Every week I talk to a new photographer on Instagram about their favorite locations to photograph, camera gear, and best practices to have on Instagram. This week is Sandra Ivaz, a 20 year old photographer from a small city outside of Toronto called Kitchener. Below are some of her photographs.
What sparked your passion for photography?
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos but I didn’t take it seriously until only a few months ago. In a way, Instagram and the photography community on Instagram helped me realize my passion for photography. The great thing about posting photos on the platform is that you have a physical record of your progression. What I mean by this is, you can actually see how you’re improving and how your style evolves over time.
What camera gear do you like to use when snapping photos?
My camera of choice is the Nikon D610. Since I mainly shoot landscapes, I prefer using a wide angle lens.
What is the most favorite picture you have ever captured?
It’s hard to pick one photo since I’ve taken thousands of photos, and what I like changes on a daily basis; but I’d say that today my favorite photo is this one, which was taken at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, Quebec. Symmetry and bold colors always grab my attention, and the inside of this building was absolutely breathtaking with its symmetry and colors. (Image below)
What do you enjoy about taking photos in Canada?
Canada is such a massive country that no two places are alike. On top of the diverse geography, the weather is constantly changing. One day it might be cold and the next day it may be humid, foggy, sunny, etc., This forces you to adapt to shooting in different weather conditions.
My province - Ontario - has so many cool places to explore, Ontario is a landlocked province, it doesn’t have any mountains, or an ocean nearby. A lot of people think that you need to travel far to see nice places, and you need to be surrounded by the ideal landscapes (mountains, the ocean, etc.,) but you really don’t. My instagram account features photos which were almost all taken in Ontario. I’m trying to emphasize that you don’t need to travel far to see beautiful things, explore your own backyard before you feel the need to travel far.
What is your favorite location to take photos?
I enjoy taking photos in rural areas. I like small towns because you always find something that you won’t see anywhere else.
What advice would you give to an up and coming photographer?
Develop your own style that distinguishes you from other people.
When I first started taking photos I tried to do everything. Urban, landscape, you name it. But then I realized, I needed to become good at one thing before I tried to tackle everything. I’m not trying to say you can’t be good at a lot of things, but it’s better to be known for being excellent at one thing, than average or ‘okay’ at everything.
Take lots of photos, there’s no better way of improving at something than by practicing.
Finally, we’re our own worst critics. I’m still trying to improve and learn, and I may never be fully satisfied with my work, but we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.
What advice would you give the beginning photographer on Instagram?
Interact with your followers, after all they are real people who are following you, and have a genuine interest in your photos. Be nice to people, if someone asks you a question, respond to them. Post what you like, and stay active. Lastly, don’t worry about followers or the number of likes your photos have. The number game shouldn’t overtake your passion for photography.
To see more of Sandra's work go here