Let's talk about Instagram...

Ahh, Instagram... The wonderful app to share photos of your meals daily life with people from all around the world. It's amazing and we all love it, no? I've been using it a lot lately, it's a little bit addictive.

I mean it's really useful when you don't feel like carrying your camera.
It's also great to keep up with people you admire (photographers, editors, etc.) and a really great way to get inspired.

But, how exactly do you become a good photographer on Instagram? How do you communicate with your audience? To be honest, I had no idea that Instagram could be a very powerful tool for bloggers and creative people. That's why I wanted to ask a super good photographer and very close friend, Jose Pablo Anleu some questions.

How did Instagram change the way you shoot?

It made me be even more aware of my surroundings. As a general rule, I try to keep my eyes open all the time everywhere I go, it's just my way of continuously seeking inspiration. Having something as simple as the camera in my phone with me all the time is perfect to capture everything that catches my eye, and thus, be more aware. To me, it's a visual diary of my everyday life.

What do you like about it?

Instagram is my favorite social media network. It lets me share with the world, in real time. And that community factor is what's so awesome about Instagram. To be able to see the world, in the palm of my hand, and connect right there, with so many different cultures and super talented individuals. And such wonderful sights! Instagram has democratized the way we think about photography now. It is about doing the BEST you can with something we all have.

What do you think about Instagram video?

I love it! Many people were skeptical at first, but I think it's awesome. I love filmmaking, so the challenge as well is to be able to tell something in the best way possible in 15 seconds. The
re's a saying that goes "A picture's worth a thousand words", well just imagine what a video can say! 

Do you have any tips on how to take better pictures with your phone?

LIGHT. Be aware of light. Try to understand how it falls on objects, and then position yourself or the elements accordingly, to make the best of it. People say it's horrible to shoot at noon when the sun is up highest but I think you just have to be careful to position your subject, because it can look incredible.

COMPOSITION IS EVERYTHING! It is what makes images aesthetically appealing, through the positioning of the elements in it, contrast between colors, textures, etc. Composition makes an image come alive.

Nighttime photography is difficult with a phone's camera. Make sure to keep the camera very steady (I never use flash) or prop yourself against a wall to help you. Also you can get a tripod and mount your phone on it. Another tip, sometimes the white balance at night is waaaay off and it just looks bad no matter what you do to fix it, so my tip for that would be... black and white! It makes night pics look not as bad.
Don't over edit. Less is MORE.

And what are some tips when it comes to sharing on social media? 

Stay true. Above everything else. Never take a picture just because you think it will help you get more likes or followers or because you want people to like you. We are all individuals so we all have our own stories to tell. And you'll find people will engage more when the emotion/intention behind the photos is authentic. Share who you are, what you love, what catches YOUR eye.

Do you think about your caption before uploading a picture?

I do! I love writing, so with my captions I try to set the mood I want to convey through a picture, and they reinforce each other, photo and words. Having a caption to go along with the photos, makes it so much more fun and it engages people in relating and engaging more. Also I like writing little stories to go with the photos I want to upload, it forces me to stay creating ideas.


And there you have it!! Really useful, isn't it? If this post didn't help you at all, then you need some serious help. Try using different apps and make sure that you find a signature filter (It actually took me a while to find mine, I'm still practicing though!!). 

That's it. I hope you liked it. Remember to have these tips in mind, and go take some photos!! Have a great day :)

P.S.: Here are some of my favorite users:
Frida Vega
Benjamin Bergh
Tim Melideo
Giselle Hernandez

P.P.S.: In case you're wondering, I mostly use VSCO Cam and Whitagram to edit my photos before I put them on Instagram.

The (unexpected) Interview

Ok. First of all, I don't know exactly how this happened...

Remember when I worked at an advertising agency? (Ohh, my illustrations have changed a lot since that!) Well, yesterday I went to another agency for a job interview. Let me tell you how it was...

I was having lunch with my family when my mom suddenly says "Victor, are you ready? Do you have your CV and everything?" I didn't know what to say to her, for a minute I thought she said that by mistake or something.

"Mom, are you crazy? What are you talking about?

"Oh, dear. Did you forgot? You have a job interview today at 3pm!"

"What???!! Are you high or something?"

"Ahhh, didn't your dad tell you? He got you a job interview!"

I was speechless. No, really I didn't know what to say or think... My mind was blank. And I really don't know why, but for a moment I thought I had the urge to throw up (but I didn't, I'm too cool for that).

"Job interview? Where?!"

