Hypetrak: Hot Blocks & Hot Lights with Odd Future’s Photographer Julian Berman
If there is anybody that has visually documented Odd Future’s rapid rise to fame, it’s Julian Berman. With his work already having graced the covers of publications like XXL and Billboard, Berman has now released his book, Golf Wang, that highlights his relationship with the Los Angeles collective and beyond. Ali Breland sat down with Odd Future’s primary photographer to find out about his beginnings, the true meaning of Odd Future, and his future projects.
Read some excerpts below and find the entire conversation exclusively over at Hypetrak.
Ali Breland: How did you get into photography initially?
Julian Berman: Honestly, I’m not really sure how I did. I used to be really into skateboarding in Middle and High School. I was always into skate videos and always into reading Thrasher, and then I think it was my summer going into 11th grade, I just decided to take up photography classes and I just bought some crappy-ass SLR. I think I bought like a Nikon D60, and then I started taking pictures of my friends skating. I noticed throughout the semester, I was getting pretty good. I was just constantly reading about it, and constantly watching. I just got super into it and I noticed I was progressing pretty well, and was like, “Yo, maybe this is the thing for me.” I wasn’t into skating too much. That wasn’t my life. I used to be super into video games, but I kind of grew out of that, so I just needed something to occupy my time, and then I just became obsessed with photography.
AB: How has shooting Odd Future changed from back in 2009 up until now? Especially on your end.
Berman: It really hasn’t changed much, which is cool. We’d just meet up and be on Fairfax goofing around or whatever and I would just be firing. Obviously now they’re a lot busier and we really haven’t had the chance to shoot in a while, which is a bit unfortunate but hopefully when they come back we can fire up some cool stuff. Honestly, the last time we probably shot was like in September. They’re busy dudes, so you can’t knock it.
AB: Odd Future is a collective that exists outside of Tyler, Hodgy, Domo and the musical side of things. For people that don’t know, could you explain more about what Odd Future is in its totality?
Berman: Basically we’re just a group of friends that do everything. Tons of us shoot photos, everyone’s really into music. We’re just a crew of friends who all share a common interest. We all like hanging out, it doesn’t matter what you do. There’s the Odd Future group that is like music collective but there’s also the affiliates. We’ve got the little kid, skate rats on Fairfax, we’ve got me shooting photos, people handling merchandising, and all sorts of different other people. It’s just a crew of friends. Odd Future isn’t just the performing act, because there is so much more to it than that.