Every week I talk to a new photographer on Instagram. They share their favorite locations, camera gear, and the best practices to have on Instagram. This week is Chelsea Toves, a 17 year old photographer, currently located in Lake Stevens, Washington.
What inspired you to start photography? What photographers inspire you?
Well I actually took a photography class my junior year in high school just for fun. Thinking nothing of it, I thought it was cool to actually use a camera to take photos! One of my old friends took the same class I was taking. We later went to take photos together and she introduced me to the photography aspect on Instagram. I went to my very first instameet last February 2014! I instantly fell in love with all the people I met. I’ve met SO many amazing people through Instagram and all of them inspire me. @cameronleeanderson, @life_of_jon, @kylehouck, @bertymandagie , and @iamshpak are a few individuals who inspire me that I’ve met through Instagram. Can’t forget about @josh.bloomfield and @paprakan who I’ve met through school. These dude’s constantly inspire me!
I've noticed that you photograph with a lot of other photographers in the Pacific North West, what is your favorite part about being around other creatives?
My absolute favorite part about being around other creatives would have to be how we get to know one another and find out that we have tons of things in common. From music taste to what we want to do when we’re older! For me it’s just a joy to be around people that love Instagram as much as I do!
What is some of your favorite camera gear to use?
Well the only camera I use is my Canon t5i! I honestly don’t know a ton about cameras. ¾ of my photos on Instagram is all taken with my iPhone 4s! You take your phone wherever you go and I find it to be the best camera to shoot with for Instagram in my opinion. I edit all my Instagram photos with Snapseed and VSCOcam on my phone.
What is the most favorite photo you have ever taken?
My favorite photo I’ve ever taken has to be this photo at Diablo Lake. That day my family and I took a spontaneous trip to Diablo Lake which was so fun. Sharing my love of adventure with my family is my favorite. (Picture Below)
What is the weirdest location you have been too, to photograph?
The weirdest location I’ve ever been to would have to be an abandoned house. About a year ago I went on my first shoot with my friend that showed me the photography aspect on Instagram. She thought it would be cool to take photos of an abandoned house. Not to mention that I get scared VERY easily, I was freaking out. I’ve never been so terrified!
What advice would you give to the beginning photographer?
Capture photos of what draw your eye’s attention. Always take photos of what YOU think is beautiful. Also love what you do! Explore new places, keep yourself motivated to do these things.
You are very successful on Instagram, what advice would you give to the beginning photographer on Instagram to get their work exposed?
Honestly, I would have never pictured myself where I am now. Not in followers, but with the friendships I have thanks to Instagram! One way to get your work exposed would be to connect with local instagrammers. Reach out to people and ask them to get some coffee or whatever and go shooting! A year ago I would have thought you were crazy if you told me that I would be spending my weekends with total strangers that I met through social media. Also post photos that you are proud of! Sometimes I find myself just posting to post, but your best work is what will make you feel good!