Juddianne Grace is a film photographer based in North Vancouver, British Columbia. She has been shooting for about a year and a half.
“I’m also Indigenous and from the Stl’atl’imx nation in interior British Columbia, Lillooet specifically. A big part of my life was spent in the mountains, which is why the majority of my photo’s consist of outdoor elements. My Indigenous roots are a big part of what drives me in terms of my photography, not just with what I create, but because it provides me a beautiful opportunity to get to know/explore the Indigenous territory I’m currently a settler in, as well as my own. ”
“I don’t follow a strict creative process when it comes to taking photo’s. I might think of a general concept before shooting, but my main goal is for my photo’s to come across as genuine as possible. I prefer to gather people together and see what unfolds naturally. I will then mold the concept to suit what I’m being presented with in terms of environment and dynamics between people. It’s a very fluid process for me.”
What inspires you?
For the past little while my inspiration has been rooted in creating cinematic moments. Where that inspiration comes from varies greatly and is often unexpected. Often, inspiration for my shots comes from the way I know my friends interact with one another in excitement as we embark on yetanother road trip adventure, and sometimes it’s from someone I see sitting alone on a ferry gazing out into the ocean completely lost in thought. The best way to describe it is my mind is like a movie reel that is constantly playing mini narratives in my head, and those narratives carry with them many different feelings I’m not sure I could express any other way. This is how I view the world and it’s something that I have always done.
What self-care rituals do you have?
This is a great question because I honestly haven’t thought about it for a long time. I lead an incredibly busy life that leaves me barely able to catch my breath half the time. Aside from being an artist, I’m a single mom, I’m in school full time completing a degree and I also work, so my focus is largely put into the care of others (quite literally). However, I think one of my main self-care rituals is not telling myself I can’t do something because of how busy I am. I think that’s been one of the main things that has allowed me to get where I am with my film photography. Every weekend I make time for it
regardless of how much homework, cleaning or other life responsibilities I have. I don’t tell myself no, which may not work for everyone, but it works great for me. For example, I get up and I go on a mini road trip to get creative, even if it’s just 20 minutes from my house because if I didn’t none of this would have ever happened. Maybe that’s it, I see this aspect of self-care as a responsibility to myself and it would be irresponsible of me to believe that the arts and creativity isn’t in the same realm of importance as everything else.
What would your message be to young girls around the globe?
I think my main message that I would like to get across to young girls is to never fully sacrifice who you are, or your dreams, for someone else. Find someone that uplifts and supports you to where you want to be going. I don’t believe that we need to give up on our goals and dreams to have what the world seems to indicate is the best and, often, only way to live. Don’t fall for it. I really feel that we don’t need to lose ourselves in the process of making a life with someone else. My advice: spend as much time as you can getting to know you. However, I want to acknowledge my privilege in the sense that I have the freedom to choose the life I want to lead and have an education without any fear of repercussions.
So, my advice is not applicable everywhere and to everyone, it’s very situated. Also, this is something I live by every day: if it doesn’t feel right– it isn’t. Trust your gut, always.
Who is your favourite role model/ hero? Who do you look up to?
Honestly, my mom. I know a lot of people say that, but she is a complete badass. I am a confident, strong, educated, independent woman because of her, so she is my role model as well as my hero– that will never change. Also, the character Jane Whitefield in the book Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry is a force to be reckoned with. I strive to be able to see that clearly about situations and have that kind of strength to do carry on. So, I highly recommend giving it a read.
Do you have a personal mantra? Something you say to yourself?
I’m assuming something other than “don’t fuck it up” while I’m taking film shots, haha! I would say that one is “just keep going, don’t look back.” Although many of us tend to look back for nostalgic reasons, I am someone that tends to just keep going. I don’t like to dwell because I know I’ll survive it regardless, so I just push forward no matter how painful it is and maybe I’ll look back once the dust has settled, but it will be from a place of content and happiness. I’m okay with the letting go. Another one is “remember: you have all the love you’ll ever need wrapped up in one tiny human.” Being a parent is not without its great challenges, but it’s also the greatest gift I have ever been given.
If you want to follow her work