photographs of julia nobis, before international stardom

Peek inside the first book from LoveWant founder Bec Parsons, featuring beautiful never-before-seen shots of the Australian beauty.

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11 October 2017, 10:22am

This article was originally published by i-D AU/NZ.

It's spring of 2012 and Australian photographer Bec Parsons is wandering Coney Island with fellow Aussie Julia Nobis, then a celebrated newcomer on the cusp of greatness. Bec, who publishes the biannual magazine LoveWant with her husband Bartolomeo Celestino, has waited five years to share the photographs she took that brisk day. Now the images are ready to meet the world in her new book Coney Island. "The images of Nobis are interspersed with photographs of blossom trees around New York", the publisher writes, "a metaphor for the Australian model's transitioning at this pivotal moment in her personal and professional life." We chatted to Bec about Julia before Prada, Dior, and Saint Laurent; and offer a preview of images from the sweet softcover.

First of all, congratulations are in order! We're curious, why did you keep these treasures secret for so long?
I always wanted these images to be a book, it's simply been a long journey. It's taken this time to make it exactly what I wanted it to be...

We're pleased you're there now. Can you take us back to that spring day in New York City.
I was travelling on the subway to Coney Island on a cold September morning, when no-one was around, loading my camera with film, running around taking pictures. I felt like I had to honour that time [Julia and I] spent together with something permanent.

It seems like you really saw something in Julia very early on. What was it about her?
She's ageless and ethereal. Honest and unaffected. I loved that about her then, and she still is today. Sometimes you just connect with a model and the pictures you make together go beyond fashion imagery. Ultimately I just love making pictures, and Julia really gave me her time to make it special.

What radars do you have pinging when you're looking to work with a model?
I'm always searching for someone who will inspire me. It's so much more than how a girl looks! She has to have a story, something of interest, something that talks to me.

You've been doing LoveWant for some time, but this is your first book. What new challenges and triumphs have come with the change for you?
You just have to surround yourself with good people and great things happen. The publisher Perimeter Editions and Narelle Brewer are visionary, and their guidance has been very important. Anyone can make a book, but I applaud anyone that really does, because it's risky and it's hard. Books are the ultimate platform though, I really cherish them. You always want to create memories and keep them in your heart, and photobooks are like these little hearts where you keep those memories safe.

Coney Island is available through Perimeter Editions.