Iulia Matei: The Parisian 26 Year Old That's Photographing Well Known Labels, Tells Her Story

Iulia Matei: The Parisian 26 Year Old That's Photographing Well Known Labels, Tells Her Story

There's an emerging fashion photographer on the rise, and we’re pretty certain her work is iconic. Iulia Matei, opens up to us about the mindset, passion, and inspiration behind her phenomenal published work. The 26 year old, has already photographed with countless prominent fashion labels and models, including Bella Hadid. Her imagery, too easy to love and too hard to miss, portrays a feminine, yet daring, Parisian essence. It leads you beyond your subjectivity, into imagination and discovery. Iulias' work conveys feelings similar to that in a faint pleasant dream, where the sense of possibility still lingers. Beyond looking crisp, her photography, transports us through a lens, into a spontaneous story we instantly love, with people we’ve never met and places we’ve yet to visit. Read on to our recent exclusive interview with Iulia below to spark inspiration in your soul (and your mood board).

{Follow IG @IULIA_MATEI to keep up with her amazing work}

1. Tell us where you're from originally? How has it influenced you? 

I’m originally from Transylvania, Romania. Being brought up within the Eastern European culture has taught me that going the extra mile should never be an option, but a given. I come from a family of hard workers who have never had anything handed to them; so whenever I think I can’t go further, I’ve been taught to push a little harder. I have also lived in five countries so far and I feel that I carry a bit of each place with me, wherever I go. I would also definitely say that my perspective on the world and life in general has been influenced by the numerous cultures I’ve been exposed to.

2. Do you remember the moment you fell in love with photo and film? What was that like?

My love for photography and film comes from my parents. My father handed me my first camera and he was also the one who taught me how to shoot with it. He was a photographer when he was younger, he photographed my mom and that’s actually how they met. My mom has a medical degree, but she gave up her career, followed her dream and started designing clothes. It’s easy to put the pieces together: my love for photography and fashion comes from both of them.

3. Whats your advise to those trying to experiment with photography/film and sometimes get discouraged?

Keep on shooting! One thing I always remind myself of is that not everybody has to like you. Keep doing what you love doing and find the people that resonate with you and your creativity.  The only thing that you should be focused on is getting better. Ask yourself this: Is your work better than it was a few months ago? If the answer is yes, then you’re on your way. If the answer is no, look at what you can improve.

4. Whats been your favorite/ most memorable designer to shoot for thus far? 

Honestly, it’s very hard to choose as every experience is completely different. I am lucky because I get to work with lovely people, some of which have become my friends over time. Of course some days it’s not all unicorns, as no job is perfect. However, every time I’m shooting I forget that I’m tired, hungry, sick or whatever I may be feeling that specific day. Almost every shoot is a favorite because I get to live my dream.

5. Tell us about your state of mind when you’re shooting with bigger labels, and models? Do you get cold feet, and if so, how do you deal with that?  

I used to get cold feet in the beginning. I used to be super nervous thinking “what if I won’t do well? what if all goes wrong? what if I didn’t choose the right team? what if someone is in a bad mood and ruins everyone else’s?” etc. I think it’s up to you to believe in and push yourself to overcome nerves. The best training for that is to get experience: organize as many shoots as possible, be prepared, know what you want to do. If something doesn’t go well, improvise. It’s a creative job, you can do (almost) anything.

6. Current favorite camera to shoot film with?

I will shoot with whatever I have on me. Being present is crucial and even though I think that sometimes the camera can make a huge difference, what’s most important for me is how I feel in the moment and how I manage to translate that into my creation.

7. Do you have a ritual you go through before filming?

 I’m a very visual person and ever since I was a kid I have always made up stories in my mind. For personal projects especially, where I have complete freedom, I usually start by “seeing” the story first and only afterwards I start writing or sketching what I actually want to do. These stories are sparked by conversations I have with friends, music, movies, things I’m feeling, observing people and places. You can create a story out of anything. Imagination is key.

8. I can’t help but ask, what are some of you favorite vintage pieces in your closet right now? 

An authentic 80’s red leather jacket that I stole from my mom, a fire pair of cowboy boots and a men’s oversized checked blazer. I’d definitely say vintage all the way! I love everything that has a story to it, which is why I mostly buy vintage. Funny thing is, my friends and I actually even had a small business with customized vintage pieces at some point.

9. What’s your favorite era? 

In terms of cinema I would probably say the 60’s. There is something so beautiful and pure about it. I also really like the fact that there were so many political movements which affected women’s and racial minorities’ rights in a positive way.

10. Give a motto or life perspective thats important to you and the life you live/work by? 

Treat everyone as you would like to be treated.Trust your instincts. Learn how to say no.

11. Can you give any advice to the girls wanting to make a living out of their passion? 

I honestly believe that the only thing standing in between us and our dreams is ourselves. If you can dream it, then you can do it. Dreams don’t work unless you do and when you try to live out of your passion, you’ll end up working all the time. Get to know and love yourself so you can love what you’re creating. Grow a thick skin as you will put your heart in everything you’re doing. But most importantly, be patient. 


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