Julian Germain was born in London in 1962. He studied at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham and the Royal College of Art, London.
As a photographer, Germain is interested in the documentation of diverse social groups and in the notion of the amateur. He often utilises vernacular photographs, collected from archives, catalogues and family albums, lending his work an anthropological quality and indeed it can be seen to reflect on photography’s place in society as well as record the passage of time. Steel Works (1990) considers the impact of post-industrialisation in a northeast English town; Babybabybaby (2005) is a collection of images of new-borns from 1906 to the present day; War Memorial (2008) presents photographs made by British soldiers and sailors over the last century and Classroom Portraits (2012) features large format portraits of classes of schoolchildren from more than twenty countries.
Subbuteo Superheroes (1997) is a series of photographs of a miniature toy football team, each player painstakingly repainted and remodelled to resemble a character from Marvel Comics by a 14-year-old boy. The images recall the look of football cards and stickers that are collected and swapped in school playgrounds the world over, while the large scale of the prints monumentalises the figures in accord with the boy's imagination, gently celebrating the realm of the teenage imagination.