How A 5 Month Adventure Inspired Me.
My journey since graduating University has taken many directions. I have worked as a portrait photographer for graduation ceremonies; as a photo retoucher, printer and restorer at a local camera shop; explored many areas of photography that I am passionate about; and travelled across sixteen countries.
Here, in 2018, I have launched my business focusing on portraiture. While I still photograph other things, and invest time in my other photographic avenues (still life, fine art, and underwater photography), it was a trip across Europe which inspired me to push myself into launching a serious portraiture business.
After my graduation I explored creative still life and advertising photography, occasionally shooting for clients in between my part time jobs. I started to set up my studio a little more in this time, purchasing more equipment, and developing a style.
In this time, I also further followed my passion for underwater photography, eventually buying a professional underwater housing and photographing underwater (visiting both Fiji and Tonga).
This led me to explore underwater caves, schools of fish, and humpback whales. It is addictive, challenging and rewarding, and nothing else has made me feel so alive.
Additionally, I dappled in Fine Art Photography a little more, often challenging myself in retouching to help portray conceptual ideas. The images below can all be found on my other website, alongside artist statements. See them at julianance.com.au/home/
It was also in this time after uni that I was featured in Capture Magazine three times: twice in The Annual edition, and once as a finalist in the Top Emerging Photographer’s awards, in the Advertising Category.
A 5 Month Trip On A One Way Ticket:
In mid 2017 I quit my job, and bought a one way ticket to France with my boyfriend. We spent our life savings on a trip which reignited passion and opened our eyes to amazing experiences. Both of us passionate about photography and the arts, we had a similar travel style. That is, taking it slow and looking for authentic experiences in each place we stayed. We ventured out of cities, down streets and through suburbs. Stumbled on little cafes and takeaway joints, discovered a winter christmas, and indulged in new foods.
With idea how long we would travel for, we hoping for at least four months, but knew it could be up to six. Perhaps even longer. Although working to a budget and alongside the Schengen visa in the EU, we finished up at five months – enabling us to have our first Christmas overseas and be home just after New Year in early 2018.
Places, Sites, Things:
On the trip we focused on Europe, but also visited the UK, and the Middle East (briefly) too. We started in France, making our way then through Germany, Poland, Latvia, England, Iceland, Israel, Cyprus, Greece (for a stopover!), Italy, France again, Spain, Germany again, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, and Scotland.
There is too much to say. We experienced the heat of summer and the snow of winter. Indulged in fresh cheese, meats, breads, and cakes. Walked with backpacks and camera gear. Both sweated and got drenched in rain and ice. Saw the northern lights and the Christmas markets.
Here are some photos, but for a few more I have a dedicated Instagram to travel shots here.
Travel is so often inspiring. I looked at my return as an opportunity to push myself towards the career I had been denying since graduating University. I had never put 100% into my career as a photographer, considering I had a part time job and a comfortable lifestyle.
We came home to uncertainty. No job, no savings, and no plans.
It was unsettling. It still is…! Being a photographer within a competitive industry has its challenges. There are those who have been established for years, and those who are amongst the action and have the connections already. But every time I shoot – I feel happy, inspired and passionate.