Name and recent state?
Julian Murray, Minneapolis MN // Las Vegas, NV.
Where did you grow up?
How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
Minneapolis is a great place to grow up, actually the Midwest in general is. The saying Minnesota Nice actually exists. Despite the winter cold, the rest of the year has amazing weather and you get all four real seasons. The city itself has about 380,000 people, which doesn’t make it super crowded but, not too small either.
When did you start taking photography seriously?
I started taking photography seriously in about 2006. Out of high school I started going to college for Sociology. Two years in, I started doing photography on my own as a hobby, and six months later was doing it full time. I started out learning under a photographer that goes by Infusionfoto. He shoots mainly glamour work, and I took what I learned from him and put my spin on it and started shooting a lot of music photography.
How would you describe your photography style?
The best way to describe my photography style is a mixture between Jonathan Mannion, David Lachappelle & Spike Lee. Most of my work is urban, colorful and in your face.
When did you start getting tattoos?
I actually do not have any tattoos at all. My fiancé Lace has a couple of small ones, but me myself, none. When we started shooting the Tattoos & Tentacles book, a lot of the models expected a heavily tattooed photographer to show up, or an old dirty man, possibly both?
Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
I really do consider tattoos as an art form. After being around the tattoo culture the past couple of years, I really learned a lot. I have a ton of respect for tattoo artists, it’s a craft that takes a lot of creative talent, learning, and patience.
How was it working with all of those great tattooed models?
Every model we got the chance to meet and work with was a great experience. I don’t have anything but good to say about everyone that appeared in the project and we thank them greatly. Some we only met for the quick ten minute shoot, others we became close friends with and will know them for a life time.
How did you meet Cheech & Chong?
I met Cheech & Chong after making an out of the blue cross country move from Minnesota to Los Angeles in 2010. A photographer friend Tom Medvedich out of NY put me in touch with The Source magazine for when they needed help with shoots in LA. We shot Cheech & Chong and Cypress Hill in the same day about a few weeks after getting to LA. Despite getting to shoot celebrity work, I found out very quickly that LA was not a fit for me personally to live, so we moved to Vegas half a year later. In Vegas is where we started to pursue the Tattoos & Tentacles series as a self published book.
What influenced your book, “Tattoos and Tentacles”?
Tattoos & Tentacles started as a simple portrait shoot of one of my favorite models Jackie Roscoe. We had shot a portrait of her in a butchers outfit and it turned out ok. We wanted to do something a little more creative so we shot her with the octopus and it turned out great and got a good response. A year later I needed another series for my new website and decided to shoot three more octopus shoots. When we were putting the website together we needed a name for the series, and on accident noticed that all of the girls had tattoos. I just put it together and called it Tattoos & Tentacles. Lace is an amazing graphic designer and digital retoucher. She retouched all of the photos in the book and also laid it out. The cover of the book is all black with just the white logo that she hand drew and mixed with type. The whole project turned out amazing and I am glad we were able to accomplish it.
What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
My biggest inspiration is my family and fans. Lace really pushes me to keep on coming up with new photo shoot ideas. My family and fans uplift me when I get a great response from them on a new project or image. Photography is an art, and not everyone is going to like your work but the ones that do are the ones that you appreciate and keep creating for.
What is one thing that life has taught you?
Life has taught me to enjoy it. Photography has taught me to appreciate it. Everywhere I go I am always looking for great new spots to shoot at. Driving across the country is one of the most soothing things to me in my opinion. Just driving for hours getting to see how unique every party of the country is.
Anything else you would like to add?
Everyone can view my regular photography work at http://www.julianmurrayphoto.com
The Tattoos & Tentacles store can be found here http://tattoosandtentacles.com