Guestagrammer of the Week: Julia Cumes
Momenta welcomes this week’s guestagrammer, Julia Cumes
Current job: Photographer
Current location: Massachusetts, USA
Connection to Momenta: I attended Project New Orleans, 2015.
Tell us about your journey as an image-maker and how you got to where you are today.
As a child growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era, I once found a secret stash of photographs in my mother’s desk drawer. They were black and white portraits of children who had been tortured by the apartheid government. I knew that my parents were counseling children who’d been detained by the apartheid government. I remember one particular photo of a young boy—about 13 years old— with both arms in plaster casts. I was so struck by the power of that image and the story it told. That photograph became etched in my mind and has fueled my passion for photography and for documenting issues of social injustice.
What stories or issues are you most passionate about covering?
After doing a masters in Photojournalism at Syracuse University and working on a variety of projects, I realized there were two main subjects I found myself photographing. One was stories about girl’s and women’s issues and the other was stories about wildlife and animal rescue. This was initially inspired by my work with the International Fund for Animal Welfare but I soon found myself seeking out these kinds of projects.
Where do you look for inspiration for your work: books, movies, authors, photographers, art, certain people?
I seek inspiration in the work of other photographers (many of whom are my peers and friends), in publications like National Geographic, in art and literature and especially in listening to people’s personal stories. I pay attentions to local news stories, community listings, anecdotes from friends…anything that could lead to an interesting project or collaboration.
What social media or news feeds do you follow regularly?
I listen to NPR constantly and regularly pay attention to the NYTimes, lensblog, politico, National Geographic Your Shot, NPPA, PDN and many others on a less consistent basis.
What is one passion you have outside of photography that might come as a surprise to our readers?
I absolutely love flat water stand up paddle boarding. During the warmer months, I take my dog, Winnie the Pooch, with me as often as possible for paddle boarding excursions here on Cape Cod. He swims and runs next to me while I paddle and it makes us both very happy. I try to paddle board wherever I travel and so far I’ve paddle boarded in Morocco, Indonesia, New Zealand and Hawaii.
What can we expect to see next week from your “guestagramming” on our Momenta Instagram account?
I plan to post a combination of images from various projects about women’s issues and also from my “Uncommon Journeys” series. I hope to present viewers with a version of the world they may not otherwise have the opportunity to see and engage them in dialog about this extraordinary, complex and often beautiful world we live in.
#seizethemomenta, and follow @momentaworkshops on Instagram to see Julia’s great work!
About the author…
Jen May Pastores
Jen May Pastores is a research and development team member and content developer at Momenta Workshops. Her expertise is in visual communications and social media.