Julia Hembree, senior art major and photojournalism minor, lived almost 2,000 miles away from Jackson this summer, working as an intern at Angela & Ithyle Photo in Los Angeles, Calif.
Angela & Ithyle are fashion, beauty and lifestyle photographers most known for their Amazon Kindle Commercials and their work with musician A Fine Frenzy.
“I was getting interested in stop-motion and how to mix that with photography,” Hembree said.
“So one day when I was looking up music on YouTube by A Fine Frenzy, I stumbled upon their stop-motion music video, ‘Lost Things.’ I loved it and wanted to learn more, so I emailed them several questions and my interest in their work, and they were kind enough to write me back.”
Hembree sent the photographers her portfolio in winter of 2013, and they asked to interview her via Skype.
After the interview, Hembree was asked to work for the summer as their photo intern.
Hembree moved to Los Angeles on May 21 and lived there until early August.
Union graduate, Hilmar Skagfield, lives in Los Angeles and was Hembree’s mentor this summer.
A mutual friend introduced them and Skagfield helped Hembree adapt to life in Los Angeles.
“You don’t come here to hang out, you come here to work,” Skagfield said.
This was true for Hembree, who was engulfed in her job from the beginning.
“Every day was different,” Hembree said. “One day I was calling the photo editors of Vogue and Bloomingdales to set up appointments, other days I assisted on photo shoots, sometimes I went location scouting around Southern California, I got to help in making a 48 hour film fest video with them, I carried lots of equipment, sent lots of mail, and helped with model casting.”
The work Hembree did this summer will help establish her as a photographer after college.
This kind of experience is essential for anyone pursuing a creative profession, Skagfield said.
“You need to do internships if you want to do something in the arts. That shows employers that they can trust you and hire you.”
Jim Veneman, former photojournalism professor at Union, taught Hembree in photojournalism classes.
“It is in her DNA to do this kind of thing,” Veneman said. “When she wakes up, she sees the day as a new day. She doesn’t see today the same way she saw yesterday.”
That attitude is advantageous when going into an internship, Veneman said.
Hembree developed her craft this summer learning how professional photographers work.
“It was lots of hard work every day, but it was completely worth it,” Hembree said. “I learned more from them in three months than I have learned in the past eight years I have been interested in photography.”
Gaining experience in the field of work Hembree was interested in helped her clarify her career goals.
“I wasn’t completely sure that I wanted to work this kind of job before this summer, but now I am completely sure and am excited for the future,” Hembree said.
“As of now, I am really wanting to explore lifestyle and fashion magazine photography and hoping to move to New York in 2014. I am ready for another good adventure.”