About Julia Shapiro
My interest in photography began my sophomore year at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. My father bought me my first 35mm camera, and I started taking every photography class I could get. I got an English degree and minored in Art History, but moved to Boston for a photography internship in a large commercial studio.
After a couple of years working as a photographer’s assistant where I did everything from polishing cars to setting up lights, I decided I needed a job taking photos. This quickly led to my profession as a photojournalist. I worked for a chain of weekly newspapers in Boston and later switched to dailies in the suburbs.
I moved to Myrtle Beach, SC in 1991 to work as a staff photographer for The Myrtle Beach Sun-News. I covered everything from festivals to spot news. I learned to quickly switch gears and develop film on deadline.
The fast pace, excruciating hours and sometimes morbid subject matter proved to be a bit much for my lifestyle. I returned to my hometown, Kansas City, where I opened my first studio, Kandid Kids in the Crestwood Shops. I loved the freedom of being my own boss and taking photos of children and families. Working for commercial photographers and as a photojournalist provided a unique set of skills that differentiated me from other photographers and enabled me to open my own business. Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Walker Evans have always been inspirations, as I love the simplicity and the strength of black-and-white photos that accentuate the person (or object) being photographed.
I love looking at vintage portraits. Hand-painting had always been a hobby of mine through the years, so I decided to incorporate it as a specialty in my portraits. My style has expanded from subtle to as loud and vibrant as I can get. The use of film as well as the painting on the photographs has kept me away from digital and in the darkroom – my true love of the art of photography.
After 15 years in the Crestwood Shops as Kandid Kids, I was ready for a change. I could not be more excited about my new space at Mission Farms. I was able to build my own space – large and un-cluttered, with lighting that complements my photographs. After years of depending on natural light to show off my photos, I now have the gallery setting to display not only my portraits, but other, artistic photographs as well.
After so many years as a photographer, everything I see is a potential photograph. First I see the light and compose from there. I love landscapes as well as the people in them. Black-and-white photography will always be my first choice. The hand-painting adds a dimension, as well as a challenge for me as a photographer and artist.
Please visit my new space to enjoy my work and discuss how we might, together, make beautiful photographs!