What’s in your camera bag?
- Canon 5D Mark II
- Canon 80D
- Canon 50mm f/1.2
- Yongnuo 35mm f/2
- Canon 135mm f/2,
- A tripod
- A remote
- My smartphone (more specifically, the Camera Connect app on my smartphone).
Are there any specific equipment or gear innovations that you believe will have a significant impact on the industry in 2024?
I think that mirrorless cameras will continue to have a massive impact on the photography industry in 2024. They’re much lighter than DSLRs and provide more flexibility, especially when it comes to autofocus and image stabilisation.
Where do you get the latest news on new gear? Where do you usually buy new gear?
I get most of my gear news from our Great Big Photography World Podcast guests. Some of our guests need to have the latest equipment to give their clients the best results. That information helps me a lot. As a hobbyist, I don’t typically buy new gear, but when I do, it’s used.
How is photography making the world a better place in 2024?
Photography is giving people the opportunity to express themselves creatively and connect with others. It’s incredible to see the amount of communities that exist in the photography world. There’s something for everyone, which means that even if someone pursues a very specific niche, they’ll be able to make new friends and collaborate with like-minded photographers. Even on social media, photography can be a very enriching experience if it’s used wisely.
What emerging photography trends do you foresee gaining popularity in 2024?
Authenticity, environmentalism, and analogue photography – as popular as they have been in the last few years – will undoubtedly continue to gain popularity in 2024. More and more companies are looking for unedited (or minimally edited) photos these days. As for analogue photography, there’s something special about light leaks, grain, and camera limitations.
If you could pick a photography mentor in 2024, who would you pick? Why?
It’s a tie between Woody Lau and Hideaki Hamada. Woody is based in Hong Kong and takes stunning photographs of people. His photos have a lighthearted and airy look that reminds me of Studio Ghibli movies. Hideaki is a Japanese portrait photographer who creates masterpieces in simple locations. No matter what they photograph, they’re able to tell a story through their photos and put me in a specific mood. It’s magic. It would be an honour to learn from them.
Don’t force anything, but be open to learning new things.Taya Iv
The unavoidable question: How do you see the use of artificial intelligence or machine learning impacting photography in 2024?
Like any big change, it will have a significant impact. Some photographers are positive about it, but most of the people I know aren’t happy about this change. However, I believe that there will continue to be opportunities for photographers to express themselves, make money, and contribute to the industry. Being realistic is important, but I genuinely believe that this won’t lead to the end of photography as we know it now.
What is your favorite photography related book or resource that will continue to have a significant impact on your career in 2024? Why?
When I was around 9 or 10 years old, my parents bought me a book called Animals Up Close by Igor Siwanowicz, which is a macro photography book with fascinating information about different animals and insects. This was a few years before I developed an interest in photography. I was amazed by the pictures and stories that Igor shared in the book. It’s funny that I never got around to pursuing macro photography, but that book is still a great source of inspiration for me. Even as a child, I could sense Igor’s enthusiasm and love for his subjects. When I start to overthink and worry about other people’s perception of my work, I think about him and feel compelled to focus on my passion instead.
What is your go-to method for overcoming creative block and finding inspiration in 2024?
Taking photos just for myself. In the last few years, I found myself thinking more and more about other people’s opinions of my work. Will they like what I posted? How will it look on my feed? What if my work doesn’t get acknowledged? The desire to gain recognition turned into an egocentric mission that took all the joy out of photography. I think it’s very natural to want recognition, but it can get in the way. When I noticed that I was being very shallow, I quit social media. It has been very liberating to do this, but I understand that it’s not possible for everyone. Taking a short break and taking photos for yourself is a good alternative, in my opinion.
If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner in photography, what would it be?
Don’t force anything, but be open to learning new things. Make lots of friends by joining photography clubs or forums, and don’t be afraid of sharing your work online. At the same time, learn how to enjoy taking photos without needing anyone’s approval.
Can you share a specific tool, technology, or software that has revolutionized your workflow and significantly enhanced your creative process as a photographer?
My computer can be quite slow, so Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom aren’t always my best friends. ExposureX7 takes up less space on my computer and uses less memory, which has significantly improved my workflow and saved a lot of time. It also has a wide variety of bokeh and texture tools that are great for emulating film.
Any thoughts on the relationship of NFT and photography?
It has helped many photographers earn money and get their names out there. I’ve seen a lot of outstanding NFT art in the photography category. I like the idea of turning a photo into something collectible, like a traditional painting.
What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness as a photographer in 2024?
My biggest strength is my boldness. I like meeting new people and often reach out to strangers first, which often leads to interesting and eye-opening conversations. Those conversations, in turn, lead to new photography ideas. My biggest weakness is my ego, which loves attention and recognition. After many years of (small but significant) social media recognition, I’ve gotten used to receiving praise for my work. Now, when I take photos, I mostly think about other people’s opinions and how well my photo will be received. I’m slowly but surely getting rid of that pesky ego!
What is the biggest challenge in your photography genre in 2024? What are the solutions?
I think that taking unique photos of people can be a challenge. If you want your photos to stand out, you need to embrace your style, which is a very abstract piece of advice. In my opinion, the best way to overcome this is to consistently experiment with different poses, communicate with your model well, and use light creatively. The most important thing is to tell a story through your photos.
What is the most important factor to consider when choosing a photography niche or specialization in 2024?
Do you want photography to be your hobby or your job? If you want to pursue photography professionally, it’s important to pick a genre that will help you pay the bills. What kind of services are needed in your region or country? It’s also important to note that the genre you pick has to be something you’re genuinely interested in. That will make it easier to overcome any obstacle that comes your way.
Is there anything else you would like to add or any final thoughts you would like to share about your artistic journey, inspirations, or the impact you hope to make through your photography?
Photography is such an incredible world that’s open to everyone. I hope that more people find ways to express themselves through this medium, and I hope that I can contribute to it positively.
Do you think we missed an important question? Feel free to both formulate and answer that question here! Any final thoughts? Feel free to add them below.
Nobody has lived your life. Nobody has your unique skills and interests in one whole package. Use your strengths wisely and work on your weaknesses. If photography is your calling, embrace it fully and don’t let anyone discourage you.
- Favourite photography digital tool in 2024
— Adobe Lightroom
- Your favourite Photographer in 2024
— Woody Lau
- Which social media platform do you use the most as a photographer?
- Will you use or experiment with NFT in 2024?
- Do you think the always-improving cameras on smartphones will result in less work for professional photographers in 2024?
- What is your motto for 2024?
— “If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
- Can you name one unconventional location or setting that photographers should explore to create memorable images?
— In their home
- In your opinion, which photography trend will dominate the industry in 2024?
— Analogue photography
- Three must-have photography gadgets or tools for aspiring photographers?
— Tripod, Adobe Lightroom, and a photo community app for finding inspiration
- Name one unconventional source of inspiration that photographers should explore for fresh ideas in 2024.
— Fictional books that aren’t related to photography
- One underrated photography technique that can instantly enhance a photographer’s portfolio.
— Filling the frame
- What is the most innovative use of technology you’ve seen in photography recently?
— Camera to Cloud technology by Fujifilm
- Which online platform or marketplace is currently the best for photographers to sell their work and reach a wider audience?
- Who to follow on social media or take inspiration from in 2024?
— Woody Lau, Hideaki Hamadav