Julia is a photographer and stylist, and the creator behind @humphreyandgrace, an interiors and lifestyle blog which has amassed over 200k followers. We caught up with her to find out about her life and career.
How did you get started?
I have been Instagramming for around 4 years now, I first joined the app specifically to take part in a photo a day project. Two years ago I started my blog as a kind of overspill for my Instagram gallery. I have been lucky enough to call this my job for around 18 months now.
I have always loved photography and the immediacy of it is something I still enjoy immensely. Give me the visuals first, all day every day.
Where do you find inspiration?
Having been immersed in a world of Instagram for so many years I actually often look outside of it for inspiration.
For example I collect photos I love on Pinterest. I keep a notebook of scribbled sketches and ideas. I also snap quick photos constantly of things that catch my eye. When I am thinking creatively I may have ideas that are not quite right for my current project so I keep a note of them.
It makes for a great reference when I’m brainstorming new ideas.
You also can’t beat getting out and about if creativity escapes you momentarily. I’m often to be found photographing the local area from towns to fields to the beach.
In short, inspiration is everywhere, all the time and collecting ideas as I go can help spark the creativity on demand when I need to!
How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?
My Instagram gallery is definitely curated. But it is full of things I love, places I have been, products I use. Flowers, flat lays and facades feature most regularly, quite possibly because they are all things I engage with myself. I guess I share what feels right at the time and can definitely be driven by my mood.
For me Instagram is a bit of an escape and I always seek out others who just share what they love. Life can be less than picturesque at times and I like to keep much of that away from Instagram, I’ve always joked that it’s my happy space. Stories are a brilliant way to indulge in a temporary insight behind the scenes but I guess I like to keep my gallery as a portfolio of sorts, the edited version of my life.
I would say though it may be this way for me currently, my gallery is ever evolving in the same way as my life is evolving. Sharing parts of my life has become a second nature and it follows my path wherever it takes me.
There is a balance for each of us. For example I have 3 children who you won’t see often as I think they need their privacy. We have been recognised in public before and while I myself don’t mind, it’s not something I want my children to be dealing with right now.
So some and some, I guess what you see is honest but perhaps not every single detail is always there. I like to have a private life too!
Any tips and tricks?
Plan ahead, especially if you are sharing created content, so that it sits well in your gallery. An aesthetically pleasing whole is as important as each shot being your best. I use UNUM to shuffle my next few photos around - it also has a stats page which is useful.
What camera and editing software do you use?
My favourite camera is my Canon 7D though I actually use 3 cameras, dependant on where I am and what I’m shooting. Many of my street photos are taken on a Leica d-lux or my iPhone.
Most of my editing is done in Lightroom, Photoshop and iMovie, all of which can be used on a phone and often I do tweak images on my iPhone rather than on my computer. There are so many amazing apps out there, I use several fairly regularly! My current favourites are Lightroom and Snapseed for editing and Spark Post for adding text.
How would you describe your aesthetics?
Bright & clean, honest. Softly coloured. And I love a good floral, in fact an element of plantlife or nature can be found in almost all of my photos.
Tell us something no one knows about you.
I’m really scared of flying.
What’s been your favourite piece of work to date?
I worked on a campaign for a cruise holiday company last year travelling the Mediterranean sea and visiting the Greek Islands. Although I have really enjoyed several projects this one always stands out to me as it was my first ‘big’ campaign and it kick started an international travel bug that I have taken a long time to indulge. Mainly because I’m really scared of flying! But then I want to explore more so I guess that desire finally won...
The campaign itself was fun to take part in, the company asked for some photos to be posted to my Instagram gallery and also some that were for their use only and were fairly relaxed about what the photos were of. I love this kind of brief as I can create content using different aesthetics to those I post on my own accounts. I still look back at the photos I took on the trip as a game changing time for me and they are some of my favourite partly for that reason.
Best thing about being a creator?
Being able to create for a purpose. Experiencing things I would not otherwise experience, flexibility, fun, freedom, essentially all of it! I feel incredibly lucky to be able to call this my job.
If you could give one piece of advice to the younger you what would it be?
It’s perhaps a bit of a cliché, but to be braver. To follow my creative heart. To feel the fear then do it anyway. Sometimes it will not quite go to plan and other times it will but there’s always something to be learned along the way. I spent years hiding in a desk job I really hated...
Follow Julia here: @humphreyandgrace