Meet our newest muse, Julie Adams. Julie and I first met last year when I was featured on the cover of Wardrobe Icons. She beautifully photographed me in my Venice home highlighting my sun-filled wardrobe. A Sydney native, Julie is a mother, an author, and a talented photographer. Her latest book ‘This is Me’ is a celebration of the female form that embraces women and their journey to self-love and acceptance. I personally support and admire this concept wholeheartedly! Dive into Julie’s inspiring work and her photography journey. A special thank you to Hellene Algie for shooting Julie for our feature.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a Sydney based fashion and portrait photographer. I spent many years living abroad before returning to live on the Northern Beaches in Sydney with my family. I have two daughters, Maddie 14 and Vivienne 10 and a much loved Kelpie.
What drew you to photography and how did you get started on your career path?
I was always obsessed with trawling through my Mums photo albums and for my 13th birthday I received my first camera. I grew up with my camera in hand but it wasn’t until I landed a job at a really inspiring Ad agency in London (BBH) that I actually got the courage to become a photographer. I resigned from advertising and started out as a photography assistant. I assisted for five years in London, during that time I spent some time studying in Florence and had my first break shooting the fashion pages for The Independent newspaper.
What motivates and influences you as a photographer?
I’m always motivated by travel and most importantly by the people I meet along the way. I love a new adventure … could be overseas or just taking a road trip. It’s been the moments when I’ve taken chances or been outside of my comfort zone a little when I have felt my most inspired…
Among your works, what is your favourite? Why?
I don’t have a favourite, but I’d say it’s the images I take in my personal life which I most cherish. It’s when I’ve thrown the camera in my bag with no agenda … I may end up shooting strangers or family – but it’s in those real moments I often find the magic.
Can you tell us about your book ‘This is Me’ and the inspiration behind the project?
‘This is Me’ is a book celebrating the female form, individuality and self-acceptance. It started as a photographic project very much inspired by my daughters. I had started to notice that body image was becoming a conversation around the house and I felt inspired to work on a project that really reminded young girls & women what real women look like and how beautiful and unique we all are. I started the project by inviting the general public, women of all ages to come along and be photographed to celebrate ‘This is Me’ the only pre-requisite was you had to be in your swimsuit. The portraits are raw and real and most importantly unretouched.
The book launched last year and is a collaboration with writer Georgie Abay. It features over 200 extraordinary girls and women who not only stand up to celebrate who they are but also share their incredible journeys to self-love and acceptance -many sharing stories of eating disorders, body dysmorphia, cancer, mastectomy, endometriosis and more. It’s a celebration of women and our strength.
Can you share what you learned and gained from the women and experience of creating ‘This is Me’?
Initially I set out to work on a project aimed more towards teens and young women but I soon realized that ‘body image and self-acceptance’ was very much a topic for all ages.
I learnt about the power of women coming together and the strength in sharing our experiences. Not only did women have the courage to take part and be photographed but they also shared their stories – often very personal accounts, all to help other women and create conversation.
Personally I went into the project looking externally at how I could help nurture self-confidence in my children and young girls – but my experience on the project made me realize I needed to look internally as well. Children learn so much from their Mums and it isn’t just the way we speak with our children about them – but it’s also really important how we speak with our children about ourselves. I think as a Mum, treating yourself Kindly and embracing self-acceptance – is one of the most powerful ways of fostering it in your children.
What every woman highlighted, in all their different stories is that we are all ‘perfectly imperfect’ – we are all individuals and that is what makes us unique. I hope that ‘This is Me’ has a place in people’s homes and one day when you’re flicking through it, you may land on a page that resonates with you … and in some small way it makes a difference.
What is a typical day like for you in Australia?
I love to start the day early with a run or a walk with the dog along the coastal track near our home and occasionally an ocean swim. Next priority is a great coffee and then the day begins! I’m either on set shooting or at my studio and in between organizing all things kids from school to sport etc … always looking forward to a glass of wine in the eve!
You’ve traveled all over, what is your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
I am always finding somewhere new I love … but my hearts belongs in Italy. I lived in Tuscany and studied photography in Florence. We were married in Lamole, a beautiful hilltop town near where we lived. We’ve made lifelong Italian friends and Italy is very much our second home.
What is your favorite Marysia piece and how would you style it?
My first Marysia piece was a black broadway bikini and from that moment I was a complete Marysia convert. The subtle shaping in the top, combined with the signature scallops is really flattering for those with small busts. This bikini for me is my go-to … I just throw on a beach dress, some slides, a hat and I’m done.
Any tips on keeping a healthy balance between your work and personal life?
This is something I am continually tweaking and trying to get right. Last year I moved my work into a studio and physically separated work and personal life and this definitely helped. It felt like a luxury but has been a game changer. Really though, I think it is about being honest with yourself. Knowing how much you can take on and learning when to say ‘no’.
Best piece of advice for fellow female entrepreneurs?
Be confident and back yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn as you go.