In today’s blog post, we’ll be sharing a little bit about what creative partnerships look like at Jacob Lund (JL&Co), as well as an interview with Júlia Amaral about her background and growth as a professional photographer in Brazil.
Fostering a creative community at Jacob Lund Photography is about more than our own internal growth as a company - it’s about looking to the future for up-and-coming photographers to partner with and help them reach their creative potential. Jacob Lund & Co (JL&Co) is a project within our company where our founder, Jacob Lund, aims to assist aspiring photographers who are interested in the stock photography world. We’re thrilled to announce our latest photographer partnership with Brazilian photographer Júlia Amaral.
Introducing Our Latest Partnership: Photographer Júlia Amaral
We couldn’t be more excited to announce our partnership with Brazilian photographer Júlia Amaral. Júlia comes to us with a background in the advertising industry, since transitioning to become a talented professional photographer and stock photography contributor. We first admired Júlia’s work for her ability to capture images in natural light, and how she creates candid moments that are both honest and breathtaking.
We were first introduced about a year ago after Júlia got in touch with Jacob asking about a photography mentorship. Mentorships are excellent opportunities for up-and-coming photographers to learn from professional photographers in their industry and have supportive dialogue throughout their journey. After many online calls together, we set up a partnership. Our mission is to help develop Júlia’s technical skills, assisting her in creating content that really resonates with global clients. Even if you’ve been a professional photographer for years, shooting for stock photography takes a different kind of focus and understanding of the global reach of content and how to make truly accessible imagery for a wide breadth of audiences. This is where we see a lot of value in our partnership program for photographers who are looking to break into the industry and boost their professional careers.
9 Questions with Photographer Júlia Amaral on her Photography
Thanks for agreeing to chat, Júlia! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure! My name is Júlia Amaral, I’m a 28 year old photographer who is often found in between places, but currently based inland of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Sounds like the kind of place we’d love to be right now. How did your photography journey begin?
Starting when I was a teenager, I would photograph my friends in the latest 2000’s fashion trends to post on our blogs - so I guess you could say my passion for producing and shooting has always been there! However, it wasn’t until high school that I took my first photography class and learned the basics of composition, shooting and developing film. After that experience, I bought my first camera during university and played around with my roommate, who was already a photographer and actually taught me more than any class I went to.
I started shooting more consistently to populate a graffiti page I had, and then I moved to making portraits of my friends, but at this point it was still just a hobby. I posted my photos on social media for fun and over the years, people began reaching out to have me photograph them. That eventually led to my freelancing career whilst also working full time as a copywriter at an ad agency. I decided to quit my day job to start a stationery brand - only to realise I didn’t want to run that kind of business.
Throughout that process though, I noticed how much I enjoyed producing my brand’s social media content and how I would love to do that for others. Now whilst producing content for stock libraries, I also shoot advertising content for brands social channels and marketing and I love it!
What an interesting journey! And what brought you to Jacob Lund Photography?
When I moved to South Africa I started searching for experienced photographers who I could assist or try to do a mentorship with. Most of them were either 100% fashion or super classically commercial. When I stumbled across Jacob's Instagram and found stock images that felt like real life I was super happy! I liked candid moments too much to be a fashion photographer, and I liked strategizing too much to be a family photographer - so creating stock images seemed like the perfect combination to me.
Not only was Jacob’s work incredible both aesthetically and technically, but it was also up to date with topics I value such as female empowerment and diversity - something I have always felt was missing in stock imagery when I was working in advertising. So of course, I quickly reached out.
Well we’re so glad you did. Since starting with the JL&Co partnership, what are some things you’ve loved experiencing?
Well, I’ve loved simply knowing that I have access to a whole team that is experienced in shooting stock and can guide me and support me when I feel like I have no idea what I am doing (haha!). As well, I really see value in being able to exchange ideas and techniques - both professionally and personally. The growth that comes with this is huge and it's something I often missed freelancing. Last but not least - having a team to take care of retouching, keywording, uploading and managing all the content so I can focus on producing the photos, which is my true passion.
We love that, and you perfectly said what we created JL&Co to do! So you only started shooting stock productions after connecting with Jacob Lund. How do you find shooting stock productions compared to your other work?
There are the technical parts that were challenging at first, like shooting landscape orientation and thinking of copy space. Working with social media content means 99% of my photos are portrait orientated, so training my eye to new framings was definitely an adjustment. One thing I love about stock compared to working with individual brands is that its broader reach allows me to impact representation in media on a larger scale.
When I worked in ad agencies I would get so frustrated when searching for images of a business meeting and not finding many that showed women in positions of power, for example. With stock I get to contribute to the diversity of the representation I believe in.
That sentiment has such strength to it. Has contributing to stock photography changed the process you go through when coming up with shoot concepts?
Shooting stock challenges me to be constantly thinking of trends in behaviour, while before I would be more focused on visual trends - which is quite different but very interesting. The time frame is also very different. We start planning a shoot months before it happens - so not only do we have to kind of predict the future, but sometimes a distant future. That's exciting but slightly scary when you consider a lot can happen in that meanwhile, like it did in 2020.
2020 was definitely a different kind of year. Stock content often has a very “generic” look. How do you create images that are so warm and authentic?
That’s a tough one as I don’t think there is a recipe for it (if there is please tell me!). I think it’s a combination of many things, that go from finding talent who are comfortable with the camera to creating an atmosphere during the shoot that allows them to bloom. I do give directions to the models, but rather than telling them a stiff pose, I try to lead them to a moment that will provoke the emotion I’m looking for.
Sounds like an excellent strategy for creating authentic imagery. What advice would you give to aspiring photographers out there?
Just put your images out there. We photographers tend to hold ourselves back waiting for the moment of when we’ll be 'good enough', or for our work to be polished and finished, but the truth is that nothing is ever really ready. Just share what you do as you can now, you’ll learn on the way.
What can we expect to see from you in the coming months?
With better days finally on the horizon with the vaccinations rolling out, I’m hoping to get back on the road. You can expect to see images moving away from the home environment to match brighter and sunnier days outside.
Big thanks to Júlia for her time and contributions to the Jacob Lund Photography team, we’re lucky to have her as part of our little family. If you’re a photographer interested in our partnerships program, get in touch here. We’d love to hear from you and foster your creative growth.
Creative Partnerships and Mentorship at JL&Co
The goal of JL&Co is to assist passionate photographers interested in stock library with stock portfolio development as well as provide creative mentorship and a dedicated platform where they can share their work through our JL&Co online marketplace.
We are constantly on the lookout for photographers with a keen eye for creating honest and authentic stock photography content that reflects our current and future world.
If you’re a photographer interested in our partnership and mentorship program, click here to get in touch.
Júlia Amaral's curated collection of images
We asked Julia to put together a small collection of some of her personal favorites from her stock portfolio - you can see these images below.