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Photography by Julia Beyer

Sep 04, 2017

Julia is a German musician and self-taught photographer who works primarily with instant film. By mastering the special characteristics that instant film posses, Julia creates images that are sensual, nostalgic, intriguing and inspiring at the same time. Through her images Julia frees her inner voice, seeking simultaneously to disconnect herself from the fast-paced world in which we currently live. Following we present a nice interview that we had with her: am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us? JB - I am a self-taught analogue photographer from the Ruhr area in Germany, mainly working with instant film. Lately I have been working on several sessions and series I had (and have) in mind, which I hope to be able to publish this year, including the artwork for the new album of my band ‘Chandeen’. Additionally I became a member of ‘The 12:12 Project’ in the beginning of this year, a worldwide collective of female instant photographers, and I love the monthly challenge that comes with it. am - How did you start in photography? JB - I’m not a studied or trained photographer. It just always brought me great joy to take photos, but I never took it actually serious. But despite of always having had a certain interest and passion for photography, instant film never really caught my attention. That was until 2008 when I got to know Emilie Lefellic, a French Polaroid photographer, through a former friend and ‘Chandeen’ band member. She did a beautiful video for one of our tracks, “Welcome The Still”. I began to follow her work and was amazed by the sensual and delicate pieces she produced on expired Polaroid and early ‘Impossible’ film. As I was still very preoccupied with music, it took me until 2012 when I bought my first instant camera, but due to rather frustrating results at first I didn’t really shot much in the beginning. Not until 2014, when I took my Polaroid SX-70 for a walk in a park on a sunny spring day and got decent results for the first time. Since then, I finally and helplessly fell in love with this medium, which is the perfect canvas for me to bring my inner vision to life. I am not going to pretend that I am an accomplished photographer, I am really not. I am trying out many different things in the pursuit of finding my specific voice. I am on a journey and there is still so much more to learn for me. am - What inspires your work? JB - Potentially everything. It can be just a flower in a garden, but also songs, movies, books or just sentences or words I see. But sometimes also the work of other artists inspires me, be it certain techniques or atmospheres that consciously or unconsciously flow into my photos. am - Why is instant photography your preferred medium? JB - I love the softness and sometimes shifted colours of the film - that’s why I love especially to work with expired film. Looking at these images, it nearly feels like being transported into another world. The texture of the film adds a dreamlike and surreal quality to the scenes. The process of seeing the photo developing before your eyes, carefully thinking about your next shot as you only have eight in a pack which are as well quite expensive… this all serves me as a well needed deceleration and escape from reality. am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists? JB - Adi Putra, Edie Sunday, Hana Haley, Nona Limmen, Rimel Neffati, Krist Mort and Samantha Muljat. am - When you are not taking pictures, what do you do? JB - Mainly earning money through my day job in a media agency. Apart from this and photography, I’m singing in a Dreampop band called ‘Chandeen’ (www.facebook.com/chandeenmusic). I am also suffering from an insatiable wanderlust so when I can, I love to travel a lot. Plus I love binge-watching on the sofa with my boyfriend and my two cats. am - Favourite songs / bands at the moment? JB - Until a few years ago I was into a lot of goth and electropop stuff but throughout the years, this shifted into a more postpunk/coldwave/shoegaze/dreampop direction. I recently fell deeply in love with Drab Majesty, but also Be Forest, Laura Carbone, Holygram, Tiny Deaths (which remind me a lot of one of my favourite bands Phantogram), DIIV and True Widow are on my playlist. I could go on for hours… am - What’s your favourite movie? JB - I guess I don’t have THE favourite movie. There are lots of genres I enjoy and there are still so many movies (or series) that I want to watch. Some movies of which I think that they might have influenced me are “The Lovely Bones” and “Lost In Translation” - I really adore Sofia Coppola. Also lots of Tim Burton, Guillermo Del Toro and general 80ies stuff. And I think that having watched the whole X-Files series for at least four times somehow means something. am - What is your favourite photo book? JB - I actually don’t buy or look at many photo books. But the one I cherish a lot because it was part of the initial spark for me is “A Girl’s Polaroids” by Emilie Lefellic, a beautiful collection of her work on Polaroid SX-70 and 669 film.

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