Julian Bialowas is always searching for the next adventure. Currently based in San Francisco, the Canadian photographer and designer has made his livelihood from encouraging others to go out and explore the world around them. He currently works as a designer for Everest, a mobile app that allows you to chronicle the many journeys in your life. His freelance client list includes big names such as Ducati, Levi’s, VSCO and TEDxCalgary.
From 2011 to 2013, Bialowas and fellow-designer Sian Richardson collaborated on 16HOURS Magazine, a quarterly photo publication centered around different themes including ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘We Are Wild’. Named ’16HOURS’ for the distance between the then Canada-based Bialowas and the Australian Richardson, the printed issues feature breathtaking photography from across the globe, inspirational quotes and original writing. With a diverse and broad portfolio, Bialowas uses Squarespace to suit his many needs for his personal site. We spoke with him about the marriage of photography and design, his work, and the importance of making room for exploring.
Describe your photographic philosophy.
“Photography to me has always been a way capture and preserve a moment. I strive to have every moment I capture evoke the same feeling in the viewer that I felt being there first hand. To hopefully spark something inside the viewer to inspire them to go seek the landscape, mountain or experience for themselves. I believe that capturing these moments should be natural and authentic as possible — and never falsified.”
How long have you been working as a designer/photographer? How did you make your way into the business?
“I started shooting professionally and practicing design in the fall of 2010. So I’m definitely still in the early stages of my career. I studied communications and print design in college and never took a course, class or lecture on photography. I made way into the design and photography world by starting two personal projects while still in school. Those two projects being 16HOURS Magazine and 365q. Both projects received worldwide recognition and lead to working with larger clients and on bigger projects.”
How does your design work correspond with your photography?
“My design work is definitely heavily influenced by photography. I believe photography plays a huge role in the branding and feeling of a product so keep it at the forefront of most projects I work on. Even more so when it comes to working on products that display community content. Design should always take the back seat, and be out of the way leaving the content to shine. If it works well, it shouldn’t be seen.”
It looks like you travel (a lot!). How do you make the time to work at Everest (a mobile, goal-achieving app), travel and shoot? Or does it all go hand-in-hand?
“It definitely all goes hand in hand! Just about every trip I go on has a purpose, and is typically jam-packed to squeeze in as much as possible since time is always valuable. For example, I may be working on Everest on a Friday till 9pm then drive out to Yosemite that night (sleep in the car) hike all weekend while shooting a project for a client, drive back to city late Sunday night and be back at my desk on Monday morning.
“A lot of people make the excuse that they ‘Don’t have time’ to pursue their passions, when the reality is, if you’re truly passionate about what you do you’ll find or make the time.”
Which template did you use for your Squarespace website? Did you make any customizations to it? And if so, what were they?
“I use the Flatiron template. The theme itself is near perfect ‘out of the box’ design. I solely made some aesthetic changes (eg. colouring and typography styling).”
How did this template correspond with your design and photographic aesthetic?
“I love how the design puts the content (the photography) front and centre. As I mentioned above, design should always take the back seat while remaining beautiful. This theme executes that belief perfectly.”
What do you like most about working on the Squarespace platform?
“The simplicity in the product. Squarespace does an excellent job of only showing you what you need—when you need it. You never feel overwhelmed when creating collections or pages.”
What projects are on your horizon?
“I’m hoping to meet up with my good friends Wes & Shara from TRUE MVMNT in New York next month to do some shooting with them (both personal and brand work). That’s really it right now as I’ll be deep into the design work.”
Images © Julian Bialowas 2014