Tell us a little about you! Where are you in the world right now?
I am currently on a long backpacking trip through South East Asia but for the past two months I have been stable in Ubud, Bali. I arrived here at the end of April for a Vinyasa and Yin teacher training and decided to stay longer to keep practicing and take as many photos as I can of this gorgeous island.
What type of photography do you do most? And what do you currently enjoy most and why?
There are 2.
The first one is landscape photography. That is what made me fall love with photography about 4 years ago.
The second one is obviously yoga. It started when I moved to Colorado about 2 years ago. I was enjoying my practice, started taking yoga photos and the more I was practicing, the better the photos were coming out. It was really a good feeling noticing that improvement and that connection between the photos and the practice.
What Inspires you?
Nature. I love the outdoors and I truly believe in Mother Nature. Whether it’s a beach, a mountain or a forest I always try to have some natural elements in the photos.
What is the most challenging part about being a photographer for you?
It is incredibly challenging under so many aspects. First, there is not very much rewarded for the amount of work that is needed to create a good image. Many people don’t realize how much time photographers put into a single photo.
When it comes to landscape a big challenge is to stay calm and patient.
It takes hours to scout for a location, check the forecast, predict the light situation at a certain time and the travels to get there. Then I get where I want to be and it’s not as I expected, the weather forecast changed, the light changes every minute, it can get really hard to get that shot I had in mind. So it gets frustrating and a big challenge is to keep myself calm and patient. If I can do that and just wait then I usually get rewarded with a nice photo.
For yoga it’s definitely making the model comfortable. For many it’s a bit nerve-wracking especially if it’s their first time shooting. It was very hard in the beginning finding the right words to make the models feeling more comfortable and make them realize that honestly all they have to do is imagine that I am not even there and if anything all I am doing is guiding them in case they need to align better or move a bit.
Describe your photographic style? How did you develop your style?
That’s hard to answer. I think I am still finding one. Every day photography is evolving, whether it’s with new camera technology or software or an app there's always something new to learn that will help to create something different.
Being an outdoor person, I will always opt for an outdoor shooting rather than an indoor one so if we can call that a style then that’s it.
When it comes to editing I do not use and will never recommend to use presets or filters. My gallery and feed will look more “consistent” if I will start doing that but for me every photo is different, every minute is different and every location is different so it doesn’t make sense to me to use the same tones and make every photo look the same. I’ll try to keep the edit fairly basic and to show what I was really seeing while taking the photo.
What makes a great picture stand out from the rest?
I’d say the prospective , finding the right angle to show a unique view of the scene. Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture.
Can you share a story how you handle unpredictable factors?
Luckily there are many tools that can help.
I use 500px map to scout for locations, on the map you can see where a photo was taken so you can have an idea of how the surroundings really look like.
When I have the location sorted and an idea of what photo I want, I use photographer ephemeris. With this tool I am able to pinpoint an exact location on a map of where I will place my camera and what time I will be there so I could see the light direction and plan the right time to go there.
As I said before things can change pretty quickly so I always try to be prepared, I think about what tools I will use in case something is not as expected, what lenses to bring and so on. Then when I am there, patience! Wait and wait and wait until that moment to click arrives.
What is your best photography tip?
Take the photos in locations where no one else goes. There are already a million of photos taken in the most famous spots but the world is still so unexplored and if you want to do a good job you also have to scout for new places. Trust me on this, it will make a huge difference, people will notice that.
What is your best tip to give someone being photographed for the first time?
Meet your photographer a day or two before the photo shooting. It became a rule for me.
Get to know each other, tell to the photographer what makes you nervous and be really open about it.
The more you’ll get to know each other the more comfortable you will feel.
When the day of the shooting arrives, see the photographer as your yoga teacher when it guides you into a new pose. You are exciting when you are learning and holding a new pose right? Then you can also feel excited about seeing how that pose turns out on photos. The photographer is not judging you, he/she doesn’t hang out with super-models all the time, you are not less attractive or you are not less bendy than anyone else. Our job is to help you, same as your yoga teacher.
Every capture has a story, I’d love if you could pick one of your photographs & share the story behind it!
I will have to give you two.
This is Kyla, she is the one who introduced me to yoga and my first friend in Colorado. We went on many adventures together and every shooting was different. Especially this one when we got to play with more creative elements to add a little touch of magic to a photo. (Plus I think was my first photo that you liked ☺️)
This one is of myself. I took this about 2 months ago in the Philippines. At the end of last year I lost the job that I had been working for 10 years and I felt like everyone would be feeling when something like that happened. Pretty rough time. However, I stayed positive, booked this trip and on this day was lucky enough to enjoy this waterfall to myself. That was the day when I realized that losing my job was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Ciao Ciao and thank you for believing in me taking photos for Mika.