Part I: About Julie Poole:
JM: Hi Julie. For the people here who many not know you from the forum, would you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
JP: Sure. I grew up in Carmel, in a typical suburban household. We had one miniature Schnauzer and I was obsessed with horses. At age 16, I moved to Knoxville, and I got the opportunity to actually ride hunter jumpers. I was a member of the UT equestrian team and on the board of the UT equestrian club while in school. I ultimately went on to graduate with a degree in psychology. With the degree, I went back and forth being a mortgage broker and running a hunter/jumper barn/lesson business.

I have been married for 16 year and have twin 10 year olds. I also have 3 whippets who I show and lure course. To see the dogs, go to The kids and husband area all over that site too! 

JM: Sounds like a full time job without the photography! Seriously, how do you balance your time working in your business with your family?
JP: Working with children is hard no matter what work you do. I do my best to balance out my time and being self employed mostly I can block off times that my kids are having games and practices where I just don't book sessions. I do miss some things when I have to travel for clients/shows out of town. Often I just take the kids with me. They are 10, they can behave and be of help. Tanis often assists me with both holding a reflector and both help me with getting dogs attention.

JM: How did photography come into your life?
JP: I did the whole 110 film thing as a kid and made lots of photo albums. I had no real aspirations of anything but taking photos to remember things by until about 8 years ago.

JM: What changed for you at this time?
JP: I am not really sure what changed. I was taking photos for fun of dressage clinics and hunter jumper shows with my Sony F707. I had twin babies, and was doing it really just because I enjoyed it and could speak with adults. People started asking me more and more to take photos of their horses. Finally, which I think was the tipping point, a long time friend who at the time was the president of ETHJA started really asking me to truly photograph the H/J horseshows. They had no photographer and needed one. At that point, I think I decided I was going to get a "real" camera and give it a try. I did, I bought a Olympus E-1, with 14-54 lens and found out how little I knew. I actually cried for an entire weekend because I couldn't get it to do what I wanted. I have an OCD tendency and it sorta got stuck on learning to truly become a photographer. I took courses at the University of TN. Enrolled in their certificate program and by God, I learned how to work the camera!

JM: Speaking of that camera, what formats do you use for your current work?
JP: I use all Olympus professional gear, currently the E-3 and the two lenses I use most in my work is the 35-100f2 and the 50-200 2.8-3.5. I have all their high end lenses, and a couple of the super high end ones.

The quality of the lenses is amazing. I am very particular on my lens choices! The color rendition of the sooc (Straight Out of Camera) jpgs is almost perfect. I am comfortable with the system and when I see my friends and their ginormous lenses, I am not envious! Not to mention in the last 8 years I have never had a camera that needed sensor cleaning, so, no dust spot cloning necessary. It works for me and as long as Olympus keeps supporting their professionals I won’t change.

JM: Since we are on Olympus, how do you feel that Olympus has succeeded in terms of support?
JP: Olympus has been incredibly supportive when I have contacted them. I am an OGPS member and if I need my camera serviced, I can have a loaner. They are wonderful to work with and I have never felt like one of a billion people. It is been one pleasant experience after another. The quintessential "ask and you shall receive". I do hope for a more advanced camera in the near future. The lenses are wonderful.

JM: Looking back at your work, who have been your greatest photographic influences?
JP: There have been several. Susan Sexton was a huge influence on my equine work. I always loved Vavra also. If I were aspiring to be like any one person though, it would probably be Susan. My dog influences came from friends and clients. I listened closely to what THEY were looking for and developed my style that way.

JM: How would you describe your work? Is there a specific 'look' you are trying to achieve in your work?
JP: I prefer a timeless look that will be as beautiful to look at 20 years from now as it is today. I will do a little trendy stuff, but, I don’t want people looking back on their portraits and thinking “OMG, that is so 2010!” the way we look back as some of the stuff done in the 80’s(aka double exposures! Library backgrounds etc;) I usually say it is classic portraiture with a kick. I do not think my photography is as stuffy and boring as the connotation “classic portraiture” conjures up. I do follow the principles of it though. My goal in my work is to create art you want to display on the walls in your home.

Editor's Note: Here ends Part I of Julie's Interview. We will continue next week with Part II on business.