Julia aka Really Good Person: IG
How old were you when you first picked up a camera?
Maybe when I was 9 or 10? I used to dress up my dolls, walk down to the pond by my house, and have photo shoots for them lol. When I was 14 I got a digital camera of my own and I’d take photos for fun, mainly just landscapes and photos of my friends. I started fucking around with disposable cameras and Polaroids when I was 16. I was inspired by photos I saw on Tumblr, I liked the way the film photos looked kind of dark and raw. that’s when I realized I really liked film photography. When I was 22, my grandpa gave me his old Nikon L35AF. I started to take photography more seriously and started bringing my camera with me everywhere.
What drew you into the world of live music photography?
I guess what really drew me into concert photography was just my love for music and the community I found through it. I’ve been going to DIY shows since I was 16 and they’ve always been really important to me. In high school, before I started going to shows regularly, I always felt a little bit outcast and like it was hard to relate to a lot of the people around me. Through DIY I found people who not only shared my interests but made music I loved. When I got my camera, I was already spending almost all of my free time going to shows, so naturally, I just started shooting what was around me. I started off just doing it for fun because I liked capturing the memories I made at shows and sharing them with other people.
Do you have a favorite band that you like to shoot, and why?
I don’t necessarily have a favorite band to shoot. Phantom, Shiverboard, High, Sovnya, and Melissa are some of my favorites. I love shooting any band that’s high energy and expressive or any band that has a defined style. I love shooting bands that interact with the crowd.
Is there one show you shot that’s defined your style to date?
This is a tough one. I’m not even exactly sure what my style is. I guess I like shooting photos that are really raw and gritty, or photos that are kind of dreamy and out of focus, depending on the energy of the band. I really like portraits rather than landscapes.
But If I had to say one show, I’d say the Prolaps show at Trans Pecos I went to last March. That was one of the first times I got my photos back and felt like I started seeing progress. Looking back at those photos, I feel like I’ve improved so much since then, but I was really proud of myself at the time and had such a great time shooting that show.
How do you capture the emotion and energy of the band and the audience?
Honestly, for me it feels like most of it is pure luck. I try to always have my camera out and ready and I try to watch everything all at once. At a lot of the shows I go to, you kind of have to be on guard and keep your eyes on the crowd while watching the band, because I’ve broken cameras in the pit and gotten punched in the face. After doing it for a while, you start to learn what works and what doesn’t. I have to study the way people are moving and interacting and then be as quick as I can with it. I think it’s also important to set yourself up in a good spot where you’re close enough to the band and have a good view of the crowd.
Before isolation, do you think that you took going to shows for granted?
I guess to an extent. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever taken shows for granted per se, just because it’s been such an important part of my life for years — I’ve always been really grateful. I definitely missed shows during the pandemic, but I didn’t start actively photographing bands regularly until afterward.
Could you share three photos that mean the world to you and the story behind them?
This photo was taken at a Gel show at a sonic in south jersey. Legendary show. I was really happy with the photos I took there. This was taken in September and I feel like my photography has progressed even more since then. A lot of people really liked this photo and I got a lot of attention for it. I consider myself an amateur photographer, but this is my one true passion, and I’d like to make it into a career one day. So knowing that other people think I have talent and support me gives me hope for my future in photography.
This was one of my favorite shows to shoot. Usually, Jane uses fake blood on stage, but this time it was real blood. I thought that was super cool, I’ve never seen anyone do anything like that. It’s controversial, a lot of people have strong opinions on that type of thing, which is why I like it. Melissa is just a great band to shoot because Jane shows so much emotion and has a great stage presence, they’re one of my favorite bands.
Show Me The Body
I took this at the Show Me the Body WW4 release show in the Bronx. This isn’t necessarily one of my best shots, but I was really proud of it because I really had to fight to take these photos. People were stage diving and landing on top of me, people were pushing me to the ground, and every time I wasn’t taking photos I was cradling my camera like a baby so it didn’t break. My camera fogged up completely by maybe the end of the third song because this show was packed and everyone was sweating buckets. Describing it sounds miserable lol but I was having the best time of my life. One reason I loved this show so much is that Show Me the Body’s fan base loves them more than anything. There was so much going on at once, people go crazy for them.