I would like to tell you a bit about me. I live in Busselton, a beautiful seaside resort in Western Australia, 2.5 hrs south of Perth.
I have a disability….why do I add this…because it is part of who I am & why I do what I do.
I was told in 1991 that I would never work again, I was put in a very restricting back brace and told to be happy I was alive & not in a wheelchair.
Needless to say I was far from happy….. I was depressed and disillusioned. I needed something to occupy me & lift me out of this negative mind set.
I have a strong belief in God, he is my best friend, so I prayed that God would help me.
I thought, “What can I do?” I struggled with this for some time & then one day standing on the side of the road looking out across a field I thought, “Photography” I had no experience in this, so enrolled in a short course at TAFE to learn more. I found I couldn’t sit for long, but managed to get through
the course & then began shooting in earnest.
This was back in the days of film. As I became more involved in my photography I took another course that focused more on the creative side of photography & found it very inspiring. I had always been good with computers, so I started up my own small business, “Jules Photography & Printing” A lot of my work involved making business cards and flyers but I also did events and eventually weddings. During this time my back was getting stronger and with the help of some natural therapies I was able to take the brace off. I ran the business for 2 yrs.
But life wasn’t meant to be easy and I was then diagnosed with another Bipolar disorder. As I was struggling to come to terms with this I gave up my photography and immersed myself in self help groups and volunteered to help others and I studied Reiki and became a Reiki Master. These endeavors took up all my time and energy.
Once again through the help of alternative therapies I was able toovercome this condition & had started back working in my vocational field of Personal Assistant & Bookkeeping. My son was studying Accountancy, so I suggested we go into business together. We started “BB Balancing Your Books”. Well within 12 months my back pain had returned with a vengeance & I knew I couldn’t continue in this work so I handed the business over to my son and my Hubby and I decided on a sea change.
It was the best thing we could have done. I love being near the beach and as I immersed myself in nature I once again began to experience its healing properties. But once again life threw me a curve ball.
I was in constant pain so asked the Dr to do some more tests to see if we could isolate the problem. The tests came back & my Dr explained that I had severe osteoarthritis in my spine & there was nothing they could do for it. After I got over the initial shock I went to see a specialist who promptly informed me that I could not lift anything, could not walk more than 50m, could not swim or do anything else. I cried all the way home!!!
Then I thought, “NO! I may as well do what I can & if I end up in a wheelchair so be it”
I then went for a walk down the beach and as I stood looking out over the vast expanse of ocean I prayed, “Lord, please help me” and straight away the thought popped into my head, “photography helped me last time,maybe it can help me again.”
So I went home & told hubby I was buying a digital camera. Well the rest is history, I still have severe osteoarthritis but with the help of my Dr, a new specialist and natural therapies I am able to have some quality of life. I cannot work a regular job as I have good days & bad. They discovered I also have Fibromyalgia, so I have periods where the pain flares & I just have to have lots of down time. But doing my photography I am able to pace myself according to my body, I don’t do weddings or events as I cannot guarantee having a good day, but I can take images of nature.
At first, like most of us, I was unsure of my ability, but as I started entering competitions and winning them my confidence grew & I realized that I had something I could share with others. I began getting feedback from others…..
“Magnificent iconic capture! Well done!“, Jennifer Saville
“Lovely capture Julia, the colors are gorgeous!“, Kylie Sheahen
“Beautiful, poignant message in this amazing image“, Wendy Slee
“Hi Julia…I just read about this in the journal of the new MOS group, so thought I’d come and have a look!! Awesome image and brilliant message…so important. Am going to send this to a passionate environmentalist friend. I’m sure she’ll love it!!“, Jan Stead.
My goal then came to be that I wanted to share the healing properties of nature with everyone, but I realized so many people don’t have the time,
the ability or the opportunity to get out in nature as I do, so I began to try to bring nature to them, through my photography.
Ansell Adams, a great photographer, once said, “Solitude which is so vital to individual man is almost nowhere”. This is so true, that I wanted to encourage others to build a healing space even in the office, where they can be transported by an image to somewhere in nature so that their souls as well as their bodies may be revitalized.
I have donated some of my work to hospitals around the world & I give my family & friends gifts of my photography, but I wanted to reach others,
so I started my own website, a blog called “Healing Art” which gives has articles on health and photography tips as well. I also joined Red Bubble and an online art gallery in Margaret River to help get my work out there. So if you feel that you too would benefit from the healing nature brings, then have a look at my images and purchase some for yourself or your friends.
I try to keep my prices as reasonable as possible while at the same time covering the cost of my equipment. I value myself & what I do and hope you will value it as well. I pray that you will receive healing and peace from my images.
If you want to contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org ; my website is http://www.juliaharwood.comor if you can’t access “flash” media sites use my blog at http://juliaharwood.blogspot.com to access my other sites. You can also connect with me on Face Book at http://bit.ly/b56ZiM or follow me on Twitter at http://bit.ly/2bmOgo
“Striving to bring the outdoors in….so that we all may experience the peace, love and beauty of Mother Nature”
Confidence ad Vitality
This is an image taken in the center of Australia of one of our great icons, Uluru. This is a sacred site for the aboriginal people and has an awesome ‘presence’ about it. This is the rock at sunset when the sun has turned it to red, which symbolizes confidence, vitality and courage. As you look at this image and lose yourself in it you will find you vitality and confidence increased.
This is a sunrise over the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. The oranges and yellows speak to us of endurance and stimulated the nervous system. The sunrise symbolizes the promise of the day. So as you immerse yourself in this, feel the strength of endurance and optimism and you will find yourself able to complete those previously daunting tasks.
Fertility and Life
These are two kingfishers or kookaburras as we call them in Australia. They are set against a green background which speaks of life, fertility and well-being. As you gaze at this image allow life’s energy to flow through you and accept wellness into your life.
This one is of the Stairway to the Moon, a phenomenon which occurs when the full moon rises over the mud flats left at low tide. The white of the moon speaks of purity and the stairway that access is available to heaven. It has also been said that looking at the moon for 5minutes per day helps improve eye site and reduces ‘floaters’ in the eyes.
Purity of Heart, calming mind and nerves
This one is like taking a tonic. The water lily has long been used to aid meditation and purple speaks of meditation, intuition, calming nerves and mind. Spend time meditating on this image and receive the healing it brings.
Receive vitality and warmth from the suns rays
This is an image of the rays of sunlight streaming down through the clouds to bring you warmth and vitality. The words say, “Let the sun’s rays warm you and bring you comfort, allow the lights healing energy to touch your soul.
Truth and spirituality
This is an image taken on the cliffs above the Great Australian Bight. It is a windswept harsh area where only the strong survive. The image of the cliffs combined with the blue of the sea and the sky speak of truth, strength and spirituality. So often people think of spirituality as a crutch, but this shows the true nature of spirituality, that it is strong, steady, standing the test of time and the winds of change. As you spend time meditating on this image feel the strength permeate you, accept the truth and receive the peace of the blue sea and sky.
Wisdom, Joy and Happiness
This is a tropical sunset in Darwin NT,Australia. The oranges and yellows speak to us of wisdom, joy and happiness. As you look into this image allow happiness and joy to wash over you and let wisdom find a resting place in your heart.