"At an advertising agency, they're looking for an illustrator"

I hear the angels chanting in my head. I got so excited, I couldn't handle it. So, I started singing, dancing and jumping all around my house. Yup, sometimes I get over excited. But wait, I don't even have a CV, and ohhh... My portfolio is not looking so great, and f*ck, I knew I should have bought that blazer when I had the chance!!

Okay, off I go! (Yup, just like that. Thank God I had time to make a CV before I left home) When I first got there, I waited for like 5 minutes and then the creative director called me.

Ohh this place is so cool, That was my first thought when I entered. It looked very different from the other agency where I used to work. Somehow this place was full of joy and beautiful people.
The creative director's office was amazing, very cozy and kind of minimalistic with a twist (you know how much I love that).

He looked at my portfolio and asked me about my past experience on the agency I worked for. He also asked me about the composition of my photos, about my illustrations and ideas. Somehow, it was a very inspiring chat. And guess what? He didn't even look at my CV (well, he did but just a little glance)

The interview was over. It was time to leave. Once I got out, dad took me home. Aahhh, reality...

Little talks: Isis Piña

Last weekend, I had the chance to meet the super-duper incredible and amazing photographer, Isis Piña. She's 17 years old. When I discovered her, it was totally crazy. Her photos and her writing started to inspire me very quickly.

We have the same love for visual arts and music, so that means we could talk for hours about those things!

Her work is so fascinating, that I wanted to ask her a few questions to get to know her even better.

  • How did you start? 
It is a coincidence that out of all the areas in the 'visual arts world', I fell specificly into photography. I've always had an enormous love and interest for art. I would gaze at fashion magazines for hours, watch movies and wonder how everything was put together to create such awesomeness... Suddenly I felt and urge to capture the beauty surrounding me; so for my 15th birthday I asked for a camera and since then, I never thought I'd be so obsessed in my life!

  • Can you tell us a little bit about where you live?
I live in San Francisco de Macoris, a small town in the Dominican Republic. I was born here and raised for the majority of my life. There's not much to say about it... it's not so modern (which I like, someway), there's not much diversity here; no sports, no art and no science. So of course there's not much stereotypes to see... which is sad for me, one of the things I enjoy the most is going out and seeing all types of things and people. But people are friendly to each other, since it's such a small town, everyone treats the others like family. I'm so thankful that I have art... it's like my getaway, like escaping without leaving.

  • What did you want to be when you were growing up?
As a child, I'd play every profession with my dolls; a teacher, a stylist, a mama, a doctor... Once I even wanted to be an astronaut and I even owned a telescope!! Oh how I miss those days up there on the clouds. But what I remember being the most obsessed with for years, was being a writer. I used to write lots of short stories for my old elementary school back in Florida and even little books illustrated by myself.

  • When did you discover that you had deep feelings for photography?
When you can't go a day without thinking about something, then there's definitely some passion! I guess everything just flowed together to become a big part of me.

  • At the beginning, did you have help or you just started by yourself?
I started everything by myself, I spent most of my time watching tutorials on Youtube and reading books about photography. I like to believe that after you know all the technical details, it's time for imagination, and nobody can teach you how to imagine.

  • Can you describe why is sunlight so important for your pictures?
For me, it's the most beautiful light. Sunlight is a perfect gift from nature and we should all take advantage of that. Besides, lighting is just way out of my budget right now hehe.

  • How do you feel about modifying your own pictures?
It's something that comes very natural. Eventually you stop liking your own pictures so it's time to change, try new things, lose yourself for a while and find what makes you the happiest... for me, it was going from just regular portraits to conceptual art.

  • Do you have a favorite subject to shoot? Why?
Of course, the human. Especially my brother. It's such an extraordinary  relationship that you have while you're shooting other people! I like creating characters and capturing them in their own world. I also love shooting self-portraits, it's like therapy for the soul.

  • Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. Right now I am in a bus full of people sleeping, everything is so quiet. There's a bug golden sun rising behind the mountains outside my window. The gorgeus golden light is hitting my beautiful redhead friend's hair and it looks like flames (SO inspiring!). I find inspiration in slience, sadness, the feeling of infinity you get while listening to your favorite song, books, kids, long car rides, colors... Life in general is just inspiring, art is everywhere, you just have to seek for it! Although I love all those things I just mentioned, most of my inspiration comes from the low times, I love recycling all sadness into pictures. It's also a lot more productive than just crying.

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living in another country with my babies and my love. Capturing and creating beauty, traveling and making life an art


Inspiring, isn't it? She's such a great person and I'm really thankful that she let me took these pictures. If you want to know more about her work, just go to her Flickr page!