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Julian Berman ~ My Favorite Taco

All Images Copyright Julius Berman. Click for large versions.

Native Angeleño Julian Berman is the hottest young photographer working today, and has already had his work on the cover of Billboard magazine. His special connection to ODD FUTURE has opened the door, and he's come charging through with portraits and other images that can't be ignored. You'll be hearing a lot about Julian in the coming years, so let's get to know him a little bit...

Let's start it off the TACO way-- what's your favorite taco?
Favorite taco spot? I've definitely got a few.... Benitos is always local and the rolled tacos are absolute perfection. King Taco is good if you want some authentic street tacos, and if I feel like getting a little funky, Albertos in Anaheim is always an option after a show at Chain Reaction or a long day at Disneyland.

How did you get into photography?
I got into it about three years ago... Eleventh Grade. To be honest I just took photography classes in High School, but never realized I'd tackle them and gain such interest so quickly. From there on, instantly hooked as I started to notice I was getting better and better.

Are you from LA? What inspires you about the city?
I am born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I've lived in the same house my entire life, and to be honest, could never imagine moving. Los Angeles as a city is very inspirational, showcasing so many different types of individuals, cultures, and lifestyles. So many different communities and places to explore, it's pretty neat. Also, who doesn't love a little bit of traffic, overpriced gas, and smog here and there...

What's next for you and your art?
Next up for me and my art, definitely trying to expand my client base and work out cameras with different formats. Of course there are tons of projects with Tyler and the Odd Future dudes, but I am test driving some other projects out very soon. Gear wise, I just picked up a Mamiya 7, a 6x7 Medium Format rangefinder which will be an interesting aesthetic, and I am very excited to put that thing to use. As of right now though, just really shooting plenty of film, simply just documenting my day to day...

How did you hook up with the Odd Future crew?

I went to High School with Taco, and I believe I met Tyler through the Hypebeast forums about two years ago.

We would skateboard on the weekends or just plain hang out, but I would never have thought it would evolve into the friendship and bond we all currently have. It has definitely been a crazy ride, they have grown so much in the past six months, and I feel like they are definitely a contributing factor to all of my success as of late.

That Billboard magazine shot was dope. How did it feel to see it in print?
When I first heard of a potential shoot for Billboard, I was a bit overwhelmed. I definitely did not soak in the reality of how ridiculous of an opportunity this was. When the magazine finally came out, I was speechless. To see one of my photos on the cover of a MAJOR magazine like that is surreal. Until this day, whenever I take a peek at the cover as it lays on my desk, it still baffles me, like damn... I REALLY shot that! I would have never thought anything that major would ever happen in my photographic career.

It's amazing if you think about it, both the photographer and the subjects of the piece are all so young. Why do you think really young people are able to make such an impact right now?
The youth is definitely making a huge difference in culture today. I feel that it is a lot easier for other kids to draw inspiration from somebody their own age, somebody they can relate to. The Odd Future dudes and myself, we are all still a bunch of kids, and regardless of what people stay, we all inspire each other, pushing for the absolute best. I fully back that.

What music are you listening too currently?
Music wise, been into a lot of current East Coast hardcore bands doing great things, Free Spirit, Disengage, Stick Together. Listening to a lot of old straightedge bands too such as Turning Point, Unity, Straight Ahead, Stop and Think. Also got some buddies down in the Inland Empire absolutely killing it in Soul Search and Minority Unit. The California hardcore scene is definitely making a comeback...

So are you in school right now? What are you studying?
I currently go to Santa Monica College, as a Business major. I was doing photography for a bit, but I could not fathom going to class for 5 hours at 8AM, and being forced to take multiple classes in which I have already mastered every concept, or just being forced to shoot lame ass assignments. I actually did really well in High School, but college on the other hand, I am not too fond of. I've realize it is something that I need to do, so at the moment I am pretty much just going with the flow. There are so many god damn people there though, that it is nearly impossible to get most classes though. Transfer wise, that is still all up in the air, but I'd love to stay in Los Angeles, and hopefully find a balance between school and shooting photos. We'll have to see what happens...

What does straightedge mean to you? How did you first get involved with that lifestyle?
Lastly, the dreaded straightedge question ahahah. Simply put, I do not drink, and I do not do drugs. Never have, and never will. Straightedge is just the commitment to a drug and alcohol free lifestyle, though many people tangle up the meaning of it and get far too head over heels. A lot of the music I listen to backs the straightedge, and you can definitely tell lyrically. I was never that kid growing up, I remember ages ago, when everybody else was out partying or doing stupid shit, I was probably in my room watching Food Network, listening to music for hours, or out skateboarding. I never really got sucked into that realm, and especially now that I am far more grown up, I do not plan on it any time soon.

Got any shout outs?
Shout outs to my parents for always being there for me no matter what, my badass cat Rudy, Lucas, Carlos, Gio, Tony and the rest of the family at Diamond and all over Fairfax, Soul Search crew and all of my boys holding it down in the inland empire, Dertbag Phil, Julian and Stray Rats, all of my boys over on skateperception. Shoutout to everybody in Los Angeles shooting film and doing it right. Shoutout to everybody that steals my photos off of flickr, and to those who told me I'd never make it in photography, watch me sucka!!!

Julian Berman: Flickr | Tumblr | Twitter

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