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Interview With Jules Photography

Textured photograph of toddler.

I I’ve loved following Jules Photography (Julie Moult) online. Her beautiful portraits and pet photography have a clarity and luminosity. Her images are both clean and crisp while portraying a warmth of spirit. She doesn’t always use textures, but when she does, she masterfully edits to add the barest whisper of texture to enhance an already gorgeous image, or to create a highly artistic portrait. She is also a very warm, generous, and positive person!

I’ve shown smaller image selections within the interview from Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.

I’m inspired by light, I am always searching for beautiful light, and eyes, I’m absolutely drawn to eyes, the windows to our soul.

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Jules, fill us in on what kind of photography you specialize in.

Jules

My photography is extremely varied, I photograph portraiture to commercial products and even some weddings, but my passion lies with people. I have 9 gold awards with the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) but it’s still early days for me and my style is still evolving.

Wedding Dresses

I love how Jules uses a soft whisper of texture in her images. See larger images in Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.
Texture is Novella from Les Textures I collection.

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Jules, can you tell us a little about where you live and your life today?

Jules

I live in rural Leicestershire our house was built on quite a historic sight. We are surrounded by fields which is lovely I am married and have two grown up children who still live here, 3 Tibetan Terriers, and a very old Rottie so things can get a little hectic at times!

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How long have you been photographing and what drew you to photography? Did you go to school for photography/art or are you self taught? How long have you been photographing professionally?

Jules

The first camera I bought was a film camera 25 years ago to use whilst on holiday. I had a quick lesson in Jessops on basic aperture and shutter speed and away I went! The pictures were not bad but the camera broke halfway into the holiday! I then bought a film Canon EOS and just used the automatic settings for a number of years and then after my wedding I bought myself the most expensive camera I could afford and that was a Canon 1DS MKII to photograph my daughter show jumping. Not being a manual reader, I had no idea it had programs so I learned how to use it on manual. I would photograph people while I was at the shows and they started to ask if they could buy them. I then worked for a while photographing show jumping competitions. I converted a bedroom into a small studio and began doing pet portraits in 2009. Then came child portraits and families and my business has grown from there. Other than a couple of days training I am completely self taught.

Horse Portrait

Beautiful lighting and touch of texture. Texture is Brasserie from Les Textures I collection. See larger images in Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.

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Wow! I would have thought you went to photography school and worked professionally for years.

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Do you have other traditional art education?

Jules

I really think a camera is my key to art. I absolutely loved art at school but just didn’t have the patience.

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What are some of the challenges of becoming a professional photographer?

Jules

Self-belief has always been a huge challenge for me. As I haven’t worked in a studio before I have no idea of if what I’m doing is right. I have to go with what feels right. I also find living out in the country quite isolating so its important to network (something I don’t do enough of)—and trying to figure out building websites—I really don’t enjoy that side but when a challenge is there I accept! Being a professional photographer working alone means you spend more time behind a computer than you could ever have imagined!

Fairy

Texture is Inspiration from the Les Textures II collection. See larger images in Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.

For a child that is prone to be moving around a lot … I would use the key and fill lights but not the back lights this was how I lit the fairy girl.

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Tell us a little about your studio lighting set up.

Jules

I have a small studio which has a downstairs conservatory (veranda) for natural light and an upstairs where I use flash. I use Bowens lights with various softboxes etc. I try to keep the lighting simple and it very much depends on my subject as to how I go about lighting them. To produce an image such as the little girl in the floaty dress I used a complex light set up. Although Olivia was only 3 years old she was so good I could position her and direct her towards the light as the key light was crucial. She loved it all! I had a large soft box to the right of her a smaller fill light to her left, two rim lights behind to pick her out of the background a hair light and a light to the background For a child that is prone to be moving around a lot or less at ease with directions, I would use the key and fill lights but not the back lights this was how I lit the fairy girl. In some cases, I’ll use the white area (of the studio) and either my 2 meter softbox only and then they can run around and they will be lit wherever they are! Its the same for animals—some will sit and others wont.

Floaty Dress

Jules lighting is evocative of a Rembrandt painting the way it goes from delicate, luminous light to rich darks.
Texture is Ancien from Les Textures I collection.
See larger images in Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.

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Your use of textures is a soft kiss added to an already gorgeous photograph. Do you ever have textures in mind when you shoot something or is it always a post-processing decision?

Jules

No, If I am using a three or 4 light set up with a dark plain background I will most probably be shooting with a texture in mind—even if the texture is almost invisible it just makes all the difference. I don’t like heavily patterned backgrounds but sometimes a plain background just looks a little sterile.

Before & After Jules’ editing and texture addition.

Before and After texture

I don’t like heavily patterned backgrounds but sometimes a plain background just looks a little sterile.

