Amanda Julca, Photographer & CEO of Palma Creative Co.
Amanda's work has been publish on Free People, Verizon, Target, Conde Nast Magazines, and Time Inc Magazine just to name a few.
Born and raised in Columbus Ohio. She experienced a childhood full of imagination and creativity having been raised in a open concept home with a open backyard with a river flowing at the edge of the property. Her home was designed by her father- a renovation and architecture enthusiast and had constant inspiration from her mother- a visual creative herself.
Her interest in making a life in the arts began with a talented, encouraging teacher and mentor she was blessed with from grade school through high school. She studied visual arts in all forms under his guidance and several other incredible mentors. At the age of 15 she had the fortunate opportunity to become a part time photo assistant for a local photo studio. She continued her education at a liberal arts college where she studied visual arts and continued to work full time for several photo studios. Upon graduating, she was a practicing professional Painter and full time Director of a local art gallery. This intensive experience in the art market, along with the extensive photo experience in the years prior, helped her form her own photo business at the age of 23 as a full time photographer.
By her late 20s, business had increased for both Amanda and her husband to a point that they made the move to Miami, Florida - where she was able to expanded her photo work into the editorial and commercial realm. Now having been in Miami for nearly 9 years, she has been able to grow in various ventures- all still in the visual arts. There is so much to love about the Miami scene. There are no limits to growing a career in the arts in this burgeoning city with so many opportunities to grow and advance in the arts. There is an air of positivity and encouragement all around.
Entrepreneurship started for you when you pursued your dream of being a photographer. Why go on your own and do it? Why not work for someone else?
I was raised with the encouragement to be my own boss from an early age. I always greatly valued the experience I gained from working for and with others, but I always knew eventually I would have my own company. Though the challenges are constant, I love the personal and professional freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur.
What has been some of the best moments for you as a photographer?
As a child, we used to receive National Geographic and Traveler magazines- I remember sitting in our den, studying the pages, dreaming of the huge world out there and wondering what it must be like to experience those places in person and document with my camera. Flash forward into my adult years, there have been so many times throughout my career where I have found myself humbly realizing those dreams have become my reality. What a gift! In addition to being able to experience such impacting moments in so many places, some of my most memorable moments as a photographer have also been where I’ve had the chance to set my camera down for a bit and fall into deep conversation with my portrait subject or to rest in a setting a bit longer to experience the scene and people watch- perhaps those moments are what makes the imagery that I do capture that much more authentic.
What about the worst?
Being an entrepreneur has its challenges. Being fully and personally responsible to create a product from start to finish is a lot to carry. Several times in my career, I have felt like a small fish in a large pond. Making my place and position as a female in the markets I work in has brought many challenges I didn’t expect to encounter when I began my business. As an artist, so much of your work is done from the heart and with a whole lot of feeling- and when opposition comes from corporations or challenging clients it can be difficult to not take it personally. I have had to develop some thick skin over the years in order to manage it all and still create work that I can stand behind.
You’ve worked with some incredible people throughout your career, what’s your all time favorite photoshoot and why?
For every image I've taken, I have a story. I can recall the conversations and connection I made with my portrait subjects, the scenery, the climate-- just about everything surrounding the moment the image was captured. There are far too many favorites to pick one, but there is one that often comes to mind..
It was mid-April on the warm, picturesque coast of Malibu on El Matador Beach (one of my favorite locations hands down). I had just wrapped on adventurous two-day commercial shoot. Talent, crew and I were climbing up the winding pathway from the beach with the golden sunset light hitting our backs- we were climbing that hill, camera equipment and all, riding the wave of excitement of a solid day wrapped. The sun just setting and ocean breeze was picking up, I turned a corner and saw most beautiful figure of a woman, wearing the dreamiest collection of colors, textures and patterns. Having heard our group walk along the graveled path, she turned around just enough for me to see her face and without hesitation, I said, "My goodness, you look so beautiful in this moment. Would you mind if I take your picture?". And in the sweetest, calmest voice she said a simple "oh, of course". Without having checked my camera settings or focus, I realized my camera was already up and I'd shot two frames. It wasn't until I walked right past her and said thank you that I realized who she was, the Malaysian singer/songwriter, YUNA. As a fan of hers for sometime, profound gratitude for such a serendipitous moment surfaced. Moments such as these are just part of the reward for the work I do.
Starting a business is hard work, what has been some of your biggest motivators in business?
Since a young age, I haven’t allowed myself to see obstacles. To me, nothing stands between me and my goals as an artist and an entrepreneur. I believe if you don't give the doubts and fears any power, they have no chance at taking your dreams down.
One of my greatest desires as an entrepreneur is the ability to give back. I make it a goal to give back 10% of all my profits to my church, my community, to others. The more success I have, the more I am able to give back and bless. What more motivation to keep on keeping on could there be?
How did Palma creative Co. come about?
Palma Creative Co. was created by my husband and I. It came from a desire to use our experience in photography, brand development and creative direction to further support and elevating brands and entrepreneurs. Palma Creative Co. is also an opportunity to welcome in and support other creatives by making them valuable assets to our team. As a whole, our mission is to support by developing creative concepts and strong visuals to help others enjoy personal and professional success.
What can we expect to see from Palma?
We offer a complete suite of services to support brands and entrepreneurs in the online sphere- including website development, social media asset creation, photography and video production, e-book/ workbook design, brand development and online strategy.
You recently became a working mama! What are your top tips for balancing work and family?
Becoming a mother has naturally taught me to live slower and work smarter. I value my time far more now than ever before, because it is stretched more than ever and creating balance is crucial. I have learned to create more time by reducing things that are unnecessary and prioritizing what is most important. These days, I am able to spend more time focused on my family and fewer hours working- simply because I have learned how to work smarter- not harder.. In general my routine (while I’m not away on assignment), looks like this:
6:45a wake up
7:30a-8:30a HIIT training (good for the body and mind #selflove)
9:00a-12:00p Time with family/ House work
12:00p-3:00p Work (while baby sleeps)
3:00p-7:00p Time with my son
10:00p-11p Personal time
We know you love to travel! How has that inspired the work you do?
I have been fortunate to travel all over the world documenting with my camera, all the while getting to experience the world and connecting on a deeper level with people. When the sensual beauty of earth’s elements and touch of humanness collide, that’s the moment moment that drives my vision. There is a serene, authentic moment there worth documenting- every location offering a unique story.
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
To create a life of balance. To be a perpetual learner. To give back. To create art that inspires, supports and lifts up others. To raise children with deep values, strong critical thinking skills, and the desire to follow their own personal dreams.
What’s your favorite quote? And, what’s your favorite business book(s)?
My favorite quote comes from a handwritten note by my grandmother. It is one of the most valuable pieces of heirloom she has passed on to us, the generations that have come after her. It is a simple reminder that carries deep impact.:
“Live each day to the fullest. Get the most from each hour, each day, and each age of your life. Then you can look forward with confidence, and back without regret.”
The Blessed Life - Robert Morris
The Hard Things about Hard Things - Ben Horowitz
The Courage to Create - Rollo May