Kim Bamberg's Glass is Overflowing

Kim Bamberg’s glass is not just half full, it is overflowing and making a big mess all over the counter and she is laughing hysterically because it is all so funny to her. Kim never stops laughing. Or talking. Or bouncing for that matter. There were times I though she and Tigger might be related. Kim is a wellspring of bouncing, boundless, happy energy. And no one works harder than she does to make sure that everyone else is taken care of. Except maybe her husband Adam, who clearly takes very good care of her.

Note her recent facebook post: Still dreaming of Paris... woke up to a fresh croissant (still warm!) and a cafe creme made by my husband... LOVE.

Saying that Kim writes a blog, or is a photographer, or is some kind of amazing travel planner, or any one thing in particular doesn’t do justice to her wide range of talents.

Before I met Kim, she was words on a page, informational emails about how to get to Poitiers, what to bring, and what to expect. Elizabeth deferred to Kim on most matters relating to the logistics of the workshop. I had seen her blog, Junebug weddings, a few times and liked it so much I tried to apply to join (turns out they only did West Coast vendors at the time, so I was out of range), and beyond that I knew very little about her, except that she was married a few years earlier at the chateau in Poitiers where we would all be staying. Her mother came too, working endlessly like Kim and Adam, behind the scenes, to pull off the wonderful productions of food and beauty for our constantly ravenous crowd.

I was a little surprised, then, to see her book, “Je t’aime” which was the product of a self-directed fashion shoot she did a few years back shot in and around the same chateau, using our same talented hair and makeup artist, Erin, and photographed in collaboration with Adam (also a talented photographer). No, I was a lot surprised, and completely unprepared. The book was so inspired and so beautiful that I could not really bear to look at it with the group of people that were hovering over it and ooohing and aaahing as it was passed around.

I waited until early the next morning to creep into the library, when it was quiet and empty. I sat alone in the big curvy chair with my coffee and her book in my favorite room in the chateau. I looked through the book forward, and backwards and randomly. I even took a few photos of some of my favorite pages. I felt transported into another, more beautiful world….the world through Kim’s eyes: sensitive, sensual, strong and sexy. I wish I had a better way to say I was blown away by this book. I have come to believe that, particularly among women, the photographs we take are a reflection of the people we are. I learned a lot about Kim that morning that surprised and intrigued me.

The book is a fashion story, complete with ‘behind the scenes’ photos of Erin touching up makeup, and Kim taking pictures. It was perfectly laid out and produced. Its small size made it precious. The matt paper and flexible leather cover gave it a supple tactile quality and a casual air that contrasted so elegantly with the power and weight of the images within. I had a whole new respect, bordering on awe, for the talent and sensitivity of Kim and Adam. And that was before they became our models for the day.

They “played” the bride and groom for one of our daily rotations. Mostly they kissed and played for a pack of eager photographers.

Often Adam waited patiently on the side while Kim, the bride, became the focus of our attention. They walked into the thorny bushes for us. They went anywhere and did anything we asked….with enthusiasm. Kim told the story of their wedding, and got the date wrong (Adam laughed). She told the story of her grandmothers wedding ring, which she wears, and she cried.

I think we can all learn much from Kim and Adam. I certainly aspire to have that kind of enthusiasm for life. No challenge or request seemed too big or small for them. Kim lives every day like there is no tomorrow, and then she can’t wait to get up and go again the next day. She is fearless. She is not afraid to laugh and cry and be goofy and not know the answers. She is very real, and very lovely. Adam treats her like she is a princess, and yet she is anything but. She was often schlepping people and things around, cleaning up, and doing laundry. They both worked like mad to make everyone else comfortable.

Kim loves to learn about people and places in order to share that knowledge with others, and then, every once in a while, she just makes stuff up. She tells a colorful story that could have been true, mixed in with some nice historical facts, and you never quite know where the lines are…..until she confesses. It occurs to me that this is where Kim lives….in a beautiful fairy tale world somewhere between truth and fiction….in the very best way. I love Kim’s happy world. I wish I could go more often.

On the day when everything shifted for me, she understood immediately. She didn’t want to tear me away from the nearby towns we visited, or the cemetery I found so inspiring. She intuitively understood how everything shifted for me and she wanted to do everything she could to respect and honor that.

I’m not sure what it means, but I shot 300 photos of Kim and/or Adam in a week in Poitiers. The camera loves this couple; people love them. They are magnetic.