Julia Bostock captured raw energy and attitude to win the first prize in Kids Photography of Spotlight Awards
With a background in the arts and art direction, Julia Bostock has been shooting kids, fashion, and portraits for many brands and top independent magazines in the UK and internationally for many years. This year she has taken the Kids Photography world by storm lately with her winning image from the Spotlight Awards.
Scroll down to read the story behind her winning image, selected from thousands of submissions by our judges Rossana Coruzzi, Senior Art Buyer at Prodigious Italy, Italy; Brendan Donnelly, Creative Director at M&C Saatchi, Australia; Natasscha Girelli, Branding & Creative Director at Hooligans Magazine, Denmark, and Chris Booth, Associate Creative Director at Lego, UK.
Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image – the idea behind it, how was it shot?
Julia Bostock: I was in the Outer Hebrides doing a series of photographs on weavers in the isle of Lewis. I was interested in the generations passing their skills down to the younger people in undeveloped areas and countries where it seemed natural to do so.
I had taken a portrait of a grandfather standing, where he wore his favourite knitted jumper which matched the azure glittering sea behind him and had then photographed his son who was weaving (in between rushing off to deliver a newborn lamb). He’d told me a few days earlier that he had two children but in fact they were asleep. His wife went to wake them up. Reluctantly the little girl was carried out into the cold air where I took her picture against a canvas backdrop rigged up outside one of the huts. It looked more and more as though I wasn’t going to get the shot – she DID NOT want to have her picture taken. I persevered and managed to capture that look of stubborn defiance. The picture had to be named GRUMPY GIRL, though she was a really sweet girl she would have rather stayed in her cosy bed wearing her sleepy jumper.
Production Paradise: How do you feel about winning the Category Prize of Spotlight Awards 2020?
Julia Bostock: Actually I feel so surprised and pleased at the same time. Entering it was slightly spontaneous, but I knew everyone loved this little Scottish girl’s steady look and her unstyled clothes, which is what made it – the image to me captures raw energy and attitude. This was a series of pictures I felt extremely passionate about and I really wanted them to reach a wider audience
Production Paradise: How would you describe your style?
Julia Bostock: Well, I would describe my style as honest and mostly natural.
Production Paradise: Name three photographers that have inspired you.
Julia Bostock: Paul Strand, Avedon and Danny Lyon.
Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.
Julia Bostock: I was an art director and graphic designer. When working with photographers, mostly we would create something amazing together using our combined vision but when it came to kids’ photography, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the camera. A Dutch photographer who I was working with suggested that I should be shooting it myself. From then on, I decided to pursue that route and leave graphics in the background.
Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?
Julia Bostock: I think these days it is very important to believe in your vision and bring something extra to the shoot. To be flexible and to be able to interpret the clients’ vision.
Production Paradise: If you weren’t a photographer, what would be your alternate career path?
Julia Bostock: It would have to be something visual. When you start off in art and design in the UK you do a foundation course where you have to decide on a specific discipline to channel your creativity. I think I would have chosen films or painting – whatever I chose would have to be in the visual arts. I think a bit of lecturing would be very rewarding – it’s good to exchange experiences.
Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?
Julia Bostock: During the lockdown, it was a bit hard to begin with, but then I began a few personal projects – GROUNDED was one where I documented teenagers who felt that they had no option but to wait. Whilst nature was furiously growing all around them, they were held in time.
I’m also working with a Japanese company on a series of limited-edition prints using the traditional collotype process.
Production Paradise: Spotlight Awards had a judges’ panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?
Julia Bostock: No, not at all. I’ve always believed that if you follow your passion and someone sees that in your work, they will be able to ask you to shoot what you love and maybe be paid for it.
Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?
Julia Bostock: Having been more active in the Production Paradise community during the pandemic I felt more connected to other creative people and realised that this network provided a great opportunity to connect with other art directors and creative services across the globe. Without an international agent, it seemed to be the best way forward.
We thank Julia for taking the time to share her incredible journey with us and wish her all the best for future endeavors! To see more of Julia’s work, visit her Production Paradise portfolio or website. Check out a special edition of Spotlight Magazine featuring all the 2020 Spotlight Award Winners, here.