At only 14 years old, Julia Foo is using photography to promote Youth Pride, women’s rights, and self expression, leading her to be featured on #girlgaze, a viral movement that promotes female photographers and their talents behind the lens. In contrast, at 14 I spent the majority of my time experimenting with blue eyeliner and anxiously awaiting the next school dance so I had a chance to make a move on my crush. Same-same, but different.
Desperate to know how she’s become such a #girlboss at 14, I talked to Julia about how she got started with photography, what inspires her, and how she deals with the daily stresses of life (and social media). Turns out, it has a lot to do with being true to yourself (and vegan cheesecake).
I’m 14 years old, turning 15 in August.
I found my interest in taking photos when I was around 10 years old, but I started practicing more seriously last summer.
The arts have always interested me! As a young child, I always loved drawing, writing, and creating. I was known to be a “artsy” girl in school. After a few years, I found out that I loved to take photos and it’s stuck with me since then!
Many photographers and other creatives inspire me daily as I see their work through Instagram, whether it be a photo, collage, painting, etc. One photographer that has inspired me for years is Matt Bernstein (@mattxiv). Most of my ideas just come naturally while doing, springing forward from a stream of consciousness.
I mainly choose the subjects of my images based on their own perception of beauty and self expression. I tend to photograph people who have an authentic personality and people who are true to themselves. Not every photo I take has a story behind it.
My advice for living a healthy life is to live true to yourself unapologetically and to take change as it comes. For most of my life, society and the people around me pressured me to confine myself to an “acceptable” standard, which was distressing for my mental health. Once I was able to escape the toxic situations I was in, I let go of that untrue persona I was portraying and I’ve never been happier! Leaving the toxic situations I was in was luckily a change that came with ease, yet unfortunately many changes do not come so smoothly. Something I have learned is that if you can’t fix or improve the circumstance you’re in, it’s pointless to stress over it. For example, if your bus doesn’t come on time and you’re going to be late for a meeting, there’s nothing you can do to improve that situation and stressing about it only hurts you. Stressing and worrying about something already set in stone is harmful and it doesn’t do any help. Once I learned to accept problems, I was more mentally capable of coming up with a solution.
I’m not really sure what my guilty pleasure is, but I do LOVE vegan cheesecake and vegan brownies a whole lot! I don’t feel too guilty about it though 😉
ALL IMAGERY: @juliadfoo