Digital FeaturesSpectralJulie Nagel
Dress H&M – Conscious Line
Top Gestuz Earrings Sif Jacobs
Dress Edith und Ella DK Chain H&M
Dress H&M – Conscious Line
Jumpsuit Lana Müller Chain Sif Jacobs
Blouse Cacharel Skirt H&M – Conscious Line Bangle Sif Jacobs
Blouse Cacharel Skirt H&M – Conscious Line Bangle Sif Jacobs
Earrings Sif Jacobs
Blouse Lana Müller
Blouse Lana Müller
Blouse Gestuz Shorts Bitten Stetter Belt Malaikarais Shoes Unisa
Dress Edith und Ella DK Chain H&M
Top H&M – Conscious Line Dress Gestuz
Spectral · Julie Nagel 1 / 1


Julie Nagel


PHOTOGRAPHY Julie Nagel STYLING Juliane Neubauer HAIR & MAKEUP Rebecca Herrmann @ Liganord MODEL Laura Mertens @ Mega Models CAMERA Leica S (007) with Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f/3,5-5,6 Asph., Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 Asph., Apo-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5

For ‘Spectral’, Julie Nagel used prisms, soap bubbles and crystals to create kaleidoscope and rainbow effects, and combined them with soft, pastel colours. With her red hair and pearly, white complexion, model Laura Mertens is the perfect match for Nagel’s magical, fantasy world.

You’ve titled your series ‘Spectral’ and, typically, staged it in a colourful setting. The colours, however, are pastel, medium tones rather than bright and gaudy. What are we dealing with here and how would you describe this particular colour scheme?
I love colours! This time I wanted it to be a world of soft colours, to generate an ethereal feeling for the whole series.

Complementing the shades of colour, some of the pictures move towards a lack of definition. You achieve an impression somewhere between sharp and unsharp, between stillness and movement. What was going on here?
I grabbed my arts and crafts box and worked with things like transparent foils and a prism, introducing a certain kaleidoscopic effect to the whole idea.

Do you manage to apply such creative ideas when you’re doing commercial work? Do you tend to get booked because of your stylistic signature, or is this kind of work more experimental with the aim of further developing your style?
I enjoy experimenting, and you never know if the experiences you gain doing this kind of free work might be needed for a commercial project. There are times when my creative approach is desired for editorial work, making it possible to develop something together.

What significance did post-production have for this series and, in general, what role does it play in your work? Do you control it yourself, and do the possibilities that open up play a big role in the inception of a photo series? Or does the picture first develop in the camera?
For this work, and in general, I want the post-production to support the original idea and bring the series together. Sometimes when I’m putting together a concept I have an idea for the direction the look should take, but it can happen that I throw it out later on and change direction completely. So, yes, the photo arises primarily in the camera, of course.

What roles do the characteristics of the lenses play in your work? In addition to certain focal lengths do you also prefer certain types of lenses?
Because I like to play round and change my perspective, I do in fact really like working with a zoom lens. On the other hand, I also like to get close up to my models because that produces another kind of atmosphere, which means that maybe I don’t like to work with telephoto lenses so much. If I’m working in easy terrain where I can move around easily, then, of course, I like a fixed focal length, as it gives the best quality.

Is the sensor format important for your work? Medium format sensors produce a different look to full format sensors. Is that important for you? What role does the S play in this regard? Also with regard to the looks of the lenses and the colours?
I love the colours I was able to coax out of the Leica S. I’d like to work with it again on an outdoor series with more picture depth, where the different looks of the format are, of course, even more in evidence. In other words, my fingers are already itching to get my hands on it again…

What photographic context do you see yourself in? Who influences or has influenced you? In what direction would you like to develop?
Most of the time I’m being quite pragmatic when I say that I photograph people and fashion, and that’s what I mean. I love working with people in front of my camera, and when I’m staging fashion there is often space for more creativity than when I’m doing a series that’s purely about people, where it’s more about emotions or a general mood. And, of course, there are great photographers that I admire or that inspire me – either because of their creativity or because they manage to convey a feeling of authenticity, an emotion about a person. And those are the points that I want to work on for my future development. Of course, I’m also influenced by photographers from my surroundings, like those of the BFF (Association of Freelance Photographers): it’s great to talk about photography with your colleagues.