This week’s spotlight shines a light on Monika Hanley of Internationelle. Read on to find out more about Monika, see some of her work, and find out which bluebird chic strap is her personal favorite!
Founded by two travelers on a mission to both visit every country in the world and fight human trafficking on the way, Internationelle is a reminder that travel is about the drive in all of us to seek new things, places, and people; to make memories worth their weight in gold/food/sunsets; and to focus not only on what the world can bring to us, but what we can also bring to the world.
What kind of photography do you specialize in or use for your business?
I specialize in travel photography and all that entails! From unique architecture, food, nature, and people, I have the honor of working with clients and brands to capture their vibe and essence, along with doing my own photographic adventures along the way!
Where are you located and how does your location influence your photography?
I’m usually located in the Pacific Northwest, but am out and about from 6-8 months a year. I love returning home because for me, there is no more beautiful place with its greenery, mountains, and endless spots for photo sessions. Most of the time you can find me in the woods or up on a trail trying to capture nature during the golden hour.
What is your favorite part of the photography process?
For me, my favorite part is finding new locations, it’s a little bit like a treasure hunt. Or photographing a well-known place in a different way/from a different angle. One of my things is to have a well-known architectural or tourism object blurred in the background with a piece of nature or flower in focus in the foreground. Giving new life to everyday objects is a fun challenge but one that allows for a photographer to really get into a subject and encourage viewers to look a little closer.
What is the single best piece of advice you could offer when preparing for a shoot?
Get to know your client/business/brand. Sometimes businesses want to portray some version of perfection that they’ve seen others have success with (especially on Instagram). Let them know that authenticity is the most attractive thing. Perfection just isn’t the goal if you want to stand apart in the crowd!
If that’s not possible, then learn all you can and spend some time the day/hour before in the location you’ve chosen for the shoot. Even if it’s something like a restaurant, just soaking in the lighting, colors, and overall feel of the place will make for photos with a deeper level of knowledge and comfort. It also lets you as the photographer feel more at ease right away!
Aside from your camera what is one of the most useful photography tool(s) you’ve purchased?
I’m such a gadget girl when it comes to photography, and I love the innovative things people have come up with in recent years. For macro photography, I fell head over heels for an attachable ring light. It gives SUCH vibrancy and detail to the subject that a regular flash simply wouldn’t. To say I’ve become obsessed is an understatement. When photographing flowers and food, it’s a must have to make your photos pop.
What’s your favorite thing about your bluebird chic strap?
I love, love, love the fabric. Hands down, the most stylish and beautiful straps out there. The care and creativity put into each handmade work of art makes wearing it a joy!
The Bluebird Chic strap is 100 times more comfortable than any generic strap that comes with a camera. It sits comfortably and distributes weight evenly, and never digs into your neck if you’re sporting a heavier lens. My old strap was also quite short, and my Bluebird Chic strap can be worn across the chest for ease of movement so your camera doesn’t keep bouncing around! My strap goes with basically everything and gives me a chance to add a bit of color to my usual photographer uniform of black.
Thanks for sharing with us today Monika and for supporting the bluebird chic brand!