Today we turn to the work of our dear friend, Julia (@sneggelchen). Her magical and mystical forest captures are often times both haunting and mesmerizing. We had an intercontinental conversation with her in an effort to discover and learn from her personhood and artistry. Read along!
My name is Julia and I live in northern Germany in the castle town Ahrensburg. Schubidu the castle ghost and Alfred Hitchcock had their big performances here, in the castle and around it in the enchanting mystical castle park. The ghost is particularly enthralled when the fog seeks to bring the city home.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?
At school I was usually not the best. Learning was hard for me but I loved the sport and started playing basketball at a young age which became the absolute center of life.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
From an early age I wanted to become a cook, which I still love doing to this day. But the moment I realized that you have to work in the profession on the days when others are free, I changed my mind and spontaneously decided to pursue something else. It then took me to the pharmacy, where I learned the profession of Pharmaceutical Commercial Assistant, a great job in which I learned a lot. Unfortunately, there aren't many jobs of this kind in Germany. So I changed my profession and came through the field service as a system consultant of a pharmacy software company to my job today in which I can fully develop my spiritual and human education. I myself have created a system that allows the pharmacist to control his software, to keep track of things and to train his entire team on an ongoing basis so that they are always on the same level.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?
I love all kinds of chicken dishes and above all I love ice cream.
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?
The animal that fascinates me is the swan. Graceful, proud and beautiful. I could watch him for hours and feel mesmerized. There is no more beautiful creature for me.
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE ON EARTH, WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE?
If I could choose where I would like to live, I would choose a caravan where I could decide every year where I want to go. Just what my feelings and my mood tells me. I love the earth - the different areas, the individual people, I love to meet new people and different languages. I know a life is too short to get to know all that, so you should use the time you have around as much as possible.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM ALONE?
A disc herniation in the thoracic spine has brought me to my knees and the healing has taken many months. During this time, I was forced to deal with myself and my wounds, and even when there were many tears, wonderful people in physiotherapy and books by Louise L. Hay and Pema Chödrön brought me to Buddhism and, above all, to myself. Accompanied by my camera, which I found in the drawer at exactly the same time and started to take pictures.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
I came to photography after an accident. I had a lot of time in physical therapy and walked for months through nature. This gave me quite a different look for the world and I discovered my interest in photography. It came all by itself and was from the beginning like medicine so I do not go a day without my camera. The moments of photography come naturally when I'm out and about.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR IMAGERY?
My pictures reflect my feelings - this deep warm mystical feeling. I love fantasy and wish to live in such a world. That's why I take these pictures.
HOW DO YOU GENERALLY APPROACH YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
When I take my pictures I start working on the sofa in the evening when I'm resting. I set my iPad on my lap and then everything comes on its own. I listen to my feelings and turn my head off.
I jump between apps. I usually start with a picture in Snapseed and use the "fine tune", then go on to details where I look at the structure. Or, I go directly to Mextures where I like to go to the Emulsion pack. I often go back with the result in Snapseed and hit the "Glamor Lock" over it, so that the picture sparkles and shines. With Mextures I get the fairytale atmosphere and through Snapseed I get the light/carefree in the picture.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?
There are so many people who have given me their feedback over the years. Many old friends and acquaintances who always see my pictures on Facebook, if I share something there. Many ask if I am doing it professionally. My whole family and also people on Instagram write to me to tell me how I inspire them and how beautiful they find my pictures. That's how it has been for 5 years and from all this feedback I keep finding the strength to come back.
My husband is my biggest fan. He tells so many people about my pictures and is always the first one to paint a picture. He follows very intensely when I post a picture - which comments are on the picture and how many likes the picture gets and he tells me how proud he is of me. Those moments when people share their feelings with me are priceless.
See more of Julia's delightful work here!