Self-portrait with Brett's Pentax 67, Ghent, Belgium, 2018
Cliffs, Garrapata Beach, Sur Coast, 2016
Julia Brett Christopher
(1983 - )
Julia Christopher grew up in Carmel, California, in the heart of West Coast photography. Brett Weston, who doted on Julia as the grandchild he never had, fondly encouraged her to take up both photography and riding horses as a toddler. She spontaneously made her first photographs at Weston’s Carmel Valley residence at the age of two. After graduating from Santa Catalina, she went on to study classical painting at NYU Steinhardt and art history in Paris, France. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Gallatin School of New York University in 2006, where she pursued abiding interests in fine art, philosophy, creative writing and photography. While living in Manhattan, she was scouted by an agency and briefly worked as a model, but far preferred being behind the camera than in front of it. During that time, she assisted fashion photographer, Howard Schatz, on a project he was pursuing about Club Culture. She departed New York for Europe in 2006, and returned to settle in Carmel in 2008, where she narrowed her artistic focus to medium format black and white film photography. She began working with Brett Weston's former Pentax 67 camera and studied darkroom craft with Greg Mettler, as well as Luther Gerlach, who introduced her to the 19th century wet plate collodion process. Today she pursues her own photography, primarily with a Hasselblad 205 TCC and hopes to embark on a large format wet plate series in the future, while working as an educator, art historian, conservator and director of Photography West Gallery and CEO of Photography West Inc in Carmel, California.
“Photography is an empathetic art medium. It gives us the ability to literally see the world through the eyes of another human being. In my personal work, I strive to capture not only what I see, but also, what I cannot see - the static and fluid; physical and metaphysical. The passing of time and movement of light, for example, the human eye cannot see. We can only see an instant as it's happening, which is one reason why I’ve always been fascinated by long exposures (generally lasting 1 second to 2 minutes). With long exposures, I never know what to expect: the image that appears on the film always surprises me. That element of surprise keeps us on our toes, reminds us we’re alive, collaborating with the universe, in both life and in art.”
- Julia Christopher