Texture is Clair Obscur from the Les Textures II collection. See larger images in Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.

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Do you work with make-up artists and hair stylists? Have you had any learning experiences or has it been smooth sailing?

Jules

Yes, I’m just about to launch a mother and daughter makeover shoot package. I would love to work with a stylist, it would take so much pressure off, especially when you are trying to pose someone who is inexperienced. It has its benefits and its disadvantages. I quite like working alone but sometimes you just need another pair of hands. I have thought about doing makeup but I feel I would rush it to get on with the shoot! Hair & Makeup is very important to producing a professional look, but you have to find someone who is happy to work with you. It’s not always that easy. I have a great MUA (MakeUp Artist) who works with me on my model portfolios and she is terrific at hair, but it all pushes the cost up unfortunately.

Courtesan

Texture is Clair Obscur from the Les Textures II collection. See larger images in Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.

Jules’ Camera Bag

  • Canon 5D MKII
  • Canon 5D MK III
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens
  • Sigma 24-105mm f/4.5
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Autofocus Lens

Favorite Portrait Lenses

  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
  • Sigma 24-105mm f/4.5

Photo Editing Software

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
  • Adobe Photoshop CC

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Do you use any 3rd Party filters & plug-ins?

Jules

Sometimes I use Portrait Professional for smoothing skin but always as a mask and brushing it on as and where I need it.
I have a set of Florabella actions, but use them very rarely and if I do use them I take the opacities down so they are barely noticeable.

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What I love about your images is they are so well shot to begin with. All images need some post-production. I worked in a professional photography lab for 8 years. There was no negative that didn’t need some burning & dodging! You aren’t saving a shot, but rather fine-tuning it.

Jules

Absolutely. I started out learning Photoshop after my wedding in 1998. My wedding photographs were just awful! I got married in a winter red dress and in my wedding pictures it was cerise! All the images were overexposed, and most out of focus—they were shocking. I tried for years to scan and alter them and even now with all my experience I cannot make them what they are not—you can make a good image great, but you can’t make a bad image good. I never try now If the image isn’t quality to begin with I discard it, because I know I will spend hours and bin it in the final stages!

…you can make a good image great, but you can’t make a bad image good.

I don’t use any Photoshop plug-ins. I import all my images into Lightroom and make minor levels adjustments there. I then open them in Photoshop. I work with layers by duplicating and making adjustments to the whole layer, e.g. a curves adjustment or maybe a colour balance adjustment. I then create a mask and fill the mask with black and paint on the adjustments with a soft white brush. I then apply a texture and decide whether to use soft light, multiply, or overlay. Sometimes, I use more than one texture at different opacities and hues. I find its often good to work on an image and close it down for a day and then open it up with fresh eyes. Its so easy to over process an image. The results are all subjective and to my personal eye—that’s the way I work!

I guess I’m a wannabe artist that doesn’t have the patience to wait for the oils to dry! Plus, an oil painter cant erase and start over easily. I think its a perfect solution for my artistic limitations and I can spend hours lavishing over an image!

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That’s actually a great way to explain it and it clicked for me that much of your work is rather like a Rembrandt the way it goes from delicate, luminous light to rich darks.

Rembrandt dog

…even if the texture is almost invisible it just makes all the difference.

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What tips would you give someone beginning to photograph portraits?

Jules

I think one of the most important crafts is connecting with your subject—you can’t Photoshop an expression! Sometimes I wish I had a degree in psychology!

Party

Texture is Charmante from L’Artiste collection. See larger images in Jules’ Featured Artist Gallery.

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Any advice to new Artists for finding their own vision?

Jules

Do what you enjoy and plan your shoots. They will take their own direction but you need a starting point.

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What inspires you or moves you?

Jules

I’m inspired by light, I am always searching for beautiful light, and eyes, I’m absolutely drawn to eyes, the windows to our soul.

See More Of Jules Photography

I’ve only shown Jules’ work that uses French Kiss Collections. Do check out her gorgeous photography of families, children, babies, models, weddings, and pets.

Website

Model Portfolios

Weddings

Facebook

Twitter

 See These Images And More As A Gallery

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7 Responses to Interview With Jules Photography

  1. Leslie Nicole October 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Thank you, Jules for all your work on this interview and gallery. I’m so pleased to have your lovely work up! xx

  2. Connie Etter October 13, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Beautiful work! (Beautiful light!!!)

  3. Bob Jensen October 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Superb images

  4. Bob Jensen November 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Am surprised there aren’t more comments – her work is stunning.

    • Leslie Nicole November 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      I agree, Bob! It must be a timing thing. Sometimes your newsletter, etc. goes out when people are busy?

  5. Kathy Petite November 19, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Thanks for the incites–love your work.

  6. Kathy Petite November 19, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    oops, I mean insights….

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