Since the first day I met Julie Holder, I knew she was going to be a friend of mine. Not only did we have similar values on life but we shared similar passions. Not just a brilliant photographer, Julie embodies a creative vision that I had to have a part of Straw and Gold. She might not even know this but she was the first person I threw my plans in front of. Just like that, she was on the team. Not only did she capture my exact vision but she also took it to a place that I never could have imagined. A southern belle living in Brooklyn, Julie is the kind of girl that you can sit around listening to Johnny Cash with, not say a word and feel like you've shared your entire life story. Here's her journey through photos:
Where are you originally from? Where do you live now?
I grew up in Chattanooga, TN, out in the country, close to the lake, and surrounded by trees. I live in Brooklyn, NY now and have been in NYC for almost 9 years. I love this city and the opportunities it has brought me, the never-ending inspiration, and creative collaborations available here. I also really appreciate going back home and being able to see every star and getting the smell of fresh cut grass before we are even out of the airport parking lot. Upstate NY is a dreamy escape when we can’t get back to the South for a visit.
When did you first start taking photos? What was the first type of camera you used?
I was interested in art for as long as I can remember. I always had point and shoots and Polaroid cameras, but I got my first Canon 35mm when I was 17. I studied Photography at Savannah College of Art and Design, and most of our classes were based in film, so I spent several years in the dark room and stuck to 35mm and medium format film during that time. I still have all my old negatives.
What is your favorite subject to shoot?
Interiors and Architecture. I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible designers, and it is so inspiring to be a part of their creative process. I love interior design and getting the chance to explore unique spaces. I shoot a lot of lifestyle and product photography too, which goes hand in hand with the design work. It’s exciting to collaborate with other artists and makers, to see their process and work together to tell their story through photos.
How many different types of cameras do you own? What is your favorite type of camera to work with?
I shoot most of my work with the Canon 5D Mark II, but I have a few fun little guys too. Polaroid, Contax T3, white angle Lomo, holgas, and my first 35mm. My Holga goes on every vacation we take. It’s plastic, so you don’t have to be so delicate.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
Each shoot is little art project to build, so it’s always different, always evolving, but I tend to have a very light handed approach. Even when the set is built and lights are everywhere, the goal is to make the work look natural. It’s also important to build a connection with the people you are photographing and the creative team you are working with to build the shoot. The goal is to remember that I am really blessed to do what I love and to be mindful of that and grateful for it while I am working, whether it be an architectural shoot, travel, music or people.
What inspires you most in your artistic process? Is there anything specific in your home/workspace that inspires you as you work? Do any other artists work inspire you?
There are little treasures all around my desk . . . things we picked up while travelling, photo books everywhere, and a bowl of Polaroids of people I love. I take a lot of photos with my phone on a daily basis and file away for inspiration. It’s a great way to photo journal things that catch your attention that maybe you can build upon later. In terms of photographers who inspire me, there are so many! I think everything Justine Kurland does is golden. She is one of my all time favorites. My husband bought me a print of hers titled, “Circus Scene” for my 28th birthday. It is No. 28 of 100, and it is a total inspiration every time I look at it.
Besides for taking photographs, name 3 other things that you enjoy doing with your spare time.
Traveling with my husband. He is a photographer and photo editor as well, and sometimes our vacation plans revolve around how badly we want to photograph where we’re going. I love absolutely everything about traveling, and we both have a pretty serious case of wanderlust. We try to take a couple trips each year and go to upstate NY and to visit family in the South as much as we can. I love experiencing new places together. Last September we took a road trip through Provence, and it was one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen! I still dream about the rosé and farm stand strawberries we got in between towns. Swoon!
I’m obsessed with plants and flowers. If I was not a photographer, I would want to be a florist. NYC apt living is not optimal for gardening, but I have my cacti and air plants and go into my local flower shops so much they probably think I’m a weirdo. Fresh flowers in your work space can absolutely make everything better, and I love when I get the chance to work with a floral designer for photo shoots!
Cooking big dinners with family and friends. I love food, and I love being surrounded with the ones who mean the most. These photos are from a trip to Maine for July 4th with friends. We spent all day making a lobster bake, went to two farms for veggies, found a lady who made lemon and thyme goat cheese every morning (I can’t even talk about it), and pulled our lobsters out of the water at the docks. Perfect summer day.
To keep up with Julie Holder, check out her website and follow her on Instagram: @julieholderphotography