Julia Nimke is a 25 years old photographer based in Berlin, a long distance cyclist and an overall life lover. Her work caught my attention because of the amazing aesthetics and the overall atmosphere that she creates. It has always moved me regardless of what she wants to portray: inspiring road trips brimming with the feeling of freedom, portraits, or symbolic celebration of life. Most of her work includes nature, which she absolutely loves. She's also into playing guitar and ukulele, hanging out with friends, and getting lost between the city streets and the exuberant woods. Although she loves the life in Berlin, she wants to move to California one day. Julia, although I wouldn't mind living in Berlin at the moment, I'm totally with you on moving to California!
Hi Julia! How are you? How's your late spring looking so far?
Spring is by far the nicest time of the year in Berlin. People start to sit around in parks again and doing outdoor activities – so do I. I moved into a new borough and since then I've been observing one particular branch getting greener and greener every day! It's beautiful. Those kinds of things make me happy.
First things first: how did you get into photography in the first place? Do you remember your first contact with cameras?
It's kind of a cliché, but I always knew that I want to become a photographer. My mother's best friend was a photographer, so she would tell me a lot about photography. I was around 13 years old when I went for my first photography course. I learned how to develop films and how to capture things in a personal way.
What sort of themes do you try to explore through your work? Are there any specific ones that you try to capture more often?
I admire photographers with constant themes. I'm a mess at this. When looking at my work I'd say the most constant theme is nature. I love capturing that sense of freedom and adventure.
You do lots of different photography styles and it's only natural that a certain style changes over a period of time. How do you feel your style is evolving? Do you feel the need to explore even more photography styles?
It's so hard for me to talk about my own photography – I simply do it. When things change it's probably because I'm changing too. Photography is such a personal work. It's an expression of what's happening inside the photographer. No one knows what I'll do next. Not even me.
Do you always have a preconceived concept of what you want to shoot?
The only time I have a concept is when I shoot on commission. Everything else I produce goes with the flow.
Do your photographs go through any kind of post-processing treatment?
I work with Lightroom most of the time. It saves so much time and it's super user-friendly. I use it to give my photographs a special look by doing various color changes. I rarely use Photoshop.
Let's talk about inspiration. Who or what inspires you? Where do you go when you feel uninspired or lacking the creative force?
It's hard to say what inspires me. It's the mixture of everything: the place I'm at, the music I listen to, the people that I surround myself with. Music is definitely a big factor. The more I listen to, let's say, sad music, the darker my photos will get. It's that simple. The mood I'm in influences the photography I produce. Going into the woods always helps to clear my mind, to get rid of the pressure of being so productive. It's important to take your time off too. Being uncreative is just as good as being creative. It all comes back from time to time – don't be too hard on yourself!
If you could take a snap of any person (past or present), who would you choose and why?
That's a tough one :D! I have to name two people. From the past: Henry David Thoreau. I'd photograph him in the woods in his cabin with all that wisdom and knowledge in his head. I'd sit next to him and enjoy the silence and peacefulness. From the present: Meryl Streep, because I simply love her. I love her wrinkles, her smile and her positive charisma. She is the best example that beauty knows no age. She's becoming more beautiful every year!
If every photograph should contain one crucial element, what would it be in your opinion?