The vivid and colorful still life photography of Stotz will immediately reel you in and bring you into a dreamscape. Her passion for food and food culture in combination with her joy of photographing it birthed a unique style that has captured clients such as The New York times, Starbucks, Ubereats and Bon Apetit. Her work has now evolved to stop motion animation that elevates the bar and meaning of still life photography in the commercial world. Her story and techniques are truly inspiring for me as a current product photographer and I hope Julia will inspire other creatives in some shape or form.
photography by Julia Stotz for beverage company
"I love how still life can catch little moments in time."
Julia Stotz grew up in Northern Carolina and started photography in high school. A Nikon FM was gifted to her from her father and it became an immediate staple piece for her black and white film photos. Stotz got her BFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago and remained in Chicago where she began her career. Stotz expressed how the beginning of her career helped her explore different photography styles through small jobs. Her first clients were smaller jobs for publications such as Timeout Chicago, Paper Magazine and Dwell.
Stotz eventually decided to move to Los Angeles which helped define her photography style. The aesthetic of LA’s food scene helped her career and the type of work she eventually got involved in. Julia began to pitch her personal work to social media and reaching out to newsletters and emails. She made sure to only show the work that she wanted to shoot which led to clients and brands that wanted that style of imagery. Julia has been working as freelance commercial and editorial photographer for over 10 years now.
photography by Julia Stotz for Starbucks
"When you're promoting yourself, you want to be the look and feel that someone comes away with. You want them to remember you for something and you want that to be the thing they think of when they're pitching their next job."
Apart from creating capturing visuals, Stotz emphasizes the importance of working together. Her final pieces would not be achieved without her team and continuous effort. Julia states there's planning, testing, rearranging, lighting, finessing, resetting over and over until the final image comes together and everyone is collectively satisfied and happy with the final result. Julia almost always works with prop stylists and food stylists that help her achieve her vision. Her team includes photo assistants, a digital tech, producer, PAs, hand talent, retouchers, and occasionally wardrobe stylists, hair and makeup.
photography by Julia Stotz for Jollibee
"Most of my photoshoots are very collaborative and need a lot of talented people to come together. That was the main reason I went into commercial photography. I wanted a chance to work with lots of people, all specializing in different things."
Deep dive into the unique style of Julias still life photography https://juliastotz.com/
Click the article below to learn the detailed process of how Julia achieves her unique style of imagery