DISKO KIDS Meets Juliet Wioland
Juliet Wioland is a Brighton based children's and fashion photographer and mother of two girls. She is also the current campaign photographer for www.bubblelondon.com
We asked her a few Q's about her photography and what inspires her.
Tell us about a bit about your background - what you studied / what made you want to start up?
I did a degree in English and Creative Studies and then spent a year working for a TV production company, followed by a brief spell in advertising and then Film4 . I then changed to the BBC, working on music publicity for 6 Music, Radio 2 and Later..with Jools Holland. I absolutely loved the latter but, once I was pregnant with my elder daughter Mattie, we started thinking about moving down to Brighton. Once we'd moved I didn't want to commute and leave her for too long, so I started thinking about what I could do down here. I worked for a couple of years as a children's yoga instructor and then took photos for one of the nurseries where I was teaching and found that I actually preferred that. Around the same time, my friend Angie Adams was starting a children's clothes label named Question Everything (@questioneverythingkids) making beautiful smocked dresses with a modern twist . Having seen quite a few of my previous photos, she kindly took a leap of faith and asked me to shoot for her. I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of being a photographer sooner- as I've loved taking photos all my life – it just never occurred to me to do it for a living.
Where do you find new inspiration for your photography?
I love going to photography exhibitions but mostly I find it through keeping my eyes open to detail and what's going on around me, such as facial expressions, light, mood, emotions etc . Instagram is very helpful, too. I am very inspired by child/tween/teen photographers. @joesphinacarlier, for example, akes beautiful, unique and highly creative photographs and @igorborisovphotography makes telling, thoughtful portraits of children which capture something of their soul and very being.
What’s your favourite subject matter?
Children, as they have a beautiful vulnerability, innocence, excitement, cheekiness and wonder.
What do you find most challenging about your photography?
I've always loved children and my time as a mum and a yoga teacher has helped me learn how to properly engage with them, get them to relax and be themselves and capture something of their characters. However, I'm self-taught and the technical side of things has definitely been my biggest challenge: working out every button on the camera, where the light goes and how to capture it. I'm a little dyslexic and a lot of it has felt very mathematical and has taken a lot of discipline and patience – especially at the beginning. Most of what I learned was through trial and error. Sometimes I would fail to capture a picture I could see so perfectly in my mind: when it didn’t translate onto my camera, I would go home and use the internet to find out where I went wrong and how to make sure it didn't happen again.
Favourite IG filter
I tend to use Lightroom, which is a bit like photoshop and helps me expose my photos the way I want them, I have also created my own filters on it. When I do use Instagram filters though, my favourite is probably Valencia and I also use Transfer on iphone.
Any tips for IG users?
If you are doing it professionally try to use only your best photos and to think what might be eye-catching or different, while keeping your own style. Though 'likes' are useful in getting work, as is 'tagging' for keeping them seen, don't get too obsessed with that and just be true to your own style and eye – also try not to 'compare and despair' with people doing better than you – just stick to your unique vision and the right people will eventually follow you despite the new way the algorithms work (it might just take a bit longer!).
Do you have kids? How do you work your photography around family life?
Yes I do, I have two girls aged 10 (Eliza) and 12 (Matilda/Mattie). In children’s photography, understandably the parents don't always feel comfortable with you posting pictures online of their offspring, so I keep my practice up by taking pictures of my own long-suffering children. At least this means their lives are pretty well documented and hopefully they'll be grateful to have all these images and memories one day, but I make a point of not taking my camera out on every family occasion to give them a break! I'm lucky that they are (for the most part) incredibly supportive of what I do. Kids’ shoots tend to be at the weekend when they're not at school, so my husband looks after ours (as well as our crazy dog, a cockapoo named Flossie Teacake – after one of my favourite children's books!). With longer fashion shoots I have to rely on kind neighbours, friends, babysitters and my lovely parents when my husband is at work in London– it's all a bit of a juggling act and I probably owe most of my friends a return favour right now so I will probably have extra children in the house for a couple of weeks!
What music do you listen to? Have your kids inherited your music taste?
Aargh this is a tricky question for me. I grew up in a large family, in the middle of five children so we each had different music blaring from our bedroom and (mostly) an appreciation of each other’s tastes; this coupled with my time in BBC music publicity has given me a wide appreciation of many different kinds of music and it really depends what mood I'm in. I've always loved acoustic guitar and my Dad gave me a very early appreciation of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Francoise Hardy etc; as a teenager I loved The Cure, The Stone Roses, Nirvana and The Velvet Underground as a student The Sundays, Saint Etienne, Violent Femmes, Radiohead, Nick Drake etc I still love them. In the last couple of years I've been to see Elbow, The Foo Fighters, Royal Blood, Villagers, British Sea Power, Girl Band, White Kite, Daughter, Alt-J , Queens of The Stone Age and Nick Cave. I was blown away by all of them! I love live music I'm going to see Saint Etienne at Shepherd's bush empire in a couple of weeks, and I'm very excited about that. I do love a bit of great pop music in fact the first bands I was into were Blondie and Abba – I had the Marks and Spencer Abba fan book when I was 10 (complete with cassette!). I also love The Sugar Hill gang, Grandmaster Flash, Belle and Sebastian etc I'm going to have to stop now as I keep thinking of other music I love that I've left out...
I think our kids have definitely inherited a lot of our music taste and share a lot of it which is handy when we're driving any distance but they also sneak in a few of their own too (eg Eliza is slightly obsessed with Meghan Trainor especially her girl power lyrics and, as a result tells, me when to “woman up” and Ariana Grande who is a pretty amazing role model) .
Party out or party at home – Discuss!
I like to party out (but you can't beat a late night kitchen disco with wooden spoons for microphones and a bit of air guitar...)
Any exciting future plans to share?
Bubble London (@bubblelondon the UK's leading fashion trade show) are currently using one of my images for their autumn/winter campaign and have told me they want to carry on the collaboration for their summer show so I'm really pleased to be working on that. I also have photos out recently for the autumn/winter campaign of beautiful dresses from @questioneverythingkids . Other than that, it's kids, more kids and this little mini shoot I'm sharing of the Disko Kids T's which combines my loves of photography, children and music :-). My daughters love their Disko Kids T-shirts.
Follow Juliet on Instagram here
& her website here www.julietwiolandphoto.co.uk