Denise Jean Photography
At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, you hair should be messy and your eyes sparkling
I grew up in Holland in a loving multiracial family in a humble row house where my parents still live today. My Dutch Mom instilled in me the importance of love, caring, creativity and practicality and my Indian Indonesian father taught me how to create something out of nothing, how to research and organize and help out where you can.
I was a passionate, curious, spirited and happy little girl, always moving, talking, exploring, connecting, loving, caring, singing and dancing. I was born ready to go when I literally came shooting out of my mother’s womb barely being caught.
My parents love telling the story about us all weeding our backyard garden. I was about 5 and true to form taking my job very seriously and with much enthusiasm I had ripped out many weeds in no time and lots of pretty little plants as well…..
It was with that same drive, focus and energy that I took up playing the guitar, trained with the Dutch Olympic volleyball team and graduated with a master’s degree in Art History and Management while traveling the world as a fashion model..
I feel fortunate to have worked with so many talented and wonderful photographers for magazines such as as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Marie Claire, but what I loved most from my days in front of the camera was the opportunity to travel and live all over the world connecting with many different people- their beliefs, cultures, food, rituals, desires, passions and their stories.
After fifteen amazing wonder filled years in the fashion industry I embarked on one of my most inspiring, learning, magical, soul shaking, heart opening, challenging and beautiful adventures yet – motherhood. I fully devoted myself to being the best Mom I could be, shouldering through the day, taking on many responsibilities, ready to love, help and care for my family.
When Nina was barely 2 and Kai only a few months old, I was diagnosed with Grave’s disease. I was told to remove my Thyroid and take medication for the rest of my life. I was told there was a very small chance I would heal from this autoimmune disease.
But deep down I knew I was presented with an opportunity for growth and decided to figure out what I needed so desperately to learn.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have struggled to find a balance between doing and being and now I had gotten completely lost in the care for my family leaving no time for ME– Leaving no time to BE. It was time for me to slow down and look inward to my physical, emotional, and energetic body’s clues and wisdom to guide me.
It was time to take care of myself.
I fell head over heels in love with the soft and graceful, yet powerful ancient Chinese practice of QIGONG, Through easy to learn, dance like movements, breathing exercises, visualization and self-massage I was able to open up my body, sending a huge amount of energy into my belly, hips and pelvis leaving me feeling connected and empowered from my core.
From this place I felt less in need to always be on the go, in control of my environment, the need to be perfect, struggle to achieve my goals and give myself much-needed rest and downtime to re-energize and tune into and respond to my deepest desires and feelings.
With this awakening to being both soft and strong, vulnerable and courageous I learned to embrace and cultivate my feminine energy, and spark my own inner healing process to restore wellness.
My journey has taught me to be grateful and fully embrace a time for doing and a time for being, a time for giving and a time for receiving. I have learned to open up, be vulnerable, curious, trust, and ask for help.
We are meant to experience the feeling of connection and lean on and teach each other, not just when things get tough, but every single day.
Picture taken by my Dad
Picture taken by my Dad