Graphic Design Major is Getty Images Contributor and Photographer’s Forum Finalist

Julie Smith ’14 has always had a penchant for photography. She has dreamt of it, seen it up-close in magazines, and marveled at the best photographers. But, she has only seen it from afar, through someone else’s eyes. Until one day, last spring, when she had the confidence to reveal her images to the world in a solo exhibition at the School of Design. And, in that moment, when she opened the doors to critics, she was pleasantly surprised.

Taking chances

“Graphic design has introduced me to a new side of photography with digital editing that has given me the ability to learn so many different skills and techniques,” said Smith. “When I first began taking photos, I only used myself as a model and was embarrassed to ask anyone else for help. Now, I enjoy pushing the limits and I am much more confident in taking risks.”

Chosen for Getty Images

In a photo shoot last summer, back in Smith’s hometown of Richmond, Rhode Island, she enlisted her family and friends as her subjects. Taking photos at her house, on the beach, and in the woods made for a lot of early mornings and late evenings.

Her hard work paid off, however, in the fall 2012 when she was approached by Getty Images, a stock photo agency in partnership with Flickr. In particular, three of her images from her photo sets were chosen: Off to Neverland, Horizon, and How Do You Know.

Practice makes perfect

Soon after Getty Images; Smith entered the Photographer’s Forum College Photo Contest and was selected as a finalist among 16,000 entries for her photo called Irony. Smith originally entered this contest with the motivation of simply completing a class project.

“When I entered, I had no intention of winning anything,” stated Smith. “Learning that I was chosen as a finalist has given me the reassurance I need to continue making art. It’s what I love doing and can’t wait to see what’s next.”