SMITHMADE Maker: Julie Adams
JULIE ADAMS, Photographer
We are delighted to be hosting Freshwater-based international photographer Julie Adams’ collection of images, entitled ‘Beach Series’. Julie is one of Australia’s most sought after and renowned portrait and fashion photographers, and over the last two years has launched two books, ‘Grace Mothers’ and ‘This is Me’, which we proudly stock. She has also turned her camera to interior photography for SMITHMADE, shooting our gorgeous new Spring Look Book. It’s an honour to showcase her captivating black and white images from her personal body of work.
Q&A with photographer Julie Adams
We caught up with Julie to discuss the inspiration behind ‘Beach Series’, her new collection of images showcasing at SMITHMADE.
How did you select which photographs to hang at Smithmade? Did you have a theme in mind?
As a theme, I very much wanted to celebrate our love of the water and beach culture. Given this year the focus has been on being ‘home’, I wanted to shine a light on the beauty of our Australian beachscape and rituals whilst at the same time not overlooking where we have been and where we hope to visit again soon.
I have always been fascinated with the beach culture and subconsciously it has always been a focus in my personal work. I chose to hang a mix of Australian and Italian images to show that although our beach culture and beachscapes are inherently different, at the same time we are all taking part in the same love. Our universal love of the beach is something we have been practising for generations – and no matter where I am, I see the beauty and nostalgia in it.
Describe your photographs in the ‘Beach Series’ – what inspired you to take these photos?
I have always been inspired by water, beach life and all that it encapsulates. It has been a constant throughout my work both in Australia and Italy. I grew up by the beach and surrounded by swimmers and I was always so curious about their connection with the ocean. I love people’s social and emotional connection with the water, I love the way people run into the ocean, dive off a jetty, warm in the sun and how they blend seamlessly into the landscape’s natural beauty. ‘Beach Series’ is primarily images taken within Australia but I have also included an image I took in Naples on film in 2006 and an image taken in Puglia last year with the constant inspiration being my fascination with beach culture and the beauty that surrounds it.
What was your approach to the images you’ve created?
The approach to my personal work is very different to my commercial work. Nothing is set up or orchestrated – all the images are moments in time. I am very much observing life as it unfolds in front of me. The work is taken when I am living life - it is real and it is very much the magic I see around me. I never set out to shoot this work, it must happen naturally. It’s that moment when I am observing and it may be something others think is everyday … but I see as beautiful.
The power and focus in your photos are often people – who are they?
The people in the photographs to me could be anyone. They are very much part of the beachscape to me – part of the moment. Quite often my family and friends are my unknowing muses or at other times I am observing complete strangers.
How did you decide on the size of the images and framing?
All the works are large in scale but for the first time I printed two oversized works. I felt two of the works really required that large scale experience. I chose this treatment for two contrasting scenes – a very authentic Australian beach scene of children gathered by an ocean pool and a very authentic Southern Italian beach scene of a packed beach. There is so much going on in both of these images and I really felt the larger size would allow the viewer to be more involved.
I chose black wood frames with a textural grain. I love the strength of black frames with black & white prints and I also felt the grain through the wood felt very solid and earthy.
How do you envisage your photographs working in someone’s home?
I think how people see my images working in their home is very personal. I see the beachscape and beach culture in Australia and in Italy through nostalgic eyes. I feel what I am seeing could be a modern view or could be one from 50 years ago. The works are timeless in nature and could therefore work beautifully across a range of interior settings.