Julia Dean

Julia Dean (www.juliadean.com) is a photographer, educator, writer, and executive director/founder of the Los Angeles Center of Photography. She began her career as an apprentice to pioneering photographer Berenice Abbott. Later, Julia was a photo editor for the Associated Press in New York. She has traveled to more than 45 countries while freelancing for numerous relief groups and magazines. Her extensive teaching experience includes 38 years at various colleges, universities and educational institutions including the University of Nebraska, Los Angeles Valley College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Santa Monica College, the Santa Fe Workshops, the Maine Photographic Workshops, Oxford University and the Los Angeles Center of Photography.
For the past 20 years, Julia has concentrated on street photography around the world. For the past 10 years, street shooting in downtown Los Angeles has been her primary focus. In 2015, her work was selected for a book published by Acuity Press and PDN magazine featuring 20 street shooters around the world. Julia and her work was also featured in Digital Photo Pro and Black & White Magazine UK in 2017. Two additional articles were published in 2019 about Julia and her work in Street Photography Magazine.
Julia received a Bachelor of Science degree in photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts degree in journalism at the University of Nebraska, and is the author/photographer of the award-winning children’s book, A Year on Monhegan Island.

Classes Previously Taught

Street Shooting 1, Street Shooting 2, The LA Street Shooters’ Collective, Crash Flash 1: On-Camera Flash, Crash Flash 2: Off-Camera Flash, Basic Photography, Street Shooting in Los Angeles for Teens.

Julia Dean Portfolio

Julia Dean Interviews Julia Dean

LACP Founder and Executive Director Julia Dean answers?ten questions about her background, career in and beliefs about photography ?

Julia Dean: ?What kind of photographer are you?

Julia Dean: ?For many years, I was a social documentary photographer. I traveled the world on one thin dime to work for various non-profits and relief agencies. Once I started JDPW/LACP, my focus had to change, since I could no longer leave the country for months at a time. I started concentrating on street photography, first in major cities around the world while taking people on travel workshops, and then for the last five years in downtown Los Angeles.

JD: ?How long have you been shooting?

JD: ?My parents gave me a camera in 5th grade and I?ve been shooting ever since. I guess that means 50 years of shooting, if you count all the early years too.

JD: ?Where did you get your training?

JD: ?I?m from Broken Bow, Nebraska, a town of around 3,800 people. I grew up knowing that I would follow my brother to the University of Nebraska. I declared my major journalism, so that I could take the photojournalism classes, but when they ran out, I transferred to Rochester Institute of Photography (RIT) to get a degree in photography. Years later, I returned to the University of Nebraska to teach photojournalism and get my Master?s degree in Journalism. This education trained me to write stories to accompany my photographs, which helped get freelance jobs. I also had the amazing good fortune of living with and studying under Berenice Abbott for a year after RIT. She was 80 at the time and I was 23.

JD: ?When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

JD: ?When I was a senior in high school, I learned that you could take photography classes in college and there was no turning back from there.

JD:??Did you ever come close to giving up?

JD: ?No, but I probably should have, based on a look at my income over the years. However, in my opinion, love for what you do is ultimately the best reward.

JD:??Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

JD: ?Only money and creature comforts like third class train travel through India.

JD:??What have you gained by being a photographer?

JD: ?My cameras and travels have taken me to 42 states and 44 countries, so far. I have met amazing people around the globe. The world that I have witnessed has taught me not to complain and to be grateful for my own life.

JD:??What classes do you teach at LACP?

JD: ?This is my 33rd year of teaching. I was a college teacher for the first 16 years, then I started The Julia Dean Photo Workshops (now LACP). I have taught every type of photography class there is to offer, whether I was an expert or not. But now, for the first time in all these years, I am teaching what I love most, street shooting. I am very proud to have a thriving street shooting program at LACP. I also teach Crash Flash 1 & 2, which is all about using a flash on and off camera and I teach the basics during private lessons.

JD:??What do you love most about teaching?

JD: ?I love teaching as much as I love photography and honestly, wouldn?t want to do one without the other. I learn as much as the students do and that is a real plus. Plus I love to share my enthusiasm.

JD:??What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

JD: ?Study photography, make a lot of friends doing the same thing, read photo books, literature, and the news. And shoot, shoot, shoot!