Julia Comita

Julia Comita is a NYC-based photographer who curated her style around shooting powerful female subjects, as well as lensing beauty in a conceptual and innovative way. She is also the co-creator of the video series "How to Be Beautiful.” 3-min read

How has the pandemic affected you professionally?

People aren't spending money right now, so clients aren't commissioning projects. My job involves working with other people, and since we can't all be in a room together, there's no way to create the work that's needed.

I have reached out to let people know that I'm available for specific remote work. I can do product photography, things that don't involve heavy-duty prop styling, and I can do retouching - whether it's on work that I've shot or if somebody else's work. But there's not much retouching because nobody's shooting. I did a product shoot for a client recently, but when you have to play all the roles, it takes twice as long to produce. After setting everything up, being my own prop stylist, gluing things in place, breaking down and all the post-production work and animation, it took about 3 days.


How have you been affected personally?

It's not the worst thing to be taking a break. I have a really hard time slowing down, and there are all these other things that I've always wanted to do, or things that I've struggled to keep in my life as a balance. I am able to exercise multiple times a week. I started running again and getting back to really good cooking practices. I've been trying to take a couple of classes and read, and I have been much more in touch with family members I don't talk to all that often. It's really nice to have that connection. I love the big thing of the moment - video calls - which I never really did. I find them much more engaging than regular phone calls.

As a photographer, I'm having to think more creatively to discover what I can do by myself -  I'm not used to working solo on anything, even if it's a personal project.

"...knowing and remembering in a deep way that I am a creative person, and I don't need external factors to make me that way..."

How do you think this will impact the future of your industry?

Everybody has a different idea about when work will happen again. I think it depends a lot on the companies I work for and how badly they were impacted. I'm fortunate enough that I shoot product, as I think companies are still going to have a need for those assets, but It might thin out the industry a bit.

Quarantine collage collaboration with Makeup Artist, Caitlin Wooters.

How are you adapting to the changes?

One client hired me to do these animations, and I am actually really proud of them because I did them all by myself. I'm going to be working on a couple of other personal projects that involve motion, and I'm collaborating with a makeup artist friend of mine, Caitlin Wooters. We are taking photos we did together in the past and remixing them. I'm experimenting with shooting some very simple videos with my phone and taking advantage of what's available to me.

I will be able to present these projects to clients as an example of what I can produce with limited resources. Shoots will have to be paired down as budgets decrease, and clients just won't have the budgets to produce big shoots like they used to.

I think being able to present myself as an independent entity that doesn't require as much to deliver a finished product will be beneficial. I think it's important to show clients what's possible, because they don't always know. It may be more simple, but it looks good and it got your attention. We can lean on each other for ideas and support.

Created for BATTINGTON LASHES, in Quarantine.

If you had to identify a silver lining out of this, what would it be?

I think there are several silver linings. Culturally, especially in America, there was a real need to slow down. I've been hearing that this could be the downfall of influencer and celebrity culture because of the superficial nature of it. I think the idolization of these seemingly unattainable things are not healthy. For the people who can't work right now, there's a chance to rediscover who we are.

For me, knowing and remembering in a deep way that I am a creative person, and I don't need external factors to make me that way. I have to remember that even though I'm in isolation, I don’t live in a bubble; I can still work with other people. I can get really tied up in my dependency on others because I like to collaborate. I'm not really an independent artist in that way, but it's nice to know I am capable of doing both.

Created for BATTINGTON LASHES, in Quarantine