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The Emotion of Jahsharn

The Emotion of Jahsharn by Anna Cox

Fading Slowly 

My soul is overwhelmed by so many emotions.
Yet my eyes have mastered the art of concealment.

My mind relives the pain that consumed me as I heard those words.
Yet my voice is as calm as the sea breeze through your window.

Tears overflow within me, drowning all that should be said, questions that cannot be answered.
Yet I stare clearly into your eyes, revealing my false strength.

You lay there, no longer strong. Your voice is silent, your humour is gone. I hold your hand that cannot hold mine, even my kiss is lost to you.

Yet my arms reach out to embrace the memory of you, while my heart cries out to a reality that is cruel and unforgiving.

Slowly you are fading…….

Anna’s Introduction *Originally posted on August 5, 2012

I came across Paula Gardener (Jahsharn) while working on a showcase and was immediately drawn to her portraits. Each held such depth that they the drew me in to wanting to know more. The raw emotions captured in the eyes of the subject is what was so moving. Portraiture is hard to begin with but Paula seems to capture an array of emotion flawlessly. Paired with her beautiful writing, these portraits are heart wrenching. Grab some coffee and come sit down with Paula and I as we explore her influences and craft more in depth.


A:  Anna  P:  Paula

A:  Give me a sneak peak into who you are away from the camera.

P: I am a wife, a mother of four and a child of the universe. I own a small photography business by which my preferred specialism is portraiture. Alongside my photography I love to express myself through creative writing, I currently have a blog that fulfils that compelling desire to write. Usually I compose a piece poetic literature to accompany my work.
My foundation is very earthly, I try to give back to the earth as much I take out. So through this consciousness my family and I have embarked on Urban Farming. We have two plots of land where we grow organic vegetables, while teaching our children about the values of sowing and harvesting. I also work a few days with the London Ambulance Service, at their HQ in London.

If I Could Forget

A: How did  you mobile photography journey begin? How has it changed your craft?

P: During the latter part of 2011, I happened upon a blog on iPhone photography apps, I was amazed at the photographic examples given for the applications. Well every creative bone inside me could not wait to buy my first app called Hipstamatic. Like hundreds before me I was hooked! However, I’m a self confessed control freak when it comes to lighting and composition. After awhile the constraints within the Hipstamatic’s filters and square format stifled me. With this said I embarked on finding the apps that would complement my style and help me evolve creatively.  My art is my life! I wrote once before that through mobile photography my interpretation of life has been revolutionized. I am like a child at times, (which is great since I’m forty). I just can’t stop downloading every visual aspect of my surroundings and transposing it into my mental creative log. This is only possible with the iPhone. I can capture my children playing, someone walking, a reflection of myself, nothing I see is ever missed. Life for me is an evolving journey of the choices we make, Art for me is a visual interpretation of those choices, captured in a moment of clarity.

A: Your portraits are amazing. Each one  conveys such raw emotion. I am blown away by the depth of each one of them.

P: Portrait photography for me is a relationship that needs to be nurtured from the soul! Every portrait I have taken whether it be of myself, family or friends, was composed from an emotion so deep it was spiritual. I know to some of you reading this, it might sound a bit far fetched. However I can’t just take a photograph of someone and say look here or smile there. I need to feel that connection that makes me scream Yes! That’s the shot! If I’m experiencing those emotion while capturing the portrait, hopefully the viewer will relive that moment too.
Light and negative space plays a fundamental part in my work, when I photograph someone I’m capturing the semblance of that individual. I’m trying to replicate that spiritual sense I’m feeling from them into an image. So if the light is to harsh or soft, whether there is too much negative space or colour is very important. There has been situations where the light has been less than perfect or the space was inadequate. That’s when apps like Snapseed, ScratchCam and Camera Awesome become invaluable.

The Eldest

A: Tell me about a series that is close to your heart.

P: The series that is closest to my heart is the one I did on the human emotion. During the time of this series a close family member was diagnosed with brain cancer. There was nothing that could be done, all we can do is be there for them until the end. The emotions that ran through my family and I were immense and at times uncontrollable. I suppose doing this series was my way of understanding my own emotions as raw as they were.

The Youngest

A: How does your life influence your art?

P:  The core foundation of my creativity is my life, I’m driven by my wonderful family. My typical evening is spent writing songs with my children as my husband plays the guitar, just watching them is an inspiration overload. I am constantly amazed by my friends on iPhoneArt and Flickr, Wow! They truly inspire me to a new level! Life pushes me everyday to create, I suppose it’s my way of giving back the beauty I’ve been privileged to see.

