Interview: Julie Renouf
My name is Julie Renouf and my business is Julie Renouf Photography + Film.
I spend my life telling stories visually. As a photographer and filmmaker I create compelling stories to delight and engage. I work with big and small brands to inspire their consumers with compelling visual content.
I studied photography as one of three female students, worked in a wedding and portrait studio, assisted a Polish fashion photographer who gave young naïve me such a fright that rather than spend the years learning as an assistant I jumped straight into my own photography business. So I learned the hard way and I learned slowly. It is one of my few regrets that I didn’t earn my stripes assisting, as my business acumen was slow to build. It may have been a blessing in disguise though, as I developed my own style and won a bevy of industry awards.
Please tell us more about your background:
After several years in my own wedding and portrait studio, I shifted into commercial work and joined a commercial studio with five male photographers. I was intimidated by their approach to photography until I realised that they all worked cognitively and I worked intuitively. Once I realised that, I gave myself time and trusted my creative process, and the shot would find me. I didn’t need to draw the diagrams and lighting plans that the guys did, I just had to watch the play of light and change what I needed to as I was setting up the shot, and the image would evolve.
Inadvertently I found my niche in food photography, resulting in countless publishing projects for Murdoch and Penguin Books, and a string of great advertising clients.
What were the bold actions that have led you to where you are now?
Bold moves in business include resigning my work as a lecturer so I could commit to my first cookbook, then a couple of years later committing to a lease on a photographic studio, both times believing to my bones that they were The Right Decision, and that the universe would look after the projects that came next to keep me afloat financially. And every day I need to be bold around marketing – I’m a social introvert and knocking on doors doesn’t come easily, but I’m regularly required to approach those I wish to work with. Being ignored or rejected gets easier the more often it happens, but for me it’s still never easy.
Not just embracing change but seeking change is a big part of my personality and means that my work is constantly evolving. In the last couple of years, film became a part of my work and this year looks to be the dominant focus of my business.
How did you learn how to be successful in business?
I ask questions constantly. I surround myself with driven and ‘can do’ people in my industry, and mentor and am mentored by them. I have worked for many years with a Jungian therapist to address my fears around being visible, my belief around not being able to have good things, and the fear of success. This work is categorically the most powerful work that has led to my business success, and life happiness.
Did you access any coaching or business education of any kind?
A few years ago I committed to an intensive business program and have modified and developed a lot of my work strategies as a result. The ongoing network with like-minded people is invaluable.
What else has helped you to develop and succeed?
I let go of the nay-sayers and negative influencers in my circle, including a divorce, so that I could fully embrace my creativity, step into my own power and finally own my talent.
The power of positive thinking and the capacity to manifest has made a huge difference in my life – with a vision, a very strong work ethic (thank you Dad), self-belief and tenacity, I found I could reach and even surpass my business and life goals.
Because my work is creative and I work intuitively a lot of energy is given when shooting. Taking time to restore balance and my creative energy is really important. I don’t own a TV. I don’t do much social media. I spend a lot of time in my garden, or lying on the grass watching the clouds, or the stars, and simply being. I cuddle my cats and chooks, every day. I notice the breeze, the play of light in my garden, and the sounds & antics of birds; I live in paradise.
What changes or new projects are planned for you in 2017?
2017 started with great energy with many exciting projects already booked in with much of my work interstate and a hint of overseas travel. I’m working on a TV pilot, my first. It’s inspiring because the approach comes from my intuitive work process and is different to what is out there. It gives me goose bumps every time I think about it. It may not lead to a TV series, but it will lead to something – whatever it leads to will be an exciting process. My commitment is to following my intuition in everything (!!) and to embrace new challenges.
CONTACTS + CREDITS:
Interview by Gretchen Hillhouse 2017
You can find out more or contact Julie at julierenouf.com.au