Julia Silva + Jules Jay
What is the best compliment you've ever received?
This is one of the hardest questions I've been asked in a while, which I think speaks volumes to the way we're trained to focus on criticism and downplay praise. In college, someone wrote an article about my senior thesis show and mentioned how I portrayed the women I photographed as strong self-confident bad-ass women. I've never felt more honored about a description of my work. My greatest desire with my photography is to make women feel empowered and strong and beautiful simply for being themselves, so its a dream come true to be recognized for that.
Where do you thrive?
I thrive when I'm in the zone. I feel like that's something that we most often equate with athletes, and I can't speak for every creative, but it's definitely a thing for me. When I'm on set shooting and fully in the zone, I'm thinking about the next shot, while taking this one and examining the one prior. It's about problem-solving in the moment and it's definitely where I thrive.
What's one bad habit you can't seem to shake?
Currently self-comparison is my biggest struggle, especially on social media. As a photographer its hard to see all the incredible images on Instagram and not experience some form of self-doubt as to the work that I’m contributing. As a 20-something woman its hard not to see other females who are beautiful and look flawless 100% of the time, all while kicking ass in their careers without questioning where I am in my journey. So I’ve been trying to consume less of it and trust in myself and know that I'm on my way.
What's the best idea you've heard recently?
I've been attending a weekly “track series” of co-working intensives at an awesome female-run co-working space Jig+Saw in DTLA. It's been a brilliant way to get to know some local boss babes, hone in on new business offerings, work through my pitch and hear inspiring women speak about their personal expertise. I love meeting and supporting fellow female entrepreneurs and Christina, the founder of the space, is an amazing community builder who has created a beautiful space with magnetic energy that has attracted such an exceptional group of women that I’m grateful to have met. I just love that spaces like this exist.
How do you unplug?
Usually I opt for some combination of going for a hike, meditating or reading, but I recently went on a trip to the Dominican Republic with some girlfriends, and we had no cell service and pitiful wifi for the majority of the five days we were there. Hiking is great for an hour or two, but this trip was a great reminder that when I REALLY need to unplug, there’s truly no better way to than traveling far from home and exploring a new corner of the world.
What's the biggest lesson you learned this past year?
One of the major lessons I've learned recently is that things will never go “according to plan” and that, more often than not, that's a good thing. I’ve been thrown a lot of curveballs this year and I've learned to roll with the punches in a whole new way.
I was living in Austin, TX. When my relationship and my lease ended nearly simultaneously, I was left to decide if I wanted to stay or go back to the East Coast where I’m from. Meanwhile a few thousand miles away in Boston, my high school best friend had decided to change her life and move across the country to LA. On a whim, she asked me to join her and I sort of put it out to the universe to decide - within the month we had an amazing apartment lined up, in our ideal neighborhood, and the details just continued to fall together.
In fact, a few days after I mentioned to my parents that I didn't want to drive my car across the country, my Dad was at our local bagel spot and ran into one of his old college friends who happened to have spot for a car on a truck heading to LA. Since then little things have continued to show me that what is meant to be will fall into place if you keep vibrating at your highest frequency and stay positive.
What I have experienced when I follow the flow of life instead of trying to force things has been far more amazing and beautiful and inspiring than anything I could have planned for myself. With that realization, I've learned to celebrate the serendipities and trust in the synchronicity of life.