Lucas Vercetti, cover of Odd Future Tape Vol. 2
What’s your name, age, and where are you from?
My name is Julian Berman and I currently inhabit Los Angeles, California. I am twenty years old.
How’re you doing man, it seems like you’ve been doing a lot of these kind of things lately?
You know what Spencer, I have been doing rather well actually. School sucks, but thankfully it is almost done. For the most part, I have just been skateboarding, going to school, and going to the goodwill practically every single day. I need to get in the grind of shooting a bit more though, especially since I have not necessarily had an interesting gig in a while.
From District Protocol commission
Following your photos in the last year it seems you’ve really transitioned into shooting more commissioned work – how do you reconcile the difference between shooting for yourself or for a commission? Does your process change?
There is always that fine line between shooting for fun or a hobby, and shooting for work. I don’t know if that necessarily comes with age, or me just being lazy. Having a gig allows me to not only get my creative juices flowing, but also have a sense of creative guideline, or even a GOAL that these shots need to achieve. Besides, having your work published is badass. I still love shooting for myself, but most of the time I end up just bumming over the shots and scrapping them. In the end though, it is great to find a balance between the two.
In previous interviews you’ve been a big advocate for shooting film, but I noticed a lot of your recent photos have been from your x100, a digital camera. Have you moved away from shooting as much film, or are we just not seeing it online?
The X100 is a neat little camera. I have just been a huge fan of experimenting with different formats and mediums, and I figured it would be cool to dip back into digital for a second. To be honest, I am already over it and cannot wait to break out the Mamiya 7 again. Also, many clients and class assignments favor shooting digital for assignments, so it is a tad forced… such a shame. All in all, I will still prefer film over anything.
The city of Los Angeles definitely has a significant presence in your photos, but you also seem to get around the country quite a bit. Do you see yourself shooting in more varied locations in the future or do you plan to stick around LA?
To be honest, I am rather burnt out on shooting in Los Angeles. Maybe this is why there has not been much of an influx in new photographs lately, I guess you can call it a loss of inspiration. I absolutely adore traveling, and think that shooting photographs in a new or foreign location is the coolest thing ever. I definitely hope to travel more in the near future, that is for sure.
Tyler, the Creator
When you create a diptych do you shoot the photos with that kind of presentation in mind or usually decide that when editing?
The diptych is a pretty neat little trend in the current state of photography. They are definitely not too serious, and most of the time look rather silly but they can actually end up with a rather pleasing presentation. Usually I will just have two photographs that I feel would look better together, rather than taking up two posts or whatever. Other times I will actually formulate these couples prior or as I shoot, in hopes that they actually do turn out well together on the computer screen. Most of the time it does not really work, though.
Though your photos of skateboarding are few and far between, you seem to still adhere to the general aesthetic of skateboarding in a majority of your photos – do you consider yourself a skateboard photographer?
I am most definitely not a skateboard photographer, but I would LOVE to shoot some more skating. I always thought the techniques and mathematics behind shooting skateboarding were so cool, definitely far different than traditional portraiture and studio lighting. I suppose I just fell out of the skateboarding loop as a whole, the entire ‘skate crew’ started to disperse, and now it seems that nobody really skateboards anymore. Hopefully in the near future I will get back into it though, I would really enjoy that.
What direction do you see your photography going this year?
Obviously in the near future I would love to travel and complete as many jobs as possible. I will still be in school for photography, taking the same bullshit lighting and portraiture classes. I’ve got some interesting gigs coming up, so we will see what happens there. In the end, all I really need is my Mamiya 7, a flash, a brick of Portra 400, and some babes or butts or something to accomplish my goals.
Julian, photo by lorenzo porras
Shout outs/thank yous?
Thank you for everything, Spencer. Shouts to Bitchslap, the Mamiya 7 Flickr user group, the straight edge, cheesy gordita crunches, my parents, my cats, and my friends all throughout the WORLD absolutely killing it in the photo game. Goodbye.