The photographs of Julia Beyer seem like a veiled view into another, fairy-tale-like world. We chatted with her about analogue photography, about inspirations, how to create atmosphere, and what all this has to do with music.
How did your journey with (analogue) photography start? What does analog photography mean to you?
I grew up in a time when analogue photography was still common, but it was only a few years ago that I really got into analogue photography again. This was mainly because until recently my free time was filled with my work as a singer in various bands. But with time my priorities have completely shifted so that I now only dedicate myself to photography and I find it much more fulfilling.
So it is especially exciting for me when I can combine my two passions, photography and music, and when my pictures can be seen in artworks or on album covers. I use analogue photography to escape from reality. It decelerates me, because due to the limited number of pictures on a film, I have to think carefully about the composition of the picture before I take a shot and this has changed my view of the world.
Where do you take your inspirations from?
Inspiration can come from anywhere for me. Often it is films, music or the work of other photographers. These influences buzz around in my subconscious, and sometimes I even make the connection in my photos only when I see the finished picture. My photography is basically the unfiltered essence of my inner world and my subconscious.
We love your unique compositions. Can you tell us more about your creative process? How do you decide on a motif and the composition?
Thanks a lot! It often depends on the motif itself. My two main areas of expertise are landscape photography – especially when I travel – and working with models. When I travel, I try to imagine the landscape in advance and which film or camera and filters might fit and pack my photo bag accordingly. Since I don't like to carry a lot of equipment around with me, I try to limit myself to the most necessary things here.
When I shoot with models, I usually let myself be influenced by the model herself and try to develop an idea from my concept pool that suits her and that I would like to implement. In fact, I often use Pinterest and create moodboards for each shooting. I don't really like Pictures that are too perfect, which is why I work a lot with filters or prisms and love expired film.
I don't want to photograph the scene in front of me exactly as it appears before me, I like to add a dreamy and surreal layer. In addition, I then let my intuition guide me and improvise together with the model. And last but not least, chance plays a big role in analogue film anyway, so you always have to be prepared for surprises, and that's exactly what I like about it.
Do you have a favorite photo or subject?
In any case, there are some pictures that especially like – a selection can be seen here. But I could never commit myself, because there are always new pictures that I like. But many of my favourites I have photographed with expired Time Zero film, of which I unfortunately have none left and which is hardly available anymore, or only at horrendous prices.
Do you have any new projects in mind?
For this year there are some publications in which I may participate and which I am looking forward to. In addition, I am currently planning my first shootings with models in person, while I had some shootings via Skype during the Corona time. That was also a great experience, which enabled me to work with models from the USA, for example, but it doesn't replace a real shooting. This year I would also like to work more with 35mm film, besides Polaroid.
Last but not least: Do you have any inspirational tips for our readers?
Even if sometimes you can't find inspiration or things don't work out the way you want them to, you should never stop. And you shouldn't be afraid to ask in the LomoCommunity or other film communities – in my experience, that's where you'll find the nicest, most helpful and enthusiastic people I've met online and, in some cases, in person.