We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Stotz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julia, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
After years of photographing without a large support system, I found that I have been most successful when I am specific with who I collaborate with. By choosing to surround myself with other talented people, including food stylist, prop stylists, and other crew members who have a similar vision as myself, we have a stronger chance of getting our collective visions across. It takes a lot of people on set to execute an idea, and it’s with the help of others that an idea gets fully thought through. Photography can feel like such a solo and isolating art form, but by bringing in a crew to each of my projects, we can bounce ideas off of each other and come at an idea with each of our expertise.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Once I realized that I was most passionate with food photography, my career took off. I always tell people to photography what they’re interested in, because it shows in the work you make. A lot of my work is a little bit weird, bright and sunshiny, but not to polished. There’s a humanistic side to my still-life imagery, where I like to show a bit of mess, a half eaten plate so it feels lived in, and the viewer can relate to the moment. I am specific when I choose the colors and textures in my frame since light reacts so uniquely to different objects. The drama in my lighting is meant to heighten the scene and help the colors feel a touch surreal. A lot of these artistic decisions have been years of testing and choosing where I want to see my work progress into. The main thing I’ve learned is that we’re always learning something new, and that application shows in the progression of someones overall work. I always try to have fun on set when I’m making images both personally and professionally because I think that play goes a long way with the final imagery.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Most of my show and tell of Los Angeles would be surrounded by food and the amazing restaurants tucked all around the city. I would start by taking someone to grab lunch at Sonoratown. I would convince them to get the beef chivachunga and a bean and cheese burrito since they are stewed to perfection and the flour for the tortillas are brought in from Sonora. Since we will be downtown, I will take the food to Vista Hermosa Natural Park. It’s a pretty hidden park close to DTLA with amazing views and the perfect amount of tree coverage. We would end up in Highland Park for an afternoon coffee at Kumquat and walk around the neighborhood. For dinner we would head out to the SGV, and slurp noodles at Mian. The sweet and sour soup is the move with a 3-4 range in Sichuan spice level. We’d continue to eat our way through the city, hitting up Mini Kabob in Glendale, Tsujita in Sawtelle, Bavel in the Arts District, Desano Pizza, Wax Paper for a sandwich, Din Tai Fung for dumplings, and Hippo for pasta. We’d check out Grand Central Market and view the inside of The Bradbury. We’d hike in Angeles National Forest, head to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, and also take a two day trip to Los Alamos to hang out at a few wine tasting rooms.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As I mentioned, my success is all in part by the crew members I collaborate with. Caroline K. Hwang, Casey Dobbins, and Maya Bookbinder are food stylists I work with that always heighten my food and beverage on set. They bring fun and weird ideas to the shoot day, and can accomplish the impossible. Samantha Margherita, Natalie Shriver, Amy Lipnis, and Nidia Cueva are prop stylists that make all my dreams come true. They know the quality of texture and color I want to bring to my images, and always go above and beyond. And my rep, Dani Hurt, has been through so much with me over the years. She is always pushing for bigger and more creative opportunities. She’s the personality that clients see first, and I always feel supported and well represented.

Website: https://juliastotz.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliastotz/

Image Credits
Julia Stotz, Brian Guido (Portrait of Julia)

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