We had the good fortune of connecting with Jillian Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jillian, why did you pursue a creative career?
Before establishing J Murphy Photos LLC, I felt I was on a creative journey. As cliche as it sounds, it’s my favorite way of framing things (no pun intended). Actively taking risks, ignoring doubt and breaking out of established patterns to explore new horizons in my personal life have been essential for my growth, creative process and success as a photographer.
In 2014, I picked up a camera and never looked back. Photography has inspired so many memories and connections with others. I love being able to imagine something beautiful and then go out and capture it just as much as I love being in the moment, seeing things more vividly though my lens. In many ways photography has enriched my life and continues to inspire and motivate me to get out and see the world more wholly. Starting my business is really just a piece of the picture (again, no pun intended).
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a Colorado wedding, elopement and lifestyle photographer, I work with my clients to create timeless and creative images that truly embody the emotion and detail that make their day special. My style leans toward raw and candid. For me, It’s all about fun, movement & capturing moments as they are. I definitely seek clients who also love adventure and the outdoors and want to incorporate this element into their stories!
I’ve worked hard to be where I am today. It took me a few trips around the world, years of time and investment honing my photography skills and a lot of lessons learned, both personally and professionally. Over the last 10 years, I’ve been humbled as I’ve watched beauty unfold all around me, in nature, humanity and love. I’ve solo backpacked in over 13 countries, trekked one of the highest mountain passes in the world, have visited over 20 U.S. national parks and have lived or traveled through most cities across the U.S. Exploration has become a part of me; finding and capturing all that this world has to offer, my passion. Now, based in Colorado, it is my honor to share this love of adventure and story telling with others!
Lessons I’ve learned over the years:
1. Never stop learning. Learning new techniques and skills will keep things interesting and will continue to inspire new creation. Invest in your craft, attend workshops, connect with other creatives, spend 8 hours on youtube, practice and mess up until you get it right and keep going from there. In addition to being a photographer, I am a budding videographer. I just finished my first little video for one of my couples a few days ago and I am super excited about it.
2. The time is now, don’t wait. I’ve come to many cross-roads over the years where I’ve had to decide what was more important; sticking around to please others or rewriting my narrative and chasing dreams. For more reasons than one, I felt like I was drowning where I grew up. I have an amazing family and I still have some of my best friends there, but I was ready to evolve and for me that meant creating blank slates. I filled those slates with art- images of travel, new experiences, new places, new friends, new homes, new cities, new work and now a photography business I can call my own. It’s all been pretty cool. There are so many memories I’ve collected over the years that I wouldn’t trade for anything and so many wouldn’t have happened had I waited even a day longer. Trust your intuition!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would have to grab coffee from one of the many amazing cafe’s around Denver. I’d probably have to go with Honey Hill cafe in Park Hill then take it to City Park for a walking tour. Brunch in Denver is huge, so we’d conclude our walking tour at my new favorite brunch spot, Humboldt kitchen & bar. At brunch we would plan our 3-4 day road trip/backpacking trip in either the San Juan Mountains or the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area. Exploring a mountain town would be essential, preferably at the conclusion of our back country adventure. That being said, I would probably choose to take my friend on a backcountry/camping adventure in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness just so we could end at my favorite mountain town Colorado, Crested Butte! CB definitely has a more laid-back vibe compared to other more crowded mountain towns. The incredible wildflower season and small-town feel bring me back there each year. A trip to the REI flagship store in Denver might be necessary for equipment my friend might need. The flagship store is located in a restored 1901 Denver Tramway building, so it’s pretty cool! After we’d have to get drinks in the RiNo and check out all of the art galleries, studio spaces and outdoor murals. Finally, I always bring Denver visitors to my favorite Israeli inspired restaurant, Safta. The unlimited batches of fresh wood-fire baked pita bread never disappoints!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh gosh, okay. I’ll start with my biggest shoutout which goes to my parents. Their love and support throughout my life has so much to do with where I am today. Thanks to my mom for coming to Thailand that time, that was crazy and super rad. Thank to her also for surprising me in San Diego and helping me move out to Colorado. Honestly, it’s so cool I can say that some of my favorite travel memories have been with her. Another shoutout goes to the good friends I’ve made through travel and photography. These friendships in particular have inspired personal growth, new perspectives, a never-ending reading list and memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. Shoutout also to my fiancé, Pete Hillowe from Gunther. Somehow this journey brought us back together and it’s been the sweetest thing.
For my portrait photo (me holding two camera): photo by Paige Whitmore