree to appear on BURN you agree to face the music. A well-seen collection of images from a talented photographer. So congratulations, Juliette, on publishing your work here.

    The essay is very much more than a family album you’d show at a family re-union and, for you especially, will grow in importance as your boys grow up. Then the insights into their youth will be even more pointed and poignant, as you look at them as young men and wonder where the years went.

    As for your statement — I tend to ignore statements on Burn and just move to the photos. Whether or not it can be nitpicked is beside the point of the message of pictures.

    It’s obvious from your website that you know what you’re doing. Not all photographers are going to be remembered forever, in fact many of the so-called “names” of today will quickly be forgotten. So what? We’re here making a living doing what we love, interpreting the world through a viewfinder. Good for us!

    A number of your pictures above are wonderful, and perfectly capture the wonder of childhood. (Leaning bare-bottomed into that box of packing peanuts, e.g.) Back in the day of Life Magazine here in the US of A, they would have been right at home in a printed essay. Here they are right at home as a consistent series of strongly observed images.

    What insights do you get from the pictures, it was asked… probably that you have two boys enjoying childhood before being tossed into this harsh world. What else do you need to know?

    “Not on par with what Burn has to offer,” it was stated. GOOD! Toss in a meth pipe and shoot everything at ISO 12000, would that make these better?

    Congratulations again. Keep going!

  • dq the critiques here have been based on approach not content, zdb22222222222 was positive about Juliette’s site just didn’t think this work was up to scratch with waht is om her site.

  • Anyone truly creative understands how much of the self goes into our work, and how exposing that inevitably is. With that in mind, I find the willingly destructive attitudes of some critiques tasteless. I don’t feel that this the way artists should be speaking to each other about their work…Burn or no Burn.

    I love this series of photographs. As a mother of boys myself, I am only too aware that this breed of wild child is in danger of becoming extinct! These images are not only beautifully shot, they are brimming with spontaneity and quirkiness. Personal favourite is #14, something excruciatingly tender about the juxtaposition of the younger and the older child in this one….taken from behind, the older child’s body already hints at manhood.

    These images are simply beautiful to behold, and beauty nourishes the soul. The photographs of these children remind us about the tears, the wonder, the bravery of growing up…something with which we all need to reconnect.

  • It could easily be argued that ignoring the artist’s statement is disrespectful, if not outright insulting, to the artist.

    Personally, I’m fascinated by the idea that familiarity with the natural world is good for our health, cognitive development and creativity and am interested in the artist’s insights on the subject. Perhaps it’s something impossible to convey solely through photography, but that kind of thing is why photographs are often accompanied by writing.

    Or maybe dq’s right and the artist’s statement is bullshit not worth reading or contemplating and her work is significantly less deep than the statement suggests? I doubt it. I suspect that just because some people don’t see, or have no interest in seeing, below the surface doesn’t mean there’s nothing there.

  • We have multiple means of communication limiting oneself to a single form achieves very little if anything ………………….wow mum didn’t have to take a photograph of the eggs she could have told me to collect them from the chook yard

  • We have multiple means of communication limiting oneself to a single form achieves very little if anything ………………….wow mum didn’t have to take a photograph of the eggs she could have told me to collect them from the chook yard

    Say what?

  • Well, first of all I am not a photographer so I cannot speak to the more technical aspects of Juliette’s piece; however, I am a musical artist and can appreciate an artists’ voice regardless of medium.

    Juliette lays out beautifully in her artist statement what one is to expect in perusing the photographs: two brothers simply living. To those with a harsh tone to their critique regarding the subject matter – what did you expect to see, a couple of bums strung out on crack in harlem? Seriously, I thought the statement clearly set up a mystical world, existing in a rural area of England and I thought the photos captured that world beautifully. I also thought the choice of black & white tightened the scenes in a way that served them well, there seemed to be almost a sheen to the quality of the pictures. A luminous-ness.

    Also, I know nothing of Burn, except what the website itself states in the first line of information: burn is an evolving journal for emerging photographers. Why should this artist not be included on this site? She is an “emerging photographer”. And why should this piece not be included on this site? Since Burn strives to be an “evolving journal” for artists. By it’s very nature, to me, the word “brothers” sums up the idea of evolving.. . the ever evolving JOURNEY of siblings.

    Gorgeous work Juliette, ignore the armchair critics!

  • MW- I did not say that the atrst statements are bullshit, I only said I didn’t read them. Not to be insulting or disrespectful, only to experience the images with less “baggage” attached. I will often read the statement after viewing the work. Could have been clearer about that.

  • We need to celebrate every artist for who she is,
    for when the time comes that art will no longer
    exist, (or perhaps it’ll fall beyond our comprehension, like the NFL)
    we as artists need to share the
    willingness to imitate and impersonate the greatest,
    we need to share Woolf’s moments of being and Joyce’s
    love of allusion and Eggleston’s love of the eccentric.
    For when this continues, and when the political
    world reaches a tipping point (near at hand)
    a new Renaissance will be born and it’ll make
    Boticelli look like Stephen King.

