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LOOK WHO POP’D IN :: Guest Blogger Julian Navarette Photography :: Mastering the Artistic Edit

I feel like I am the Circus leader and I should stand up on a giant podium to introduce our guest blogger this week. Maybe I should start with “LADIES AND GENTLEMAN…!!” haha But seriously, Julian has become a dear friend of mine over the past year. Not only is his work amazing, but he has a big heart for such a youngster. Julian bought my 5d mark ii camera and we soon found out we had the same birthday. That is WILD. We are seriously two peas in a pod and when we finally met it was AWESOME. Anyone else with us would probably be completely annoyed at how geeky we are. We can talk forever about anything. I look forward to our long text rants on life, clients, work and gear! I am proud to say he is my friend. Congrats on all your successes and cheers to a bright future. I felt like you were dropped purposefully in my life and I am grateful for our friendship. *HIGH FIVE*

NOW, hold onto your boot straps—this is going to be AMAZING!




Julian Navarette


Julian N. Photography




Link to Action Sets

Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with photography!

I’m From Texas, Im a twin and I am a Gemini! (Leaha Can Relate we share the same birthday! ) I’m the youngest out of four brothers!


When did you first decide photography was the career for you?

I was 17 years old and a senior in high school.

What is in your bag?

Canon 5d Mark iii , 85mm 1.2 L (Fav) 50mm 1.2L , 35mm 1.4L , 45mm TSE, batteries and lots of cards!


What does your photography focus on?

I focus mainly on Custom photography with Children, Families , Seniors, Maternity and a little bit of newborns and weddings.

Describe your style in 3 words?

Artistic, Unique, Moody


Where do you go to learn more about the art of photography?

The internet has been a good source of learning as a self taught photographer. YouTube, blogs from photographers have been big influences. I read a lot of books, too! I learned about f stop and aperture from film books. Basically, I LOVE to Google. I think Stacy Reeves was one of the first photographers I came across. Jennifer Guiley Photography and Rachel Austin (locals) really played a big role in my learning. Jessica Drossin and Michelle Black where some of the first photographers that I came across online.

You’re a young one! Are there certain challenges that come with be a very talented, but very young photographer?

Honestly, there was at first! I wasn’t taken seriously sometimes, I was a good photographer but I was inexperienced and it showed. Pricing was also something I struggled with. People liked my work, but some didn’t want to pay for it there was a time when I was getting really tired of working so hard for next to nothing. These are all hurdles we must face as photographers. I just experienced them at a much younger age. Now I just hear “wow he is so young and talented”. People don’t underestimate me anymore. They know my quality so they can book me or go to someone else.


Your images are very unique to you. What would you say is your “secret” to getting the amazing images that we love so much?

I would say to know your style and know what type of images you want to create. I just shoot by instinct and what feels “right”. I don’t go online and look for ideas. I look in my natural settings for inspiration on sessions. I am a sucker for some good light and DOF. First I find the location, then the light and place my subjects where I want them to be. When I shoot children I don’t like the “Cheese” photos. If they give me a fake smile I won’t take the photo, I want the laugh to be real and not manufactured. I love the moody eye gaze that I from children. Most of the time these photos are when they are caught off guard. Families most of the time are not going to play with their kids at a session. It is pressured and comes with some stress to get the perfect photo. For seniors, I don’t want the same old senior photos. I want them to feel comfortable and feel super like a fashion model. It’s my job as a photographer to make my clients feel comfortable so I can create the images that they want. I just try to think out of the box and I guess it works.

3 Pieces of Advice for Fellow Photographers

1. Never Give up

2. Know who you want your target market to be before you start. Transitioning isn’t always easy.

3. Know the technical side as well as business aspects.

You have recently created your own Photoshop Action Sets for the public to enjoy. What types of actions do you offer and what can we expect in the future?

Yes! I’ve been approached many times about mentoring and teaching my editing style. After so much interest I decided that I would develop an action set that reflects my editing style. This was the best way to help other photographers achieve a artistic editing style until I was ready to start a mentoring program. With my actions they are able to edit quick and achieve an amazing outcome. My set includes unique play on color, cross processing and color toning. Yes, I use my own actions, too! Right now I offer two sets.

Artistic Action Collection -which is my largest set and i Have

My Matte Action set which I’m in love with right now.

I am currently working on my newest release called “Rouge Collection”. These actions will be completely customizable and I am really excited to share these with the public! I’m in the process of a new LR 4 Preset Collection. You can check them all out at


You are super talented and a master of artsy edits! Do you have advice to a photographer who wants to create a more dramatic image with textures?

Thanks! Well, I will say that it’s defiantly not a fast type of editing but its not hard to achieve! I try to keep my editing style similar for a whole session through color toning. Normally my heavily edited images take about 15-20 min or longer! These are the statement photos that I know will probably be printed large. First I start in Camera Raw to make the photo completely dull. I take the blacks completely down and make sure the photo is completely exposed. The reason why I start off dull is because I want to be able to control all of the contrast in Photoshop. When I have it open in Photoshop, I decide whether I need to add clarity (unsharp mask) or contrast (S Curve). After those factors are covered, I then start the retouching process to fix any skin issues. Next I dodge and burn where needed. Most of my big edits are by hand but I do have actions that I made that help speed up the process. And finally It is a combinations of curve adjustments and layer masks. (the key is MASKING!) The last step is adding a texture UNDER all of the adjustment layers. I usually have my texture on soft light mode around 80-100% and mask off my subject! Masking is Key! I like to have it rich looking, but not over done. Hope that makes sense!

You have big support from Jessica Drossin and Work of Heart’s, Skye Hardwick! Congrats! Will we see any collaborations in the future?!

Ah! I know! I’m incredibly lucky to be able to know such talented artists! Both of them are incredibly sweet and such an inspirations to me. I hope to meet Jessica one day. I’m actually attending Skye’s Dallas workshop in October where I will be a guest teacher!

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the success I have had at such a young age. I realize how lucky I am to have a successful business at the age of 20! Running a successful business is challenging for a young person, but I am up for the challenge!


What are your goals for the future?

I want to teach! I want to host workshops, mentor, and grow my action store! I hope to add more destination weddings to my schedule add a more boutique style service for my clients.



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