I was born with a best friend waiting for me in the backyard. Our houses were adjacent to each other, and we spent our childhoods arguing whether she lived in my backyard or I lived in hers. My mom says I was never more creative than when she was around; we wrote and performed musicals, built elaborate forts and even dug ourselves a pool—a big muddy hole lined with three bricks, which in my mind's eye was somehow going to transform into a beautiful retreat. (It never did.) At least one summer, a particularly aggressive bird nested just above the fence in the swath of woods between our yards, and our moms had to escort us back and forth with umbrellas for protection as the mama bird dive-bombed.
My friend was present for so many of those quintessential moments of childhood, and I can’t help but smile thinking of all our memories together. It's been decades since we lived in each other's backyard and just about everything has changed along the way, except our friendship. When she got off the plane a few weeks ago for a visit, I took one look at her youngest daughter and felt more than 30 years melt away. Standing right in front of me was my little playmate with a dye job!
Since this sweet little lady was turning 2, she needed some portraits. In lieu of a formal session, I brought my camera along to the park as she played with my girls, who have been begging for her return since she left. Watching them play together was nothing short of a dream.
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.