Street photography for me is like an addiction. And with any addiction there are highs and lows. It is also about inserting yourself into a situation and becoming invisible. Observing people, their interactions, shapes, movement, colours, light and shadows. It’s about ‘seeing’ these things and capturing them. What I love most is to lose myself in my invisibility and meld into the scene. It’s almost a fugue-like state, like I’m not there, or like a fly on the wall, or wearing an invisibility cloak. And this state is what fuels the addiction.
Julia Coddington is a photographer from Australia who practices street and documentary photography.
She is co-founder of the Unexposed Collective (with Rebecca Wiltshire), a platform and community for Australian women, non-binary and intersex street photographers. She is also an administrator of @womeninstreet, a large international community of women street photographers.
Julia’s work has been exhibited internationally and she has been a finalist in international street photography competitions. She has exhibited her work in Australia and overseas and has been featured in street photography magazines and interviewed on several photography podcasts.
Julia has judged a number of photography festival competitions over the years, including Miami Street Photography Festival, Street Foto San Francisco, the Italian Street Photography Festival, the Istanbul Street Photography Festival and The Wall 2021.
She has also curated several exhibitions, including 'Exposed' at the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney 2019, 'Two Way Street' in San Francisco 2019, 'Double Trouble' at Head On in 2020 and 'Double Exposed' at the Indian Photo Festival in 2020 and Head On in 2021.
She has three adult children, two sausage dogs, and Gerry, and lives in Austinmer, New South Wales. She can’t quite get enough travel and adventure in her life.
Julia's photographic style has been inspired by the many things that have shaped her as a human being: her exposure to the natural world and animals from an early age; a close, loving family and community; exposure to generosity, kindness and intimacy; her love of art, design and music; exploration of places and people around the world; and the uniqueness of the Australian environment with its strong light, distinctive colours and clear blue sky.
All of those life experiences influence the way she sees and are reflected in her images.
Julia's style has changed over the years but is also very much dependent on, and influenced by the environment in which she is working. Some of her images are very clean, without clutter that stand out for their colour, shapes and movement, and which use the blue sky to create a background across which colourful shapes float.
Others are very full and alive. In places like India she loves the challenge of capturing emotion and filling the frame with as many faces and hands as possible. Some of her images play with perspective to create weirdness and to perplex the viewer.
In recent years Julia has worked to promote the work of women street photographers. She has worked with Casey Meshbesher, founder of Women In Street to build that platform into a strong international community of women street photographers.
Early in 2018 Julia and Rebecca Wiltshire formed a collective of women, non-binary and intersex street photographers called the Unexposed Collective, based in Australia.
The creation of both those groups was a response to the domination of the male voice in street photography and reflects our determination that as street photography grows in popularity, women are not left behind, either as a consequence of casual or institutional sexism or as a consequence of our own fears about putting our work and ourselves forward.
Since the formation of these groups, similar groups have formed and the quality of work produced by women is now amongst the best in the world.