TDS 30 Julia Mae Hunt: Brand Photographer Talks Images and Meaning, and an Impromptu Memorable Meal

Julia Mae Hunt Brand Photographer

Julia Mae Hunt Brand Photographer

I admit it—I get sucked into Instagram easily. I can scan through images at a dizzying pace and then twenty minutes later wonder where the time has gone. That’s how pictures work. They’re eye candy with bright colors and interesting compositions that draw me in. Plus, I like to ponder the backstory of the photos, too.

And though it feels like it is happening at breakneck speed, I will stop and consider many of the images based on how they hit home.

But speed of scroll aside, images are a marvel conveying messages that are both intense and swift like no other medium. And it was that impact of photos to deliver information that began the conversation with Brand Photographer Julia Mae Hunt this week on #thedeliciousstory.

Julia launched her career as a photojournalist and shares some details about the work. But it was the story she relates of what led her to change direction which is particularly compelling. Suffice it to say, it was one of those epiphanal moments—that instant when clouds part and the sun blasts through the mist—that determined a new direction for Julia. You’ll want to hear the story for yourself.

Julia’s moniker “Brand Photographer” is spot-on in explaining the services she offers her clients. Any entrepreneur knows the importance of presenting quality photographs to their audience to deliver their message in an instant. We are all busy consumers of content today, however, and something has to be good and authentic if it’s going to make us stop and pay closer attention.

Julia works with her clients to create photos that tell their story and help them connect viscerally with their audience. It can’t be overstated that there is a skill involved in producing beautiful photography. Julia talks about her work and how she gets there for her clients. We also discuss personal examples where the photos of a brand make us stop, consider, and even purchase because the photos just worked that well.



Now take just a moment and open up the image gallery on your phone and take a cursory scan through what’s there. Are you a person who photographs every event, every meal, every outing with friends and family? Or are you one who takes few photos or perhaps none at all?

These days, we all have a quality camera in our hand most of the time by way of our phone, so whether you photograph everything or just some things, you may be surprised by the number of images on your phone. Possessing a camera at all times has changed our relationship with images.

It used to be that cameras came out for special events and holidays, but now we take photos of virtually everything—photo-journaling our lives in the small moments as well as the major events. In an article over at Mylio, “Here’s How Many Digital Photos Will Be Taken In 2017,” the projection was that 14 trillion photos are taken annually. Thankfully, that number isn’t all on YOUR phone, but you probably still have tons to sort through and consider whether to keep or delete.

When I met Julia at a recent FemCity coffee, she talked about having taken the time to go through her images on her phone—and what she learned in the process. I was intrigued and wanted to hear more. Here on #thedeliciousstory, we talk about her discoveries and ponder more generally over what our image journal says about our lives and who we are.

I’d be curious to know your thoughts on the experience as you peruse your own images. How do your pictures speak to you of your past? How do they compare to something you wrote about or thought you remembered about a particular event? What does an image offer you in terms of reminiscing, and do you remember more than you would without the images? 

We didn’t so much as come up with definitive answers to these questions, rather we acknowledge that different mediums trigger our memories in different ways. Julia also offered tips on how to sort and determine what to keep from your phone for those who struggle with the task.

Some of us take horrible pictures (me), so Julia also offered several suggestions on how to make the best use of your phone’s camera to get optimal photo quality. At the top of her list of ideas was to review your phone’s operating instructions for the camera. I had not thought to do that, and of course there is plenty of information out there for review. A quick check and I found this video about my Galaxy S7 phone which was surprisingly helpful.


What is it about the unexpected gifts in life that makes them particularly sweet? It’s that feeling you had when you woke up for school only to discover the roads were blanketed in snow. Snow day! Julia’s memorable meal story has that same impromptu magic about it and finishes up with a lovely twist.

We do take a few minutes to talk about Julia’s comfort food of choice: cheese and crackers. I’m a fan as well.  These days, it’s the Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Wheat Thins with cheese that send me swooning, and although there are plenty of cheese options we both enjoy, we agree that nothing beats a sharp cheddar.

You may have heard the saying that our eyes are the windows to our soul. If this is true, then what we take in via those windows matters all the more.  Julia is a skilled artist, bringing storytelling into view through her camera lens in a way that is window-worthy. But she also proves to be eloquent at relating stories and thoughts that are sure to inspire.

Alexandra and Sherry, 2016

Alexandra and Sherry, 2016

Sherry is the founder of Storied Gifts a personal publishing service of family and company histories. She and her team help clients curate and craft their stories into books. When not writing or interviewing, Sherry spends loads of time with her grandchildren and lives in Des Moines, Iowa.


Need a beautiful infusion of inspiration for your storied life? Please check out the Storied Gifts Shop where we offer Wearable Wisdom & Daily Inspirations.

The shop is a mother and daughter venture for Sherry and Alexandra Borzo of Content In Motion. They both work to help their client's stories sing. The shop is there effort to inspire a focus on healthy minds for everyone through positive thought.


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