Monique Djarn and her colleague, Johannes, may be young, but both are accomplished contributors to Fotolia’s Instant Collection. They’ve been on something of a World Tour recently, which is where they took many of their stunning images.
We spoke to Monique about the never-ending opportunities that traveling seems to bring when you’re a photographer…
Fotolia: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re based and your journey into becoming a photographer?
Monique Djarn: I’m 24 years old and currently doing an internship with TravelTelly. I study Film and Media Science in Denmark at the University of Copenhagen.
Photography has always been a great passion of mine. As a kid, I would steal my granddad’s DSLR camera and try to capture my family having a good laugh, an intense conversation, or similar.
Fo: Do you travel a lot being a photographer? Where has been your favorite place to shoot?
MD: I’ve been travelling a lot ever since I left high school, but never as a paid photographer. I think my most intense shoot was in India where I covered a Hindu fire walking ritual. Even though it wasn’t an ideal location (at one point I thought my camera was going to melt!) it was a huge experience and I was glad to be a part of it.
Fo: How did you capture this magnificent of a sunrise in Angkor Wat, Cambodia?
MD: My colleague, Johannes, took this one. He says it was one of the most magical sunrises he had ever seen. To him, as a photo/videographer, sunrises and sunsets make him realize how beautiful this world is, and how lucky we are to be able to experience such amazing moments.
To capture the sunrise in Angkor Wat, he left the hotel at 4.30 in the morning and was taken to the spot by the most friendly tuk tuk driver. Even though it was early, there were a lot of other people up to enjoy it. This created a great atmosphere and made the sunrise even more spectacular.
We also have a time-lapse video of it and that’s even more beautiful. You can read more about his experience in our online travel magazine.
Fo: What photographic equipment do you mostly use?
MD: I’m using a Canon EOS 60D, usually with a Canon EF-S18-200/3,5-5,6 IS. I like to take pictures from a distance in order to get the most natural expressions of both people and nature.
Fo: What makes a good photo for you?
MD: There is nothing more satisfying than taking a picture that perfectly illustrates the feeling you had in that particular moment. I’m all about expressions, lines, and atmosphere.
If you can capture those in a photo, I think you’ve come a long way.
Fo: How did you discover Fotolia’s Instant Collection App and what has been your experience with it?
MD: Johannes and I mainly focus on travel stock video footage, but always have our iPhones with us when shooting stock footage. It’s an easy way to take some photos and upload them to the Instant Collection using the app.
We’re still uploading a lot more photos from last year!
Fo: What tips do you have for people using their smartphones to take images for Fotolia?
MD: Take your time. One thing I’ve learned is to train your eye – there are so many beautiful things surrounding us, but we have to train our eyes to see them.
Beauty is everywhere; just open your eyes to see it.
Most of our favorite images are of people, but we can’t sell those because we don’t have model releases. When it comes to photos of nature or cities the most valuable ones are again the ones that capture the feelings you had while in that place.
Fo: Where are you next set to visit on your travels? Will we see images of these places on Fotolia?
MD: Our World Tour has yet to visit Tahiti, Easter Island, Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia.
I’m returning to Denmark after Bolivia, but Johannes is continuing on to the Galapagos Islands, Jamaica, Miami (Florida), and New York. He will return to the Netherlands to meet up with the team of TravelTelly and to do some editing. After that he will again be on the run, this time filming in Africa.
Fo: Wow, sounds like exciting times for you both! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today, and good good luck on your World Tour.
You can see – and buy – more of Monique and Johannes’ gorgeous images on their Fotolia profile.
And you can keep up with their exploits also on just about every social media available, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, and Issue - I don’t know where they find the time to take photographs!