Julz (using Emily Stekly words) is a Melbourne based visual artist and entrepreneur with a spirited imagination. She ambitiously explores photography as her creative medium, supported by the collaborative efforts of talented artists and models who share a curiosity for all things dark and beautiful. So if you still don’t know this amazing artist work don’t lose this chance to know it even closer …
1. How would you describe yourself? I am a really easy going person who doesn’t have time for bullshit or false pretences. I am constantly laughing at my shoots and I feel bad for the models having to keep a straight face as I am always making them laugh by mistake! I think I create a very relaxed environment. I am not trying to be anything in particular; I don’t have this one big plan or anything. I am doing this simply because I couldn’t image not doing it. From a very young age I have always had a camera in my hand – it is an extension of me and I get great joy from it.
2. What draws you to photography? The love of bringing different elements together to give life to the various daydreams in my head! I honestly think if I didn’t have photography as an artistic release, I would go mad. I played guitar and sang in an all girl band for about 15 years and I loved creating music – I honestly think that photography is the same principles. Different instruments/elements to create a finished product. When the band ended, I throw myself into photography again full time and haven’t looked back since!
3. Do you remember your 1st pictures, how do you fell when you look back? I cringe at a lot of them now but every shoot I pushed myself and every single shoot I learned something. I would never not have done any of them. I probably released my work to the public earlier than I should have but I am proud that I had the guts to put myself out there. I do this for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful and surprised at all the support I get but at the end of the day as long as I like what I am producing and I am constantly learning and improving, I don’t care what others think. I am too busy planning my next shoot! hahaha
4. You have all types of pictures but many alternative and fantasy ones are this our favorite type of shoots? I love textures and flowers – I think my favorite type of shoots are ones where I can bring many different elements together to create something almost surreal like.
5. What is for you a perfect photo-shoot? For me the perfect photo shoot is one where something I would consider an ambitious idea turns out exactly how I intended it too. That happens more now than not but I am still sometimes surprised at my own images and proud to have created them. (With a very talented team of course). 6. Do you enjoy getting involved in the all back stage work, like picking the model, the theme, the make-ups the styling our it’s all team work?
I have usually always picked the model, clothing, make-up, hair, painted or created the backdrops and props. In the last few years I have been privileged to work with some truly talented people and I can show them a few ideas and trust them to run with it. I can give up that control because I know they are brilliant in their field.
7. And what about the all after shoot work all the editing do you enjoy doing that as well? I do enjoy the editing process. I like to take my time and step away from the images so I see them with a clearer vision. I have many unreleased sets waiting to see the light of day and some of them I think are up there with my best work.
8. I imagine that with so many work done it is hard to for you to choose a favorite picture must ask you have a favorite set our one you hold dear for some reason? It is really hard and it has only been recently when I had to put some images together that I realized that I have so many favorites! I have had a lot of people tell me that they can see my style dominating through my images and that used to surprise me as I didn’t think I really had a style but I can see it a lot more now. I think my most popular set is the 7 Deadly Sins as I am still getting messages every month from people telling me how much they love that series. But for me there is just too many to name.
9. With all your work I bet you have tones of models wanting a chance to make a photo-shoot with you so what do you look for in a model that makes you want the shoot with her? I am really time poor as I study for about 15 to 20 hours a week, have two little boys and run Julz Photography as well as Beneath The Willow Tree (whimsical child portraiture). I used to give every spare second to my photography and just did random shoot after random shoot but in the last couple of years I have learnt that by doing that I will just burn myself out so now only concentrate on a select few. I get a lot of models putting their hand up for upcoming shoots but to me the most important thing is kindness.
I have no time for the cattiness that can dominate the industry and I don’t care how well known a model is – if she isn’t a nice person, I won’t work with her. Other than that, just suiting the look that I or the designer is hoping to achieve. 10. You had some of your work published a few times , how does that make you feel? I am happy to see my work in print but to me it is just another means of getting my work out there to a wider audience.
11. As a fan myself i can wait to see what’s next, so what can we look forward to seeing from your work in the future? Oh thank you! I have a few amazing projects in the works and have made a conscious decision to produce more epic collaborations instead of belt out constant random shoots. We are working on the costume designs for our Elements Series which will be amazing. I have been planning this shoot for so long and we are creating all the gowns and head pieces ourselves so I can’t wait to get started on that! I am also in the process of releasing a book – it has been a few years in the making and I am sure it is still a few years off but without giving away too much, it is about the history of woman and our changing roles in society. I am really excited for it and as well as dedicate the book to both my grandmother’s and mother – I would like any money raised from its release to go to a woman’s charity.
12. Well not wanting to abuse your time just one last question: What message would you like to leave all your fans out there? Thank you all for the support you have shown me over the years and for the enthusiasm for upcoming projects! Stay posted as I am only just beginning…
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