Julia Veela

I’m hanging in a crevasse, below me an abyss of at least 20 meters of blue ice - and that’s just as far as I can see. Above me, more ice, lots of snow and -luckily- a rope that I’m hanging on to. I take a few deep breaths, ask my belay partners to lower me another few meters - I take the camera, give my fellow crevasse-hanger some instructions and as soon as my fingers hit the shutter I am calm. Focused. In my element… But how did I get here?

I could ski before I could (properly) walk. At least that is the way my father likes to tell the story. Yet we all know, fathers tend to lovingly exaggerate. 

Born in Bavaria, my whole childhood revolved around the mountains. In winter we were skiing or skating on frozen lakes, in summer we would go hiking or I was roaming the forest, climbing trees higher and faster than all the boys in the village. I took a lot of pride in that, and maybe I still do after all these years. 

I was that kid with open knees and red cheeks and bits of moss and leaves stuck in my hair.

Then adulthood came and for a time, it took me very far away from trees and mountains. I moved to the big city, chasing my dreams and goals, first as a model, then behind the camera, producing TV commercials for huge brands. I was making it big. 

I was also burning out faster than a candle at both ends. 

And when I just couldn't and my body wouldn't go on anymore a picture came into my head that is still very alive within me to this day: a range of snow-capped mountains, oozing serenity and peace. And I knew: this is it. 

This is where I need to be. 


A few detours and an amazing love story later I was hanging in that crevasse, finally doing what I had always dreamed of. 

Going on adventures and taking photos. 

I feel very close to my childhood-self these days, and I can’t help feeling like that girl again when I am in complete awe of what nature is capable of. 

I am entirely sure that I will never not be amazed by a mountain sunrise, never not be in complete ecstasy over a powder-ride or that my heart will ever stop beating like crazy when I top out of a climbing route. 

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And I know, I will never get tired of taking pictures, of telling these stories, of adventures, and - maybe most importantly - the people I get to experience them with.