#interview #mountainphotography #sportphotography

We have met Julia Roger-Veyer through her work submitted in the mountain photography competition for the Transylvania Mountain Festival 2021 edition. Julia has won the TMF 2021 Mountain Photography Award by impressing the jury and the public with stunning sport and landscape photos that have carried us above the summits and glaciers in the French Alps.

Since then, Julia has constantly developed her photographer career by shooting more alpine adventures, by challenging herself in various competitions and by leading resourceful photography workshops.

We are honored to publish a featured interview with Julia Roger-Veyer and find out more about her story, her future plans and approach towards adventure photography.

The best voted photography during TMF 2021: Escape, by Julia Roger-Veyer, (2020, Chamonix)

When and why did you start photography?

Julia Roger-Veyer: I started to show interest for photography when I was a teenager, but I have devoted myself to it seriously for 5 years. I have always took a camera with me to the mountains. Since I was young, I have been attracted by wide open spaces and nature and I was curious to be able to convey the emotions I felt in the mountains through photography.

I am rather self-taught in my learning of photography. I learned a lot from books, magazines and especially going out in the mountains to constantly experiment. I refined my technique by trying to vary situations, playgrounds and types of subjects as much as possible.

photo: Summit, by Julia Roger-Veyer, (2020, Chamonix)

What about your approach to mountain landscape and sports in your work?

Julia Roger-Veyer: In photography, I seek, above all, aesthetics and balance: between light, colors, textures, movement.

I try to freeze the emotion I feel at this precise moment. How to tell a story in a single image. Constantly experimenting, marveling at everything… This is my recipe for staying inspired! At each shoot, I try to solve the equation that will lead to a better photo.

I shoot in mountains, I am very sensitive to the atmosphere, to the lights, to the geometry of the ice and the rock, to the balance of colors. Ice is definitely my favorite element, for its thousands of shades and shapes, and the particular light that I can find inside the glaciers, in the “Moulins”.  We are the privileged witnesses of the beauty of a nature to safeguard and it is also this message that I try to transmit through my photos.

Do you have a mentor or a role model in mountain photography?

Julia Roger-Veyer: When I started to show interest in photography, I was very sensitive to the shots of Jean-François Hagenmuller, a French photographer and guide. Some people were very encouraging with me in my beginnings, in particular Alex Buisse, whom I thank for his advices and kindness. I greatly admire his career and his work.

My friends Isabelle and Sonia, who are not photographers but respectively mountain guide and mountain rescue doctor, played an important role in my beginnings as a photographer ; encouraging me and allowing me to break into the very closed and essentially masculine world of mountain photography.

Among the multitude of excellent outdoor photographers, if I had to choose 3 it would be:

  • John Price
  • Keith Ladzinski
  • Chris Burkard

How did you learn about Transylvania Mountain Festival’s photography competition?

Julia Roger-Veyer: I was following the activity of the festival on social networks. I had also knew that Alex had been in the official selection of 2020.

 Tell us the story of your photos in competition

Julia Roger-Veyer: It was a bit new for me to select photos for a contest. I tried to choose a sample that represented my work. The pictures were all taken in the Alps, my daily playground. I like capturing the action and taking sports photos as much as letting myself be carried away by a beautiful landscape or the silhouette of a “chamois” on the ridges.

The photo “Escape” was taken during the fall in 2021, during 2 days of exploration on the Mer de Glace, in Chamonix, with a friend and athlete Jeff Mercier, one of the best ice climbers in the world. Through this photo, I wanted to transmit both the beauty of this fragile element, the ice, as well as managing to capture the action of the climber and his precarious. I choose this image because there is a nice contrast between the color of the climber’s outfit and the deep blue of the ice, as well as between the power of the action and the softness of the light that comes from above. This image sums up everything I love when I shoot ice climbing.

 What equipment did you use?

Julia Roger-Veyer: I am a big fan of Canon brand. I use a Canon 5d mark III, unbreakable and super resistant in extreme element. Most of the time, I have 2 lenses with me EF 24-105 f/4 and EF 17-40 f/8

But I don’t take a lot of gear with me, I already have enough to carry with all the mountain and climbing gear! I find that when you don’t have a lot of lenses and the conditions don’t allow you to bring gear, it forces you to think more about the framing. It boosts creativity

Julia Roger-Veyer, self portrait (2021)

What happened after you learned the great news of winning the Mountain Photography Award?

Julia Roger-Veyer: When I learned the news, I was really happy and rather surprised and impressed. I never thought I could win a photo contest like this.  I am very happy to see that my photos can arouse emotion and interest. It’s a beautiful reward.

Any photography related plans for the future?

Julia Roger-Veyer:Always finding more place to explore! In the upcoming year, I plan to focus on ice and climbing photos. I’m starting to be more selective in what I want to shoot and in what areas I want to explore. I want to work on textures, colors and geometric lines that can be found in ice climbing but also in rock climbing.

Above all, I think a lot about the intention in my photos, about the message I want to convey, to always progress and go further in my technique.

I have plans to travel to Iceland, to explore the glaciers with a friend and famous ice climber Jeff Mercier. This country is a dream for a long time.

For the next years, I hope to be able to travel more and to explore glaciers and climbing spots around the globe (Alaska, Patagonia, Nepal, Scotland, United States, Canada …)

My ultimate dream will be to live 100% as a photographer, I think it’s very hard and there are a lot of people on the market. But I give myself a fix period of time to be able to work more as a photographer and to develop my activity and prove that it’s possible to be an outdoor photographer as a woman.

In my future work as a photographer I would like to combine sports photography (events, brands, extreme sports) with more personal projects in reportages and exhibitions:

  • I would like to explore sports photography in other disciplines (high diving, skateboarding, surfing, sailing, etc…) with the dream of being able to shoot at the Olympic Games one day
  • From June 17, I will exhibit my photos at the “1000ème de secondes” festival in Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire in France. It is an honor to have been chosen among the photographers for the second edition of this sports photography festival.
  • I’d like to explore the parallels between the mountain and the sailing sports through photography reportages and an exhibition.
  • I also want to gradually move towards reportage photography. I would like to help promote access to sports and photography for children and disadvantaged populations. I hope, in the second part of my career, to set up photo workshop projects in refugee camps..

What would you like most to learn about Romania and the Carpathians?

Julia Roger-Veyer: I would love to discover this region of Romania, explore the villages and the beautiful landscapes. I’m curious to know your story. And of course, to explore the mountains and climbing spots!


To further admire Julia Roger-Veyer work and to get in touch with her, please visit the official links:

  • https://www.instagram.com/julia.ascentphotography/

“Julia Roger-Veyer – A Rising Talent In Mountain Pgotography”– an interview prepared by Diana Roșca

published: 05.04.2023 / Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania