Julie Fletcher Photography
My passion for photography centres on my love for Australia adventure and the great outdoors. Whether I am swimming through a canyon or setting up a tripod in complete darkness or chasing a storm front; I am always in search of new and unique locations, travelling the length and breadth of the Australian Outback to capture fresh and unique landscape and nature images.
I was born in Adelaide, South Australia and moved to Sydney in my early 20's but it was several years later when I went back to study Photography; doing my Diploma of Commercial Photography over 4 years part time and also working full time in an office job to pay the bills. This ultimately set the wheels in motion for me and my career change years later. I am now back in my home state of South Australia and, when not travelling, I live with my partner in Marree – a tiny outback town in the South Australian outback.
I develop my photography concepts on current trends and markets. The one I most enjoy doing is the concept of ‘freedom’ and doing what I want to do the way I choose to do it and not surmising so much about if it will sell or not, just hoping that people will appreciate my fresh and sometimes unique approach to my subjects and trusting that my passion shines through.
Growing up, I was never very close to either of my parents - I was an only child. I think the turning point for me was when I became a teenager and started to take more notice of things around me, I picked up a family photo album and whilst looking through it realised that there were hardly any memories in that album from my childhood apart from a few baby photos and it made me very sad. This is when I found that photography was the place I could go to make memories. It was many years before I would be ready to commit to study it for the purpose of a career.
The Aussie culture is ‘summer, surf and sand’ and of course this has played a role in the direction of my photography. I have always loved exploring as a child and would often take off on my bike to visit horses. They were miles from my home and I loved to feed them. I even tried to ride them bareback.
In fact I still do this now to a degree, but now I feed a hunger for capturing photographs not horses and my desire for adrenalin is fed by exploring the unknown. I guess you could say the dynamics of my parents and being an only child shaped me into the strong independent straight talking person that I am today and I am grateful for that. Without these traits I could never do or achieve what I have done so far and what I will continue to do with my photography career. Gone are the days of riding my pushbike up to the horses - I now drive across Australia into some of the most spectacular and remote country ever seen.
I think I knew very early on whilst still studying photography that I would travel but I could never have predicted that a toxic relationship which I was very unhappy in would make me choose a life changing path and catapult me into the unknown. I packed up my car with the essentials – laptop, cameras and clothes and left on a 8 year journey across Australia that would allow me to heal and be happy again. In this time I worked in tourist resorts, on cattle stations and in remote towns and photographed in my own time. I was on a journey - a journey of photography but more than that I was rediscovering me again.
There have been many challenging times in my short career and there have been times where I have doubted myself, so much so that I got to the point of giving up on my dream. I can't really think of any one point that was the hardest as there have been so many and they generally revolved around money or lack of. To collate the images I specialise in is expensive and time consuming I am travelling several months of the year. I have a large vehicle that needs continual maintenance and let's not forget fuel. This is just the part of it, cameras lenses, software and computers are all needed to produce the images I capture and regularly need upgrading.
I often get asked if I have any advice for other nature photographers. My advice is don't give up your day job and marry well. It is REALLY hard to make a living at this. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to make a living pursuing work that I really love although I do worry about what's around the corner.
I have won many awards for my work in the last few years and recently achieved international recognition for my work in the 2013 National Geographic Nature Competition in which my now well known image “Graveyard” was a finalist and chosen over 8000 entries.
I believe what makes my photography stand out is my energy, passion, commitment and consistency which I try and portray through my images. I don't just photograph an area, I try and connect to it and when I do it allows me to get the best images over a period of time. My tenacity leads me back to the same location many times to achieve the right light, time and time again. My drive sees me head out at a moment's notice to follow a storm cell that may be hundreds of kilometres away on the off chance that I may capture “that one” image. When on location, I am up before sunrise and back out again for sunset, usually camping in order to be close to my subjects. I live for photography and I am out amongst it every chance I get.
People often ask me if it scares me to travel the outback on my own. My reply to that is a simple NO. I don't let fear drive me. If I did I would never get the shots I do. The outback can be a hard and harsh place for anyone, male or female. I travel safely, I have emergency location beacons and I am very careful. It's ok to be different and it’s ok to NOT want to conform to what we see as the norm. I don't want to be ordinary I want to motivate and inspire others and show them it can be done if you want it bad enough.
I am now running workshops and photo tours. I am having fun and getting great feedback and I am enjoying teaching as well as being taught as you can always learn from others. I look forward to meeting more like minded people and sharing my passion. Check out some of the testimonials and photos from my Marree Workshops.
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