Anna Koustas is a photographer from Toronto with a passion to capture “real moments”. She came to GTA Photography back in March, 2017 to take Photo 201, and later joined us for our Studio Lighting Workshop as well!
Her photos are stunning and what really caught my eye was her ability to capture her travels abroad so beautifully. See some of her amazing work on Facebook & Instagram; make sure to “follow” & “like”!
We’re so happy to have the chance to ask her a few questions and learn more about the person behind the camera! Get to know more about her passion, travels, highlights & favourite gear.
It is my intention to present – through the medium of photography – intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators. – Ansel Adams
1) When & how did you fall in love with photography?
I appreciated photography from a very young age, but I didn’t really fall in love with it until very recently. When I was younger, I really loved looking through my grandfather’s and fathers black and white photographs from Russia. They were both very avid photographers and developed film in their own dark rooms.
However, I never really thought of photography as a career option, so I focused more on my academic career. I completed an Hons. BA in Political Science and International Development Studies and an Masters in International Politics- International Political Economy. I then worked for 3 years as a Policy Analyst/Lobbyist and for 1 year as a Relationship Manager, however I was never fully invested in my work. I kept wanting to pick up a camera, but I was too nervous, until my husband purchased one for me for my birthday. Throughout the past year, I have developed a tremendous passion/appreciation/love for photography and realized what truly makes me happy in life. Now I am focused on improving my technical skills and hope to start a photography business.
Photos from a trip to Indonesia
2) How would you define your photography style?
I am still working to really define my own style. However, my passion is to capture those real human everyday moments, so very natural, colourful, candid street photography is where I tend to lean towards.
3) Do you now own a photography business or freelance?
At the moment, no, however, my goal is to become a freelance photographer and then later on open my own business.
4) What was your most memorable photoshoot?
My favorite shoot is for my friends dive resort in Indonesia, called Kalimaya Dive Resort. Although, I prefer to take photographs of people, this was a special project for me. My friends took a great risk to open the only hotel and dive resort on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia this past year, so being able to visit them and see what they built from scratch was not only motivating to pursue my own passions, but absolutely incredible to see what hard work can achieve.
Photos from a trip to Hanoi & Japan
5) Tell us about your experience with Travel Photography & your journey! What are some highlights?
I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit, however it is only in the past two years that I have really started to capture these adventures (and really it is only this past year, where I began to focus on photography more seriously). This past month I traveled to Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan for about a month. I really found my passion for street photography on this trip. I especially loved Vietnam, the colors, the food, the wonderful people, the sites and history and the general buzz that each city had. This past year, I also traveled to Japan for some skiing, Mexico, Cuba, Miami, Greece (Athens and several islands), Croatia and Italy. Prior to this, because I completed my Masters in England, I was able to travel all over the UK, Portugal, Turkey, Greece and several others.
6) What’s your next photography purchase?
After taking photography 201, I purchased an external flash, the FL-600R Electronic Flash, with a flash diffuser, which I really love, and look forward to learning more about. Additionally, on my trip to Japan this past month, I noticed I generally used a focal length of around 14-35mm, so I purchased an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens. The new line of Olympus pro lenses are really amazing!
Photos from a trip to Vietnam
7) What advice would you give to amateur photographers?
The best thing I’m learning right now is, if you’re truly passionate about photography, learn everything you can, study your camera inside and out and take courses to improve your knowledge, while also reading about photography online, watching inspirational documentaries and videos about photographers past and present and to just go out there and shoot as much as you can.
8) Which piece of gear (lens, tripod etc.) is your favourite?
I really love my new M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, it’s an all around fantastic lens. It’s fully waterproof, dustproof, and freezeproof, so I really enjoy running around in thunderstorms with my camera and this lens in hand.
A few fun things you want to know about Anna!
What is your favourite dessert? Dark chocolate
Where’s your dream vacation destination? Nepal
What’s your favourite movie? The Labyrinth
What you would do if you won the lottery? Depends how much, but definitely quit my job, work on photography and building a business, and help out my family.
What’s your favourite holiday destination? It’s a tossup between South East Asia and the Islands of Greece.
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