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From the Marine Corps to the Photo Lab: Meet Julia

This article appeared in a November 2016 issue of the student newsletter.

By Kai Chua
North Lake News-Register Contributing Writer

A brilliant photography student, Julia Cartwright was recently featured in North Lake College’s Spotlight show, an art show that showcases the work of advanced students.

It was Julia’s first Gallery appearance. She was one of five students chosen, and the only photographer to be featured in the show. (Nine of her pieces were showcased.)

Her body of work focuses on people that utilize the West End DART station.

In her presentation, Julia wanted to capture the moments between major life events and interactions between people at West End station.

“It is known for being an eclectic station,” Julia said.

She also mentioned that she doesn’t have a car, so her main mode of transportation is public transportation. Because of this, she decided to take advantage of her situation and took the photographs.

Julia’s interest in photography began as a child. She always admired the photographs found in National Geographic and Sports Illustrated magazines and had been inspired by them. Unfortunately, she never had the opportunity to explore photography as a child.

Julia served as an Avionics Technician for the United States Marine Corps from 2009 to 2014. While stationed in Little Rock, Ark., in 2010, she bought her first Sony point-and-shoot camera. After returning from her first deployment in Afghanistan in 2012, she bought her first DSLR camera, a Nikon D7000, which she still uses to this day.

She first started photographing people in her military unit and people in Okinawa, Japan. After this experience, she developed an interest in street photography. Julia considers street photography her “niche,” since she spends four-six hours riding public transportation every day. She uses her time on trains and buses to practice and gain experience in street photography.

It took more than four years for Julia to develop her niche. She practiced photography by herself from 2012 to 2014, then in 2014, she left the Marines and began taking classes at NLC. She decided to take the classes because she heard that the college had an amazing photography program.

“I believe that I’ve grown exponentially after taking my photography classes here at North Lake,” she said.

Currently, Julia is taking more photography classes and working as a photography lab assistant at NLC to help students understand all aspects of digital photography. Julia also started volunteering at the News-Register as a photojournalist this semester.

Julia is also working on a couple more photography projects and hopes to showcase them soon. One of them is called “Hands with Color,” which incorporates hand gestures with different colors to give meaning to the photograph.

Julia endeavors to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and start professional work in commercial photography and Fine Art photography.

“I also want to be the best disco dancer the 1980s has ever seen,” she joked.