Do you remember the first shoot you did for Dwell?
Yes, I was super excited and nervous. Dwell has been one of few magazines I wanted to shoot for. I was so happy to get the opportunity but also nervous because I didn't want to screw it up.
How do you usually prepare going into a Dwell shoot?
Dwell photo editors are always so organized and well prepped for their photographers, like giving them the shot list, back story and images of the house. I usually go over the shots in my head, trying to anticipate any problems I might encounter. Regardless of how prepped I am, I can't help but feel nervous when I get to the location. But once I set my tripod and look through the view finder, the day goes by so fast that I don't really have time to worry. In the end it always turns out to be a very rewarding experience.
Do you have any funny/favorite moments from one or two shoots you can remember?
When I was shooting the Keener/Atherton residence in Phoenix, whenever I would set up my tripod for a shot, their dog Pip would pop up in front of the camera. One of my favorite moments was actually few weeks after the Phoenix shoot, when I found out that my photo made the cover. I was quite dumbstruck and elated by that.
The floating home shot of the Grunbaum residence in Venice. I wasn't able to get the shot on the day of the shoot because we couldn't get a hold of the neighbor. I ended up going back the next day and was able to get the shot from the neighbor's roof. It was worth it to have gone back.
Do you have a favorite house/location that you have shot for us?
I really enjoyed shooting the Phoenix home. I love the minimal style and interesting space/layout—not the typical homes I'm used to. I felt like I was inside a huge art piece.
What is it like seeing your images in print when the issue comes out?
Exciting, it's always a little surreal.
If you could choose one modern element to add to your home, what would you choose?
I live in a small studio apartment with my boyfriend; we can't really have too much stuff, so the little that we do have has to be functional and space saving. Currently we don't have a dining table and we eat on our couch or on our desks. I would like to find or make a foldable wooden floor table.
A little more about you:
Where are you from?
I was born in Seoul and moved to Los Angeles when I was 12. I've lived here since then.
How long have you been shooting?
Since I graduated college in 2003.
What type of assignments are you shooting these days?
Mostly editorial and personal projects.
Type of camera?
Hasselblad 501cm or Canon 5 Mark ii.
Film or Digital?
It depends on the assignment but recently more digital.
Julia Sabot is passionate about everything photography related, and is a lover of the outdoors.