IN CONVERSATION WITH JULES CARR
A couple of years ago due to changes in her life, Jules Carr's lifelong interest in photography sparked into a passion. The change caused Jules to have more of an emotional connection to the world around her, and she started to notice the changing urban landscape, and how the ordinary and mundane can be quite extraordinary. Jules's nighttime scenes have a cinematic atmosphere...magical and mystical, the static frames capturing one moment forever suspended in time. But as Jules tells us, she is nowhere near where she wants to be yet, a constant process of experimenting and improving and searching for that elusive shot.
“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling.”
When did you start getting interested in photography?
I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I can remember, but I've only been taking it seriously relatively recently. Two years ago I was still snapping away on a smartphone, then I joined Instagram and became obsessed!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! I'm fascinated by the ordinary, the mundane, stillness, empty spaces.
Who are your favourite artists/photographers?
So many favourites! Photography wise, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lee Miller, Robert Frank, William Eggleston, Fred Herzog, Norman Parkinson, Don McCullin, Todd Hido, Joshua K. Jackson to name just a few. I particularly like mid 20th century American photography. Too many artists to mention, but I’d include Whistler, Grimshaw, Hopper, and Hockney.
Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?
In many ways my compositions are not radically different these days, but I'd like to think they are more refined. My editing skills are definitely better than they used to be, thank goodness! I am learning all the time.
Where is your favourite place to shoot?
Empty urban landscapes, after dark.
Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out?
I think it very much depends on what you hope to achieve. You really don’t need expensive gear to produce great photos. For me personally, the image stabilisation on my Sony enables me to take great handheld shots in low light, which means I can take my camera anywhere without needing a tripod. Perfect for me as I like spontaneity and travelling light. My favourite lens is the cheapest I’ve bought: a vintage Zeiss Flektogon with bags of character.
What characteristics do you think you need to become a photographer? What’s your tips or advice for someone in your genre?
Hmmm…slight obsessive tendencies don’t go amiss! I notice frames everywhere I go, but I'd say my best shots are the ones that I have an emotional attachment to, that capture a mood. I don’t feel qualified to give advice, but I’d say take endless shots, and never stop looking!
Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?
I've always been interested in art and design. I'm also a musician.
Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?
Like many photographers' in these unprecedented times, when the coronavirus lockdown started it seemed really important to me to document it. So began an exciting collaboration with photographer and musician James Bacon @thesheffieldlens, which has resulted in a still evolving online exhibition entitled “Still Life”.
This explores the poignant emptiness of the surreal urban landscape by day and by night. Caught between the loss and uncertainty, there is Still Life.
I am also concentrating on urban night photography at the moment, with a view to hopefully producing a photo book at some point.
If I wasn't photographing what would I be doing?...
Thank you Jules!
All photographs © Jules Carr