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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Magic in the Mundane

  • 5 min read

Magic in the Mundane

Artist Interview with Julie Hamlin

Julie Hamlinis a photographer based in New Mexico who finds the magic in the mundane. We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!

Julie Hamlin with Lensbaby Trio 28

Q: Give us a BTS of this shot!

A: I try to capture moments. Something that others may not necessarily see as a photograph. Whether that be my little boy simply sitting on the floor, or holding a sparkler, or a beautiful flower facing the sun, my camera is most certainly always ready to capture it. If I am planning a shoot with a client, such as the little boy in a field of sunflowers, I plan ahead with which lenses will help me tell the story best. Behind the scenes is simple, unhurried, in the moment, just capturing something beautiful.


Q: When did you start taking photographs and why did you continue?

A: I began taking photos as a young kid using my parent’s 35mm film cameras. I don’t remember a time in my life when photography wasn’t something I loved doing. I continued through HS and college, learning how to develop in the darkroom, end eventually moved in the digital world! Photography has always been a creative outlet for me, and when I began my business, I had decide that telling people’s stories through my lens was a dream come true.


Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?

A:The Lensbaby Velvet 56 is my all-time favorite, followed by the Trio 28 for mirrorless. I love the Velvet 56 for its macro, as well as its portrait capabilities. The ethereal glow that you can achieve in-camera is absolutely stunning!! It creates a softness around your subject, whether that be a person, a flower, or a landscape. And the sun flares that you can catch are unlike any other lens I’ve ever used!

Julie Hamlin with Lensbaby Velvet 56

Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use Lensbaby Gear?

A:Practice, practice, practice! Play with different lighting, different subjects, and different settings. Be patient as manual focus lenses require a bit more focus and stillness. Once you see it in-camera, you’ll know!! The results are worth the little extra effort!


Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Tacos :)

Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?

A: Growing up in New Mexico, and shooting in B&W film, Ansel Adams was the first professional photographer to inspire me. I learned how to see the colors laid out in front of me, and transform them into black, white, and grey scales. In college, the work of Ruth Bernhard (again in B&W) was a tremendous inspiration as I began learning shadows and the human form. Her techniques on using light applied to the human body is something that transcends through all genres, and I apply it to nearly everything that I photograph. Annie Leibovitz has also always inspired me. Her ability to capture not only posed, but raw candid imagery is absolutely incredible.


Julie Hamlin with Lensbaby Velvet 56

Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?

A: I find very few things to be actually difficult. I love challenges and learning new things. I push myself and I hustle in this industry. Technology going astray may be the Achilles heal of any photographer though. I am a professional full time photographer, and there are obvious difficulties being self employed, but it is a blessing and a privilege to get to do this for a living!


Q: How do you bring the best out of your models? What tips do you have?

A: We laugh! I am a very relaxed photographer who always has such a great time with my clients. We make the best of every situation. I am never in a hurry, I can easily make jokes, and above all else, I make sure my client know they are my priority!


Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?

A: I am mainly self taught with the exception of taking classes in HS and college, and learning the basics of compositions, rules and color theory. I am certainly self taught in the digital era of photography though. I have taken several courses online through the Click Photo School, and I am incredibly honored to be a Click Pro Elite in the Click Community. I am constantly educating myself online as technology is ever evolving!


Julie Hamlin with Lensbaby Trio 28

Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?

A: I believe finding magic in the mundane, everyday details of someone’s life make the best photographs. Noticing what goes unnoticed is my job, and documenting it beautifully is what I strive to do. I never rush. I go into a shoot willing to discover beautiful things. Even when I shoot for myself creatively, I strive to find the magic that I haven’t seen before.


Q: What inspires you most?

A: People inspire me. Their stories and their emotions are incredibly inspiring if you take the time to notice and listen. And listening with my lens is something I have learned to do. Simplicity inspires me. A photograph doesn’t have to be complex to be incredible. Light inspires me. I get so excited when I see beautiful light. Even if I don’t have my camera, light makes me happy. It inspires me to get creative and make something beautiful. My son inspires me. I want him to be proud of what I do :)


Q: Tell us your favorite quote!

A: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”


Julie Hamlin with Lensbaby Trio 28

Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

A: Newborn babies. All their tiny details! (And I usually capture them in black and white!)


Q: How would you describe your photography style?

A: I am an emotive storyteller. I prefer candid imagery, capturing emotion, pulling emotion out of my clients, and preserving those moments forever.


Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?

A: Freezing time. Documenting moments otherwise forgotten forever. And the connections that I make with my clients. It is such an honor to have them want to spend time having me document their lives, even just for a moment. And when they send me pics of the photos that I took, hanging on their walls, it is the best feeling!


Julie Hamlin

Hello! I am a storytelling photographer based in New Mexico! My photography journey began as a child where I learned how to shoot on my parent’s 35mm film cameras. I have a strong preference for B&W photography, and specialize in capturing children and babies. Macro photography is one of my absolute favorite genres as well!



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