Shriners Hospital Photographer Receives Award of Excellence


Young man playing the cello

Portrait of Cellist Inspired by the Healing Power of Music

Julia Serat, a photographer at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, was recognized for her outstanding work at BIOCOMM 2018, the annual meeting of the BioCommunications Association that took place June 19-22 in Savannah, Georgia. Ms. Serat’s photograph of cellist Eunghee Cho received the Award of Excellence in the Still Media Portraiture category of the BioImages visual media competition.

Music to Heal By is the title of the portrait that was inspired by the healing power of music. Shriners Hospital provides opportunities for musical expression through music therapy for patients and the Atrium Series, a volunteer program in which both amateur and professional musicians enhance the hospital’s family-friendly environment by performing in the lobby.

“After listening to the beautiful classical music performed in the atrium by accomplished musicians Eunghee Cho and his colleagues, I envisioned creating an image that would illustrate the healing power of music through live performance,” said Ms. Serat. “In the photo studio, I created a setting that would depict a low key and dramatic image, using dark tones and high-contrast lighting. The term ‘low-key’ in music also relates to quiet sound or deep musical tone, thus inspiring this visual interpretation,” she added.

Picture of Julia Serat

Ms. Serat began her career at Shriners Hospital in 1994 as a clinical photographer and has worked as manager of the Medical Media department since 1997. She has received numerous professional awards in photographic competitions and has had photos published in textbooks, scientific journals, and photo annals. Several of Ms. Serat’s photographs have been selected for display in the Children’s Hospital Association’s bi-annual, juried exhibits that tour nationally. Her professional affiliations include the BioCommunications Association, where she currently is a member of the EFFE (Endowment Fund for Education) Committee.