  • Hadn’t noticed 1st time around, but if you look full screen at the 2nd image there’s a child materialising out of the old wall, who’d been partially hidden through the swirl of leaves. I said before that they looked like ghosts.

    In 13 there’s the empty leather chair with a slight indentation – Who used to sit there I wonder….maybe it’s not completely unoccupied?

  • Hi Juliette,
    Thanks for sharing these with us.

    [Before I start: I would try not to get too worried by the odd harsh critique on Burn.. no-one is immune, even the superstars. And I guess you’ll get some home truths here that you might not get from people in person?]

    Regarding the pics: on the positive side, I would echo the others in saying how great these are technically. Those tones are fab. I’m a bit jealous.

    In terms of style, I do feel you have your own vibe visually, which unites the project in my opinion.
    Having said that, I personally would like to see you living on the edge a bit more. You know your subject inside out, so this could be the perfect opportunity to visually ‘throw yourself off a cliff’ and see what comes out? After all, you’ve got the knack of shooting like this – I think people agree on that.

    In terms of subject matter, people have argued over this one already..
    Hmm. This is clearly not ‘edgy’ photojournalism. But why shouldn’t the Burn team throw projects like this into the mix? These images have their own power, because you’ve put your heart and soul into them. Personally I like having a variety on this site – it keeps me guessing.

    Best of luck with the project.. and from a kindred spirit: think about that cliff eh?


  • “I don’t feel that this the way artists should be speaking to each other about their work…Burn or no Burn.”

    How should artists speak to each other? Dishonestly? Patronizing?

  • I like this series and I’m curious about this new direction in photo essays. Just as often as we see people cataloging conditions at the ends of the earth we are starting to get more and more of these close examinations of every day life or the photographer’s own inner landscape (Ivan and the Moon)–it is refreshing, but maybe it just seems new to me and has always been there. In a way it almost goes full circle back to Country Doctor (in so far as the subject matter is not exotic or remote). Perhaps we are so saturated with images of the exotic, the drama of war and tragedy, that these more quiet examinations take on a new power.

  • JIM

    No, artists want to all be patted on the back so they pat others on the back. Everything and everyone is wonderful!


  • ……some prefer back stabbing method (laughing and grinning)

  • Words are so much more powerful when delivered in a noble manner. Billy and Mike Avena, I really appreciate your thoughts.. thanks for looking and thinking.

  • Imants, do you think you could be less confrontational with your work – if someone great suggested it? Would you try? Would it depend on who asked this of you and how they asked it?

  • This beginning to all sound a little absurd.

  • My books have periods of quiet and serenity paced with some in your face aspects.
    Yea I am capable of the ordinary http://www.etrouko.com/iman.htm

  • Thank you everyone for looking and commenting. The constructive comments have been very valuable. Intriguing to me how the critique shows as much about the individuals writing it as it does about what they’re observing. And this has added something quite unexpected to my experience of being published on Burn. I hadn’t realised before now quite how much our life experiences had an effect on how we view art. A fascinating experience. Thanks so much.

  • Juliette

    Thanks for this peek into your life.

    I find these wonderful photographs to be so affirming. You have given me faith in my own vision.

  • Juliette,

    Loved your photos :-)

  • I love this work. The composition and lighting of Juliette’s shots convey for me a wonderful mood and atmosphere that just draws you in. She captures the brothers’ relationship with their environment beautifully – these pictures say as much about the surroundings they’re growing up in as they do about the boys themselves, the study of each enhanced exponentially by the way Juliette’s captured the interaction. Therein lies the ‘ethos’ in my opinion. I look forward to the next chapter of this story, and the one after that.

  • I want to say again that I’m so glad these discussions aren’t anything like the discussions on Flickr, although sometimes I think comments cross the lines. In this case, I didn’t feel that way.

    I (should I write this) find myself agreeing with Jim Powers, except in my case I have children and enjoy pictures of children. But I draw a line between the kinds of photos I would love to have in a family album versus the kinds of photos of (other peoples’ children) that I would like to look at again and again. These are beautiful shots and well done, but I am happy to skim through them quickly.

    At any rate, surely any photos worth taking won’t work for everyone. I may take your suggestion to see your other work…on the other hand, my wife is waiting to watch the final episode of Dollhouse on DVD now that those pesky daughters of ours are asleep…

  • Juliette–this is stunning work and clearly straight and true from your heart. As a professional portrait photographer I am sickened with contrived, polished portraits and the status quo of what is being produced out there. Your essay however has inspired me and encouraged me that people are still documenting children in an honest fashion. Thank you for sharing–both your words and imagery.

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