Digital FeaturesBorn 10.0Julie Nagel
Pullover Tiger of Sweden/Jeans Bag Jost Lether Collar Deepmello Boots Clarks Sunglasses Mykita Berlin Belt Costume National Trousers H&M
Coat Silent Leather Jacket and Leather Pants Tiger of Sweden/Jeans Boots All Saints
Sweater Cheap Monday Scarf American Apparel Jeans Mac Jeans Bag Jost
Pullover Tiger of Sweden/Jeans Leather Scarf Tigha
Coat Black Kaviar Shirt Cheap Monday Pants Richert Beil Boots Red Wing
Shirt Richert Beil Leather Collar Deepmello Sunglasses Anderne
Coat Black Kaviar Shirt Cheap Monday
Coat Richert Beil Turtleneck Uniqlo Jeans Mac Jeans Boots Red Wing
Leather Jacket Pur / Mauritius Pants Kiomi
Leather Jacket Pur / Mauritius
Born 10.0 · Julie Nagel 1 / 1


Julie Nagel


PHOTOGRAPHY Julie Nagel STYLING Markus Galic HAIR & MAKEUP Karina Asmus MODEL David Balheim @ Kult CAMERA Leica S (006) with Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 Asph. (CS) and Vario-Elmar-S 30-mm f/3.5-5.6

German photographer Julie Nagel chose a run-down, industrial site as a location for her apocalyptic ‘Born 10.0’ story. With his unusual look – a combination of a fighter’s disposition and a certain vulnerability – model David Balheim personalises the ideal of survival in this setting.

S Magazine: You got into photography fairly late because you are, in fact, a graphic designer. What made you chose this new direction? To what degree does your background help for your photography.
Julie Nagel: It’s true that I worked as an art director for a long time; but that was also a change of career. I took care of many photo shoots and I always liked the work on set: every person on the team is responsible for one part, which is different to work in the agency, and at some point I wanted to get close to the picture creation part. I was also fascinated by the possibility of converting ideas into reality, and, for sure, my background helps with the development of a concept, the preparation of the stories, and even during the picture taking itself.

You move in a field full of young talent. Where and how do your see yourself therein?
At first I didn’t even give it a moment’s thought. For me it was simply the next step of a natural evolution, and age had never played a role up to that point. And I’m not really sure that it actually does. Many of the photographers whose work I enjoy are older, they’ve developed their style. I admire talented young people for their fearless approach, which was not so self-evident in my generation – there is certainly something there worth copying. But, apart from that, I wouldn’t give the matter too much significance, because there are talented people in every generation; what I consider more important is staying on the ball and maintaining your joy and enthusiasm. Experience also has its advantages. I think that even applies when you’re dealing with the models who are mostly young; we can work together with two different perspectives and that really is exciting.

You chose a particular location for Born 10.0, namely an old industrial site. From your perspective, does the story define the location or does it tend to be the other way round?
There’s no rule in this respect. I love locations, but in general I’m easily inspired.

Born 10.0 follows quite an apocalyptic line: what’s the story actually about?
In my imagination, David is waiting for something, and he’s guarding this place, this factory, with his companion – a rat. In fact, he’s a sensitive guy who has been forced to toughen up because of the circumstances. Of course, in this situation he’s hoping to meet up with others who’ve suffered a similar fate, and that peace will soon return. Yes, I know it’s positively old-fashioned post-apocalyptic; that came about because of the location, David, and also the super work of Karina Asmus (hair and make-up) and Markus Galic (styling). And I think it’s great that in our profession we can just jump into such stories – of course, always with one’s own particular twist.

You chose David Balheim to be your protagonist. Why him, and what type of guy were you looking for?
He was my inspiration for the story. He was there for a ‘go see’, with his grey hair, a broken pair of jeans and all those tattoos; he seemed both strong and vulnerable at the same time. I remembered the factory I’d scouted out on some occasion, and it became clear what kind of story I wanted to do. We spoke about it and he was immediately passionate about the whole idea.

The look of your work gives off a rather steampunk impression. What role do the colours you chose here play?
I’m not really interested in steampunk, but I like science fiction, and I wanted a dirty, rather warm look, which, in this case, was also allowed to be somewhat stronger.

How much creative freedom remains when you work commercially? Do you manage to retain sufficient creative freedom?
That depends very much on the job. Creative freedom sounds so big, and, of course, sometimes you can have more input and other times less; it’s also very much a question of how much in clarified in advance and to what degree one is involved. In the area of photo series, input from my side tends to be appreciated; but, as I said, I just enjoy the work on a photo shot, the challenge of achieving the best results, the team work, working with the person I am photographing, the spontaneous creativity. I can fulfill my development and creative freedom by doing personal projects, which is why I’ll never stop doing them. The great thing is that you never know exactly what pictures you’re going to be bringing home at the end of a day’s photo shoot. I love to see what can develop during the photo shoot, but, of course, agencies can’t work that way, so it was different before.

You used the S on location, under conditions where you couldn’t always control the lighting. In addition, it rained. Did you manage to work okay with the camera?
It certainly was unusual for me, as I otherwise photograph with a medium format camera. But I liked it a lot, because I played with other angles, and the S somehow gave me the feeling to try some different approaches: it’s always good to diverge from your routine from time to time. I like to try out different equipment, and for sure I’m not finished doing that – I’m looking forward to the next opportunity. And yes, it really did rain briefly. I’d actually forgotten that detail: and there was a great ‘behind the scene’ shot of David that came about as a result.