I was once interviewed for the Beloved Collective Podcast about how I got into photography, my ethos and use of the Beloved technique... -Elizabeth Halford



I often include phrases like ‘I employ the Beloved concept in my work’ in correspondence with my clients. And as much as I have tried, there simply isn’t a one-liner way to describe Beloved in a quick email. So I’m writing this blog post to try to unravel the mysteries of Beloved. You may have stumbled on this post by accident, but you may be a client who has had it included in one such email as I have described above. And this is simply because I can’t find a way to describe Beloved in a nutshell. However, if I tried to fit the description of Beloved into one sentence, it would be:

Beloved is about authenticity

I said once on a blog for photographers that “Beloved sessions aren’t photo shoots. They’re experiences – there just happens to be a photographer there to capture it”. I hold loosely to the Beloved concept and fuse it with more traditional style in which you can expect to be posed as well. And I take Beloved even further than its original purpose {it was invented purely for married couples} and incorporate the methods into family, maternity and sibling sessions.

I hold this fancy-free method in tension with my love for intensely thought-out, carefully posed portraits; however I endeavor for my work to never look artificial or uncomfortably posed. I appreciate a natural, fluid course of events during my sessions and pride myself on being quick to amend my plans if fate takes us in a different direction.

So back to this word ‘Beloved’ I keep throwing around. Some bullet points about Beloved:

  • ‘Beloved’ the genre was the brain child of a photographer in Canada named Jesh de Rox.
  • It was originally thought up by Jesh as a method for photographing a hugely forgotten class of people: married. We set up sessions for our engagements, weddings, pregnancies, birth. But widely forget to set time aside to photograph the ones at the center of all of those milestones and the relationship between them that made it all happen.
  • Beloved does not employ posing or a ‘say cheese’ approach. Beloved photographers are trained to invite the couple into an experience and then photograph the moments that result from those experiences.

During a Beloved session, you can expect to experience:

  • Laughter {lots}
  • Tears {maybe a few}
  • A deep affection for your loved one
  • Memories you didn’t realize you had
  • Fresh discoveries about your loved one, no matter how long you’ve been together
  • A lasting feeling of appreciation for the time you shared together

So what does this have to do with your session, you ask? Whether you’re a pregnant mummy, an engaged couple or a family, you can expect a splash of the Beloved method to be incorporated into your session because I thrive on doing more than just taking pictures of people. I want you to look at those images for years and remember, not only the click of the shutter, but the moments in between.

Thank you for trusting me with your moments.

And while you’re at it, take a look at what Elizabeth has to say on some of the other forums as guest contributor, as follows…