People. Not Pages: Roslyn Julia

Max Zhiltsov
Nov 6 · 6 min read

With the “People. Not Pages” mini-interview series The Phooks invites you to learn more about people who stand behind the medium of self- & indie-published photobooks, and zines.

Today we greet Roslyn. A photographic artist based in Ithaca, New York. In 2013 Roslyn received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Since then s,he has published four photobooks. Self-published “Instant” and “Imperfect”. “Pteridium”, published by “Brown Owl Press”.

And a very new one, “Uncovering the Stillness of Motion” released within the recently launched “Goldenrod Editions” indie-publishing house which Roslyn co-founded together with Grace Tyson.

“Uncovering the Stillness of Motion” photobook by Roslyn Julia
“Uncovering the Stillness of Motion” photobook by Roslyn Julia
“Uncovering the Stillness of Motion” photobook by Roslyn Julia. Order here →

Read more about the book here. And we’re looking forward to seeing more beautiful photobooks very soon!

“The Magic Hidden in The Corners of Our Daily Existence”

This quote from Roslyn describes her attitude toward photography. A strong interest in the nature scenes is visible in Roslyn’s work, while it is not landscape photography in the usual sense, at least for me.

Her series appear like an artistic expression of deeply personal things where nature scenes and details serve in the way of a poetic interpretation rather than straightforward photographic documentation.

A spread from the “Imperfect” photobook self-published by Roslyn Julia.

It looks like that “Imperfect”, the photobook released in 2019, turned to be a point of self-awareness and self-acceptance at the same time. As Roslyn states about the book:

Imperfect is a collection of images that show moments within a journey during a chapter in my life of intense realization and transformation.

The experiences during this time led me to more wholly accept myself, my path and my photography as inherently flawed.

I’d stress how these words manifest the importance and power of self-publishing as an act of accomplishing, self-realization, self-development, and moving forward. Whatever it be: a book or a series of prints, an exhibition, or a well-thought essay — everything helps us to reflect on our work and get feedback from outside.

But, perhaps a photobook for a photographer is the best way as it always stays with us and others, unchanged. While our vision and attitude constantly transform.

Let’s move to the interview.


How do you live and make your living?

I am a photo editor, currently making my living working in media.

How did you get into photography?

I started photographing when my parents gave me a toy camera when I was a kid! I’ve been hooked ever since.

What do you value the most in the art of photography?

I love the way photography can capture things that you may not have realized were even there, and how photographs have the ability to transfer emotions to the viewer.

Is there something you hate about it?

Not that I can think of!

How many books you have, and what does your collection means to you?

I have over 50 photo books. I love my collection so much because each book I have is a book I collected out of my love and admiration for the work. I get endlessly inspired by all the photographers’ projects and accomplishments that each book represents and showcases. Also, many of the books I have I either know or have met the photographer and I love supporting other artists’ works!

Is there a photobook you admire?

So so many!

I recently collected Rani Road by Saleem Ahmed, and I am absolutely in love with the quality of the printing and the work in this book.

“Rani Road” photobook by Saleem Ahmed.
“Rani Road” photobook by Saleem Ahmed.
“Rani Road” photobook by Saleem Ahmed. Image source: saleem.us

I have also recently collected a few books by Christian Ordóñez and all of his books are great.

I very much admire Agnes Thor’s work in her book As The River Runs.

“As the river runs” photobook by Agnes Thor.
“As the river runs” photobook by Agnes Thor.
“As the river runs” photobook by Agnes Thor. Image source: www.agneskarin.se

Anything by Rinko Kawauchi is my absolute favorite. Tim Barber’s Untitled Photographs is one of my favorite photo books with a foreword by the amazing Miranda July.

“Untitled Photographs” photobook by Tim Barber. Image source: timbarber.us.

I also really admire anything published by Radius Books, I dream to be published by them one day.

Oh, and anything by Overlapse is also absolutely incredible! They use many different paper and printing styles, their books are some of the most beautifully produced photo books I have seen — definitely worth checking out their amazing collection.

What should a book be to get into your collection?

Beautiful and awe-inspiring! Something that really makes me gasp and take a moment to take in its wonderfulness.

What does it mean to turn your work into a book format?

Making my work into a printed book is a truly incredible feeling.

In regards to my last book, Imperfect, it felt like I was wanting to release this work out into the world for over a year so once I finally did, and was shipping them all around the US and even internationally, I felt so humbled and amazed that I had accomplished such a feat!

“Imperfect” photobook, self-published by Roslyn Julia. Read more

I know that may sound a little dramatic, but I feel that so much work and love goes into making a photo book or any type of art for that matter, and it is something really worth celebrating.

What you expect people should feel when opening your book?

I hope that they feel a bit of awe and wonder for the nature on our planet, and for the magic hidden in the corners of our daily existence.



The Phooks

On the culture of self and independent photobooks and zines publishing

Max Zhiltsov

Written by

Photography enthusiast, Brand & Marketing strategist. Founder of ThePhooks.com Open photobook library & marketplace. Personal website: www.maxzhiltsov.com

The Phooks

On the culture of self and independent photobooks and zines publishing

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