By way of Birmingham, Alabama, Caroline Japal is a thriving photographer who has been in the visual arts game since she was 14 years old, professionally since she was 17. Ever since she can remember, art has been a true passion of Japal’s, which is why she was always in art classes throughout her adolescent years. When she isn’t killing it behind the lens, you can catch Caroline on campus at The University of Alabama, painting, which is her secondary concentration is college, or working on her online publication, Art Concept Magazine. Caroline is one to become fully immersed in her craft when behind the lens. It’s rare that you’ll find her in any other zone other than the one she is in when she is shooting.

“A lot of the times I zone out and I get totally immersed in connecting the elements of each look…I think most of the time I am just fully engrossed in the moment and making my model comfortable that I tune out what’s going on around me and my team for that shoot.” 

Such passion and depth is definitely showcased through her portfolio and projects. It’s apparent that Caroline Japal is a passionate young woman with a dream of becoming a photographer that’s bigger than herself. Stay tuned for this interview with this amazing woman on the rise.

Q: What is your full name?

A: Caroline Japal


Q: Where were you born/where do you currently reside?

A: I was born in Birmingham, AL and I am currently living in Tuscaloosa for college.


Q: What inspired you to want to do photography?

A: I’ve always been interested in art and so I was always in art classes. When I started high school I was accepted into our art academy program and I ending up in all the photography classes I could take. They were my favorite classes and after taking a digital photo class I decided I wanted to make it my career.


Q: How long have you been doing photography?

A: I’ve been doing photography since I was 14, and professionally since I was 17, so 5 years.


Q: When you’re behind the lens, what kind of feelings do you get when you’re shooting?

A: A lot of the times I zone out and I get totally immersed in connecting the elements of each look. So I pay attention to what the model is wearing and their surroundings and how all these things work together aesthetically. I think most of the time I am just fully engrossed in the moment and making my model comfortable that I tune out what’s going on around me and my team for that shoot.


Q: What is one of the best shoots you have ever done?

A: A couple years ago I worked with a company called StyleBone Fuze, ran by Ashleigh Hill. It was one of the best artistic experiences for me. I was the editorial photographer for their shoots. Working with StyleBone was a whole new experience, because their style was very different than what you would normally see in the south. It was my first time working on a set with a whole crew for an all-day production and I loved it. It was these shoots that made me realize that I wanted to continue to do editorial photography over portrait photography. Getting to collaborate with multiple artists (make-up, set design, styling, models, art directors, and other creatives) to create one finished body of images really made me happy, I can’t do everything and I’ve learned that letting people do what they do best will give you the best outcome.


Q: Who are some individuals you hope to shoot one day? What event do you plan to shoot one day?

A: I always want to shoot people who are up and coming and are “world changers” meaning that they are using whatever platform they have to better the lives of others in some way. I have some friends who are artists and I love shooting them in their element of creating. If I could shoot any event, I’d love to be able to go on tour with an artist one day and shoot just their everyday life as they travel from place to place.  

Q: What are your ultimate goals for yourself and your career?

A: My ultimate goal is to be able to do what I love and support myself too, but isn’t that what everyone wants? I just hope that I can travel freely and make art to put out into the world. Whether that means I always do contracted work or work for an agency I don’t really care, just as long as I can create and travel.

Q: Who are your inspirations?

A: My all time favorite photographer is Annie Leibovitz, I love her portraits and how she is able to capture the essence of people in her portraits of them. Im usually inspired by many things not just people, so music, artwork, food, paintings, etc. Some other artists who I constantly look at are Platon, Silas Lee, Tara Razavi, G-Dragon, Nan Goldin, Ai Weiwei, Yijun Liao, ro.lexx, Petra Collins, Piet Mondrian and Es Devlin.


Q: Aside from photography, is there anything else that you do and could you elaborate on those talents?

A: Other than photography I love to paint, mainly abstract watercolor, and I love art directing photoshoots. Painting is my secondary concentration and I have always used painting to release stress and think about things, it’s almost like meditation.


Q: Do you have a specific lens you use for your shoots?

A: I shoot all my photos with a nikkor prime 50mm f /1.8


Q: How would you define the style/aesthetic of your shoots?

A: I don’t have one style to all my photos; it usually changes depending on the shoot and models, and what the overall theme we are going for is.


Q: Are you currently working on any projects?

A: Yes! I’m always working on something, whether it’s a shoot concept or location scouting or contacting models, vendors, venues etc. Right now I am working on the production of the next issue of Art Concept Magazine and the center editorial shoot for that issue.

Q: What are some of the most common themes in your photo shoots?

A: Usually they have to do with youth, since I’m shooting people my same age. Even my editorial shoots have stylist, designers, and photographers around my same age working on them together. Other times they have more abstract themes such as similar shapes, color pallet, or even just giving myself certain restrictions.

Q: When you edit your photos, what style do you go for?

A: Just like having a style for my shoots the editing changes depending on each shoot. I usually try and keep the skin tones pretty accurate to real life though no matter what I do.


Q: When it comes to the confidence of the models, or the people you shoot for, how do you get them to do exactly what you want? What steps do you take to ensure the photoshoot turns out how you envisioned it?

A: As for the models, I tend to talk to them and try to get to know them a bit. I also always show the models the photos in the camera after I take them and that also helps them see what they are doing with their body and helps me better explain what I need them to keep doing or what to change. As for the shoot coming out as I want it I constantly look at what I am shooting and see if it is reflecting what I had envisioned before the shoot. I also make sure that before the shoot even happens that the model and anyone else involved in the shoot knows exactly what the theme of the shoot is and I give a mood board of what the final photos should look like.

Q: What is your opinion on visual/graphic artists not getting the recognition they deserve, when it comes to creating art for musicians/events?

A: It really isn’t okay. Just like a producer gets credit for making a song so should the artist/graphic designer for creating their art. That is why a lot of artists put their signature/watermark on their art. But for artists like me who don’t necessarily like “branding” their names on their work I think having a contract is one of the most important things you can do. It protects you and your rights as an artists and also sets clear guidelines, for both parties, for how and who can use your art work and how and where you will receive credit for that art work.  

Q: What can we expect from you in the remainder of 2017 and 2018?

A: I’ve pretty much wrapped up my projects for this year and have been planning for 2018. In 2018 I plan to do more traveling and shooting with more models and artists and also releasing another four issues of Art Concept Mag. I’ll also be graduating college in August and moving back to Birmingham.


Catch Up With Caroline Japal! 

Website: portfolio 

Website: Art Concept Magazine 

Instagram: @carolinejapal

Instagram: @artconceptmag 

Twitter: @carolinejapal

About The Author

CEO, Editor-In-Chief

awkward. college student. entrepreneur. womanist. radiant. lover of all things. growing, blossoming each moment.

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