At KF, we believe in the power of women. Each month, we'll introduce you to a 'Woman Who Inspires'. These incredible women are entrepreneurs, innovators and makers who are paving their own way in business, education, society, motherhood, and many more aspects of life. Learn how they started their ventures, the challenges they faced along the way and see how they are building their future - all of our futures - while inspiring others.
Freelance Photographer, Julianna Pressley
If this name and gorgeous face looks familiar to you, then you are very in tune with the Chicago photography scene and the KF world. Meet our beautiful and talented photographer, Julianna. We were introduced to her a couple of years ago after being extremely impressed with her creative eye. The rest of the story is what fashion editorial dreams are made of!
Hi there! I am Julianna Pressley and I am a freelance photographer in Chicago. I am super close to my family and friends so whenever I have free time away from work, I love spending it with those close to me. I have always had a close relationship to the arts. My dad is a graphic designer/ amazing painter, I was a dancer my entire childhood to young adult years and I am a huge fan of music and going to concerts. I bring a variety of styles to my aesthetic when it comes to shooting. I enjoy working with people in explorative spaces and sets. I strive to make my clients feel comfortable and themselves so that we have a bond flowing throughout the entire time spent together. While remaining organic, timeless and delicate within my craft, I would say my taste is executed by complex composition, an admiration for lighting, and always bringing a unique, vibrant and warm way to create my images.
What has been your biggest failure in business and what did you learn from it?
My biggest failure I would say is not knowing my worth at first and not getting/asking for what I deserve. I went to school for photography and I learned so many things but something I wish I would have known or been taught more is how to price your work and know what your worth is. I am my own boss, the creative director most of the time, sometimes stylist, social media coordinator and so much more, so a lot goes into what I do than just taking the photos. I am so eager to learn more and grow and do what I love but for what I deserve. The photo industries in each city are all so different but I think once one owns their worth and work, no one will question it.
What is the first thing you do after waking up to jumpstart a successful day?
The first thing I do is open my blinds (hopefully it is a nice sunny day), get my workspace all set up, and go out for a cup of coffee or make one at home. I will turn on some tunes and get myself in a good and positive mood before a day of editing or shooting!
What person in history, living or dead, has inspired you and how?
I have a ton of photographers who inspire me. Peter Lindbergh is a huge one though. When I first knew I wanted to study photography, (fashion especially) and fell in love with it, was when I saw his photo book. My dad and I were visiting the Art Institute, a tradition of ours, and we came across his photo book. It was massive and all in black and white. I was drawn to it right away and left with it in my hands to bring home and study it. I spent a lot of time looking and admiring. I truly loved how his work was so effortless, candid and stunning all in one. It made me look at fashion and other types of photography differently and I truly feel my style evolved/became what it is today from him!
If this wasn’t your job, what’s something else you’ve always wanted to do/start/create?
If this wasn't my job I think I would still do something in the arts, so perhaps be a dance teacher, or a creative director because I love to be in control of all the planning and execution of a project, or I would strive to be a fashion writer/ journalist at Vogue.
Let's Get Deep...
What emojis do you use most when texting?
My go-to emojis are the white heart, the glitter looking one ✨, and the smiley with the hearts around its face 🥰! I think those three describe me pretty spot on as well haha.
What is your go to cocktail?
Spicy margarita or Dirty Martini with blue cheese olives!
What books are you currently reading?
The book I am currently readying is “ Buy Yourself The Fucking Lilies: And Other Rituals To Fix Your Life, From Someone Whos Been There” by Tara Schuster! It is so good and I am only a few chapters in.
Go to fave garment in your closet.
Favorite go-to garment in my closet is any type of slip dress. Long or short, I love how freeing and fun they are. Not to mention how comfortable they are too. Not too tight or too baggy, the perfect amount of fabric that makes me feel my best. For this summer I have one that is a pretty neon orange color. It is silky with an open back and goes perfect with some fun heels! I would wear it everyday if I could, haha!
What is your signature scent?
My signature scent is Le Labo! Years back I wore Santal 33 but now have been wearing The Noir 29 and I'm obsessed! I love how earthy their scents are.