Photography Student of the Month January 2015 – Julia Wainwright

Hello Photoion students and photography fans. We have another Student of the Month interview for you today. Student of the Month is our way of giving back to our students and recognising the people who have really excelled or shown great progress. The winner also receives a £50 gift card for any of our courses!

This month’s winner is Julia Wainwright, and we sat down with her to ask her about how she got into photography and her process.

Grinton Moor at sunrise, Yorkshire Dale by Julia Wainwright

Grinton Moor at sunrise, Yorkshire Dale by Julia Wainwright

‘I was fortunate enough to be able to take early retirement about 4 years ago, and I remember someone saying to me ‘what are you going to do with your time?’.  ‘Take up photography’ was my response.  To this day I’m still not sure where that answer came from but, in that brief moment, I set myself on a new path, I went out and bought a DSLR, booked myself on a few short courses to learn how to use it properly and have never looked back.

Great Crested Grebe courtship routine by Julia Wainwright

Great Crested Grebe courtship routine by Julia Wainwright

My passion is nature photography but I also enjoy photographing people.  Late last year I held my first solo exhibition entitled ’The Natural World’ and had about 850 visitors through the doors – not bad for a local exhibition!

Diving kingfisher by Julia Wainwright

Diving kingfisher by Julia Wainwright

In addition to local excursions I like to go on photographic trips; and last year my new hobby (or should I say obsession?) took me to Iceland for the Orcas and Northern Lights, Czech Republic for Birds of Prey, Hungary for Spring Birds, and on an incredible journey through Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania.

Dragonfly captured in Turkey. It was positioned in front of a white wall to give it a studio look. (c) Julia Wainwright

Dragonfly captured in Turkey. It was positioned in front of a white wall to give it a studio look. (c) Julia Wainwright

Trips for 2015 include Common Cranes in Israel, Osprey in Scotland, and a floating hide on the Danube to photograph water birds.

Cranes leaving their roost at sunrise, Israel by Julia Wainwright

Cranes leaving their roost at sunrise, Israel by Julia Wainwright

As well as trips I find 1-day workshops help me further develop my skill-set and provide the opportunity to learn not only from the tutor, but also from the other students.  I’ve attended 3 of Photoions’ workshops so far: Studio Lighting, Speedlite and Fashion.

Imperial Stag, Richmond Park by Julia Wainwright

Imperial Stag, Richmond Park by Julia Wainwright

They have all been excellent and among the best workshops that I’ve attended.  Ion’s passion for his subject shines through during his workshops and that really helps make the day both educational and fun. Learning about lighting also helps with my nature photography, after all that main light is just like the sun and as for the hair light – rim lighting looks good on animals too!

Northern Goshawk by Julia Wainwright

Northern Goshawk by Julia Wainwright

Photography seems to me one of those hobbies where you never stop learning whether it be researching your latest subject material, learning how to use a new piece of kit, getting to grips with post-processing, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone by standing ankle deep in rotting seaweed at 2am photographing the Aurora Borealis.’

Richmond Park by Julia Wainwright

Richmond Park by Julia Wainwright

Aurora Borealis, Iceland by Julia Wainwright

Aurora Borealis, Iceland by Julia Wainwright