I have been following Julian Berman's work for a long time now. I first discovered his stuff around the same time I discovered Odd Future. Julian has been documenting Odd Future, aka his friends, since early on. At just 21 years old he has accomplished a lot, and only continues to grow more and more.
I got a chance to interview Julian about a year ago for my now defunct personal site, and we have stayed in touch ever since. I haven't seen much from him recently, but he has definitely been grinding away at work, so much that he hasn't had much of a chance to shoot a lot of personal stuff. Julian has an awesome outlook on life and photography and I thought it would be great to do a little follow up interview for those of you who are just now being introduced to him. I also had him send me some of his most more recent personal work to share with all of you as well.
For anyone reading who doesn't know anything about you, give us your name, location, and what got you into photography.
HELLO! My name is Julian Berman and I am a twenty one year old photographer from Los Angeles, California. To be quite honest I am not too sure where my interest stemmed from.. Probably skateboarding, a course I took on a limb in high school, or maybe it was just destiny, hah.
Last time we talked you were shooting predominantly film, has this changed at all, or are you still doing only film?
Lately I have been really messing with both mediums. Plenty of digital in the workplace/studio, and dabbling with some 35mm (which I was never too fond of) here and there. I recently sold off my DSLR in hopes of sticking with shooting 120, but like always.. Every job has its preferred medium.
You're 21 now and you've already accomplished a lot, at this point what has been the proudest thing you've done with photography?
I am incredibly blessed to be where I am at this age. These past few years have been quite the roller coaster, and I would have never imagined any of it. Shooting the cover of Billboard Magazine at the age of nineteen is a pretty remarkable feat. To be honest though, I have my ups and downs, good shoots and bad shoots, so in the end just producing images that I actually enjoy (keep in mind, YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST CRITIC), means the absolute world to me.
Have you got any plans for 2013 and if so what are they?
I am not quite sure what to expect for 2013. I have been working like crazy these past six or seven months in the studio, and have not been shooting too much personal work. Now I have the free time, the enthusiasm, and the funds to make something very special happen. Hopefully travel will be in order, but for right now I really just need to brainstorm and concoct something pretty cool. Long story short, shoot, travel, and most importantly EAT!
Last we talked you were getting your education game on and switching your major to photo, how has that been going?
Unfortunately, I left school at the end of Spring semester last year. I was going to an overcrowded community college, and was just not too happy. Yes, I do miss the darkroom, but I do NOT miss the lack of enthusiasm amongst my peers, or my inability to enroll in the courses I showed interest in. I compromised with dipping feet first into the full time working force, which was a great learning experience, and now here I am for the first time in my life, strictly freelance. I suppose we will have to see what happens.
Have you got any advice for young (or old) photographers looking to make a full fledged career out of photography?
First and foremost, in order to get any sort of success in this day in age, YOU MUST NETWORK. I cannot stress this enough, seriously. It is almost 2013, the internet is your sanctuary. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, the millions of photo websites/communities/forums/
Any last words or shout outs, feel free.
Thank you Anthony for granting me this opportunity. FStoppers has been one of my most favorite websites ever since I have started shooting, so this is really an honor. All I can say is that once again, I am incredibly blessed to be where I am today. Who knows what the future has in store for me, but whatever it is… I am ready.
Check out some of Julian's work. You can check out his flickr as well for more. Currently his portfolio site is under construction, but you can follow his tumblr, and I am sure he will make mention once his portfolio is up and running again.