If you intersted in delving more into Paula’s portaits go here.

Tumblr: Jahsharn 
Twitter: Jahsharn
Eye’em: Jahsharn


  1. Paula!!!! You beautiful thing you!!! Xoxo

    • Anna, you’re the best, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity! I can’t thank you enough xoxox

  2. So glad you turned on the comments! I’ve been wanting to commend you on the wonderful interview, Anna. And Paula, you’re just such a constant source of inspiration. I view your mesmerizing work on IPA and am left speechless sometimes. I may not comment on individual photos, but please know I am a big fan. Also, thank you so much for your constant encouragement on Flickr. Love seeing your name pop up in my feed :-)

    • Mansi you’re work is wonderful and so are you, thank you so much for your beautiful words and support!
      It’s always a pleasure viewing your work too, truly inspiring xxx

  3. What a joy to get to know you just a little better Paula. You have become one of my dearest friends at IPA and I have become one of your most loyal fans! Congratulations on receiving more recognition of your terrific talent Paula. I am honored to be your friend.

    • Michael, what can I say except I bless the day you joined IPA, you’ve been a constant support and inspiration to me. Thank you from my heart,

  4. Glad you’re getting the exposure you deserve big sis! You’ve been honing away at your craft for years.


    • Sean, wow this is the best! I miss you little brother xxxx Thank you so much, you & Claudia are the best! I love you both loads, thank you so much for your support!

  5. Paula, you are just too wonderful for words. I adore you! xo

    • Oh Janine, you know the feeling is more than mutual, thank you for being the best! For listening to my rants and your inspirational images, that blow me away! Thank you xxx

  6. Oh, Paula! I want to somehow make myself small and crawl into your magical world as one of your children. The life you describe exudes the warmth and emotion that is evident in each image you create and each poem you write. You are a beautiful person inside and out, and I am so happy to call you a friend! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Much love and peace,

    • Cindy, I’ve always been in awe of your creativity and style, I love your work. Like I said you and all on IPA truly amaze me and inspire me on a new level! Thank you so much for being a friend, you’re more than welcome to my home always. I know my children would adore you, thank you again xxx

  7. Such a great interview. So nice to get to know more about you Paula. Your work really is a reflection of your personality.

    • Oh Shane thank you, I’m so glad you liked reading about this old Londoner! Hopefully one day well get to meet up, one big IPA meet :-) )

  8. Nice interview Anna and Paula, nice to see you here my friend. frankensinatra on ipa ;)

    • Hi Mike, I’ve just read your wonderful interview with Marie, it’s great! Thank you so much for your support and kind words. :-) )

  9. Paula I’m in awe. You express yourself in such a deeply honest and open way. Personal and universal all at once. I think it’s the motherhood aspect of your work that touches me most deeply. I’m sure you know what I mean. I’m in awe.

    • Oh my dear MaryJane, I know exactly what you mean, us mums we create from our hearts that can only resonate love! :-) ) Thank you so much for you beautiful words that have touched me too! You’re the best xxx

  10. Love you Paula! This was an amazing interview, your words and portraits always touch me, especially as a mother and child of the universe. xo Lanie

    • Dear Lanie,

      Discovering you on IPA has been so invaluable to me, I draw from your endless well springs of creativity, passion and love. I’m so honoured by our friendship, thank you for all your kind words, and amazing work! I can’t wait for the day we get to meet……xoxo

  11. Really beautiful work here. A new discovery for me. Portrait work is my favourte too. (not that I make many but I love looking!) and so I am looking forward to see more of Paula’s exquisite work. Thanks Dear Anna. xoxo

    • Thank you so much, you’re so kind :-) x

  12. Fantastic interview Paula thank you for letting us into you world and for your amazing images

    • Hey Mel, thnk you so much for your continual support and inspiring words! xox

  13. Paula you are truly an inspiration…I look at your pictures on eye em…and they touch somewhere in my soul…

    • Hi Kaaren, it was such a pleasure o meet you on eye’em. I love your work immensely especially the way you subtlety layer each piece. Thank you so much for your lovely comment xox

  14. One of my favourite artists..

    • Wow! Thank you so much Christina xxx

  15. I’m a huge fan of Paula’s work! Pure soul!


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