Jamie Deurmeier | Ventura Portrait Photographer | The Dorn Sisters

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I grew up with these two strong and beautiful ladies...my "chosen sisters".

We've been blessed with countless hours of silliness and dancing during our high school years. Late nights talking about boys. Cracking up together watching Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live.  And you could bet if the TV wasn’t on then Abba or Fleetwood Mac was playing in the background and one (if not all) of us was lip-syncing. The Dorn household was my second home. It was a place of laughter and deep friendship. 

When their father Tally passed away quite unexpectedly a couple years ago from a terrible and fast moving disease, their world was shaken. If you knew him at all your world was shaken too. His joy and laughter were contagious. His warm and quirky personality filled whatever room he walked into. His kindness was without limit. So it goes without saying that the void he left behind was profound. 

Having lost my own father when I was 14, I have found that grief is it's own creature. It comes and goes when it pleases. The sadness might be triggered by something that reminds you of the person...a certain smell,  a song, or an empty chair at the table.  But sometimes it just wells up for no particular reason at all. The loss of a parent is unique and carries a heaviness that only people who have experienced it themselves can fully understand. It helps when you have someone to walk you through.

 

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But losing someone you love can wear on you to the point that you forget or don’t have the space to be anything other than broken or strong.  For this shoot, I really wanted to be able to give my “sisters” the space to be something else. I wanted to give them some time to be goofy, carefree, and feel beautiful with each other for a little while.

When they agreed to the shoot, I didn't tell them what my intention was behind it. I was just hoping they would fall back into goofy mode like they used to. And of course they totally did. The day of the shoot was ridiculously windy. I mean it was a hair flying in each other’s faces, chasing runaway hats across the field kind of windy day.

It was perfect. It's not possible to take anything seriously in that kind of craziness. So, Mother Nature was on our side, giving these special women lot's of space to be silly.

And they did. All the way through sunset.

 

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