Q&A with Julie Grahame

Added on by Martin Adolfsson.

Two weeks ago I had a little chat with Julie Grahame (AKA aCurator) over on the site Photography & Architecture. Julie is a veteran in the photo industry who posses a wonderful straight forward attitude (which I love), she's the Editor-in-Chief of Photography & Architecture, runs aCurator and sits on the panel for numerous awards and competition, she also does reviews and consultations with photographers. Here's our Q&A:

P&A: What do you love about photographing buildings?
MA: I really enjoy identifying the graphic elements of a building and documenting how people use the space within those boundaries. I like how different spaces can influence people’s behaviors.

P&A: What aspect of photographing a building, interior or exterior, do you personally find the most challenging?
MA: In general, I find interiors more challenging because of the size restrictions you often have in terms of how much you can pull back in the shot. That being said, I like challenges and enjoy trying to take control of the room.

P&A: You have a variety of imagery on your website: as well as exteriors, interiors, you have travel, portraits, lifestyle so what is your favorite kind of shoot?
MA: Preferably, all those elements combined. In other words, people utilizing a beautiful space in a refined environment.

P&A: Aside from an engaging blog and your website, how do you promote your work?
MA: I regularly send emails to a select group of people whose work I admire. However, nothing beats personal recommendations from clients or other people who are familiar with my work. My agent also does work on their end so it’s multiple channels working in parallel. I’m Swedish and it’s almost seen as a taboo to promote your own work there. Coming to New York seven years ago, I really needed to push myself to become comfortable with talking about my own work. I still find it quite hard and I prefer to ask people what they do instead of talking about myself.

P&A: “Suburbia Gone Wild” is a hugely impressive project and the resulting book has been wildly successful, particularly among architects. Tell us briefly, if you can, why you think they love it so much.
MA: I think it speaks to people in architecture, social anthropology and economics as a visual study about the impact of two decades of strong economic growth in emerging economies. I never set out to make beautiful pictures but rather to document the results of a cultural and economic shift that I found interesting. Joseph Grima, Editor­ in ­Chief of Domus Magazine, who wrote the foreword, said it best I think: “Martin’s project is an urgently needed research into the state of contemporary urbanisation. His work offers a beautiful and sometimes frightening visual counterpoint to the numbers, statistics and facts that are thrown at us every day, offering a mental image to accompany a fact we already know – that today the human species is an urban species.“

General Assembly at the United Nations HQ. Client Monocle

General Assembly at the United Nations HQ. Client Monocle

Security Council at the United Nations HQ. Client: Monocle

Security Council at the United Nations HQ. Client: Monocle

Hotel Okura, Tokyo, Japan Client: Scanorama

Hotel Okura, Tokyo, Japan Client: Scanorama

Oslo Opera House, Norway

Oslo Opera House, Norway

Rice University, Houston, TX

Rice University, Houston, TX