A really exciting interview was conducted by our FIV Magazine with the photographer Julia Blank. She is a successful beauty, fashion and portrait photographer and has already worked with major brands from various industries. From Italian Vogue to Hugo Boss Amazon, they have already booked numerous renowned brands & corporations for shootings. She talks to us about her way to the camera and her first steps in the creative industry. She also tells us how her family reacted to her decision to make a living with photography. She also tells us what she is grateful for in her life and what her next big goals are on her way.
Late entry, training as photo designer & family cohesion
FIV: As a child, did you like to take pictures and what were your favorite motifs at the beginning?
Julia: I came relatively late to photography, around the age of 20…Before that I didn’t have a camera in my hand and wasn’t very interested in photography although my father worked for KODAK for years.
FIV: What was your career as a photographer like? Where did you get your photography skills from?
Julia: After the Abitur I didn’t know for a long time what I wanted to become. Then I had the possibility to do an internship with a fashion photographer and saw there for the first time a kind of career wish for me. I continued to assist, then did an apprenticeship as a state-approved photo designer, after that I assisted again freely and firmly and finally I became self-employed. My photography skills come from the classical education, I learned analog and then of course from my practical experience during my residency. And of course through many free works.
FIV: Were there people in your environment who were worried that you could not live from your work as a photographer?
Julia: No, fortunately not, or rather they didn’t say it because they saw how vehemently I pursued my career aspiration and that I had a fixed goal in mind. So I was rather encouraged and supported.
Julia about talent, teamwork on set & professionalism
FIV: Is there such a thing as talent in photography or is experience the most important thing?
Julia: Definitely, in my opinion talent is still the most important thing. But talent alone is not enough.
Experience can also be very helpful, but it takes time.
FIV: Nowadays you don’t photograph alone anymore, but with a big team of make-up artists, lighting and of course models. Who organizes the whole thing and how does a day with a shooting at your place work?
Julia: For most of my current jobs I am allowed to put together the team. Here I help myself from my pool of experienced and well-rehearsed people who fit perfectly to the respective shooting.
FIV: Amazon and Hugo Boss have already used your services. With such big clients there was certainly some action around the shootings. Which one do you like to remember best?
Julia: I remember big jobs and also smaller ones. All jobs, no matter how small or big, received the same attention, the same intensive preparation, the selection of the team etc. Not only the professionalism, the concentrated work on the set but also the humanity and the joy during the job play a big role for me.
And so every piece of the puzzle makes a big whole.
Beauty Portraits & Training as a photographer
FIV: You photograph for different industries and accordingly take different pictures with quite different objectives. What kind of pictures do you prefer to make in your private life?
Julia: I don’t really do much photography in private. My favourite works are usually the “beauty portraits”. A mixture of close-up and portrait.
FIV: What would you recommend to a young person whose dream is to become a photographer? Should one proceed differently today than in the past? What do you think are the biggest challenges as a photographer today?
Julia: For me personally it was still important to do the classical training. But that was 20 years ago. As a photographer, I was still allowed to grow up with analogue technology.
I think it’s nice to be able to look back.
It helped me a lot as a foundation and development to master the entrance into digital photography.
Today, the classic job description of the photographer no longer exists. Today the photographer is more of a “content creator”, everything has changed a lot compared to back then.
I don’t want to judge that at all. But the classic photographer from back then definitely has to reinvent himself today.
I think today it is easier for newcomers or autodidacts to enter the world of photography. There are numerous tools. In my opinion, the classical training is no longer necessary. Personality is important to show yourself and your skills.
Julia’s plans for the future: exhibition, book & gratitude
FIV: Finally, let’s talk about your future. What are the biggest goals you want to achieve as a photographer? What are your biggest goals that you still want to achieve in life? Is there anything new on the horizon?
Julia: Photography has always been a dream job for me, I am still very grateful to be able to work as a photographer.
An exhibition would be a great thing. A hardcover book with my best works so far would be great. Apart from that I am open and thankful for everything that will come.