Friday, February 3, 2012

people we love: courtney brooke hall

       There is something so effortlessly dreamy about the photographs created by Courtney Brooke. Her photos tap into a different dimension full of magic, dark shadows, enchanted landscapes, and everlasting, ethereal beauty. We've admired her work for quite some time now and ever since we've first stumbled upon her photos we've been consistently in awe and wonder of her dreamy vision. Her bewitching aura shines through each photograph and instantly drew us into her wonderful world. She resides in the New England countryside, in a magical barn hidden amongst the hills of rolling green. Her location seems to cultivate a living, dreamy presence that is always so prominent in her work. Explore her lovely site Light Witch to find out more about Courtney. All in all we love this lady and all she does and were ultra excited to get this exclusive interview with her!

What happens within the first ten minutes of you waking up?  

     My goodness, waking up in my house is always sort of a blast. You see I live with three little dogs, and I mean little, two of them are smaller than my cats. We all sleep in one big, super cozy, hard to remove ones self from bed. However in the morning when I show even the slightest sign of being awake all three of these little puppy faces come barreling at me to snuggle up to me and try to kiss my face, it's a giant puppy tickle fest. It's hard to wake up that way and then have a bad day. Once I can pry them off of me and convince them that it's time to go play in the yard that's exactly what we do. That's a little more than my first ten minutes too. 

You and your photography are always so dreamy, have you always been such an ethereal being?
    Ethereal, you ladies are making me blush. I think when I look back at my youth I was always some place else, mentally speaking, constantly searching something out. At the beach  pretending to be a mermaid and I had imaginary friends that lived in my closet. I would get in trouble as a child for wandering to far and long into the the woods, I thought that if I stayed long enough, was quiet enough and tuned in enough to the forest I would actually see a unicorn. I never did see that unicorn or become a mermaid or a fairy, but I did manage to find a different sort of real magic in nature. 
What's the biggest source of inspiration for your shoots? 

    I get inspired by so many things, mostly though it's books. I read mostly folklore and fairy tales with a few sci-fi books thrown in. I just finished the last book in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and those have certainly filled my head with images.  I am not sure if I would call this inspiration or not but a lot of the drive behind my shoots and ideas come from a place in side me trying to explain to the world what's going on inside my head. You see I am not a very eloquent person, the written and spoken language escape me. I try to use my photos as a conversation, to tell a story to say something that I wish I could say or write down with words.  I have to say though that I am also extremely inspired by all the amazing people I have in my life, all of them artists of some degree by there own right, they never cease to fail me when a creative fire needs to be stoked. 

Describe your favorite birthday party.. what year was it? Was there a theme? 

     Well I do love a good party, and I have had quite a few great ones. I remember having crazy theme parties when I was much younger, rollerskating, princess parties once a my little pony party. I don't think any of those where my favorite though. 30 it was a landmark year and the party that went with it was lush and filled with magical cookies, wine and fruit. I was decked out in velvet, the house was filled with ballons, flowers and the best of friends.

Which season is your favorite to shoot in? 

     Autumn, hands down. The air outside is always perfect, never too cold and never to hot. Living in New England means that it's also extremely colorful outside with the trees fluttering their leaves of gold and red. The last of the flowers are still in bloom and the grass is still green. In the morning the grass is twinkling with frost, as if little folk had coated it all with sugar. In the evenings the fog sits low and heavy on the ground, making me wish I could capture smell with my camera.  I wait for it every year, like a kid waiting for christmas. 

Do you have a favorite filter or film type? What is it and why? 

     Honestly I don't.  I have a pretty decent collection of cameras at this point in my life. Each one captures light and life in it's own peculiar way that it's extremely hard to pick an all time favorite.  I am currently having an artistic love affair with my Olympus om-1 though. It's a great camera and simple to use. I always keep experimenting with different films and lens and cameras, I think my favorite is having a variety. 

Do you have any reoccurring dream motifs? If so what are they? 

     I actually have this one reoccurring dream that I have had since I was young. It starts out with me being in a city, an old city, with brown stones and ivy and flowers, but it's grey and dark and falling. In the dream I can tell the world around me in ending and I grab my loved ones and friends and we get in a car and start driving far out of the city until we get to a huge clearing surrounded by forest. The world behind us is being engulfed by something but I can never tell what it is in my dream. In the center of the field there is a huge fire burning. Around it people are dancing,cooking, loving one another. We walk for what seems like forever to get to the fire and as I get there I notice that I know everyone there. I sit down by the fireside, and I start to speak but before I can say anything I always wake up. 

Oh no! You're being sent to live on a desert island! What five books will you take with you? 

     Oh Yes, I would love this adventure when can I go. I first would take a book on how to survive on a deserted island, that one is a no brainer. The other four, that's a hard choice. One I suppose should be a journal so I can keep a records of my days, leaving me with just three to read... The complete Grimms Fairy Tales would be one, so many lovely stories in there that I don't think I could ever get board with. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, I have read this book countless times in my life, I cry every time, and I don't think I could grow weary of it. I would also have to bring my other old stand by Dune by Frank Herbert, that might be the one a regret for not bringing something funny, but those Harkonnen's have their own unique comical value I suppose. 

Are you superstitious and do you have any sort of lucky charm?  

     I used to have a fox tooth charm from Lady Lavona and it was the closest I have ever had to a good luck charm. I lost it two halloweens ago and I swear I had bad luck for a whole year after it went missing. I still think about in fact and look for it time and again. I wish sometimes for a new one but can never find one in my travels. I am sure I am superstitious in other ways too but I am not sure how.. let me get back to you on that. 

What is the most stunning sight you've ever beheld? 

    This is a tie for me. I am torn between two glowing moments. One, is the time I first saw Joshua Tree National park. We arrived in the park at night, it was a moonless night in late summer. The stars where the brightest I have ever seen them, lighting the landscape. It was the most foreign thing my eyes had ever seen, the joshua trees with their leafy hands rushing up to the night sky, the rocks round and gentle almost crawling along the sand. It was as if I was on another planet and my breath was most certainly a hard thing to catch that evening.
 The second is something that happens annually here on the hill,  you see, I live in an old horse barn surrounded by acres of field and around that even more acres of pine and maples. And each year something happens here that leaves me speechless and immobilized. It happens on the first night of June when the fireflies sing their visual love song. The little fireflies dance in the tall grass flickers on and off and up the trees at the edge of the field and the way the hill rolls the seem to touch the stars above, the whole universe seems to be there in that moment of connection. 

check out the rest of her work here on her flickr.
she also sells lovely vintage clothing here!!
The Pulp Girls

**all photos above are by Courtney Brooke Hall, please credit her if you use them**


  1. I've never heard of Courtney's work before, but I'm so glad you've featured it here; it's amazing!

  2. LOveeeeeee this stufffff Kepp it up!

  3. great interview and amazing photos.xx