It has been four years since I created my photography account on Instagram. Since then, I have made so many great connections with fellow photographers. Every time I connect with a photographer, I study what they do and how they do it (marketing-wise and photography-wise).
This is because I am interested in what camera gear they use to produce such images. Some of them have expensive gear (i.e. $5000+ camera and lenses) and some have less expensive gear but their photos can be at the same level in terms of composition and technique.
Tricia Gray is a very talented photographer and her photos speak on its own. That’s one of the reasons I am doing these interviews, so people can understand that in photography, the camera is just the tool. Another reason is to showcase their talent and remarkable work!
I hope you enjoy this interview – You can follow Tricia Gray on Instagram @photography.by.tricia
Share a few things about yourself.
I’m from Canada and work full time in healthcare as a Pharmacy Technician. In my spare time, I love to get out with my camera and take photos of landscapes and animals. I started getting into photography 9 years ago, but only really got serious with it 2 years ago. My favorite style of photography has to be long exposure because of the cool effects you can make with nature (i.e flowing waterfalls).
What does photography mean to you?
For me, photography is a way to escape from myself. I’m a very introverted person, however, when I have my camera in hand, it gets me out of the house and makes me happy. Photography is also a great everyday stress reliever (even though the idea of capturing the perfect shot can be stressful in itself!)
What makes a good photo stand-out from the average?
When I’m looking at a photo, I find the ones that stand out the most have great composition and focus. Creativity in a scene is great, but if it’s not composed nicely, it’ll just get scrolled past on Instagram. For example, adding framing or depth of field to a shot always gets me saying “wow!” Even a little bokeh can make an ordinary image catch your eye.
Why do you like landscape photography?
I love being able to capture the beauty of the world forever in one photograph. I always find myself marveling over how beautiful landscapes are (whether it be driving past a golden cornfield, seeing the sunset on a warm summer day, or watching a waterfall flow over a cliff), so being able to capture that moment to share with other people is amazing.
What is your main camera and lenses?
So I’ve been using the same camera body since I started photography, but it has served me well so far! I have the Nikon D3100, and I mainly use the kit lens (18-55mm). I also have a 70-300mm for those close up animal shots that I love! I do have a 50mm as well, but haven’t gotten too much use out of it yet (I still need practice with not having a zoom on it!)
How do you educate yourself to take better photos?
Trial and error! If it’s something new, I will watch Youtube videos to get an idea of what I’ll need to do, then go out in the field and practice what I learned; however a lot of the time, it doesn’t go exactly as planned, hence trial and error. I’ll also pay attention to my fellow photographers and take advice from them.
Did you go to school to study photography?
Nope, but I did take an elective course in college about photography and editing, but that’s the extent. Everything I’ve really learned is from YouTube/myself!
What challenges do you have in the field?
I would say that my biggest challenge in the field is not 100% knowing how to change my aperture/shutter settings to reflect what I’m trying to take a picture of (again, more trial and error). If it’s too bright, I will increase the shutter and/or close down the aperture, but I couldn’t tell you what the best setting would be to have it at – it’s just another learning curve that I’m working on.
Whose work has influenced you the most?
Definitely my Instagram photographers that I follow! In specific, Antoine Bernier (@antoine.bernier) for animal inspiration, and Chris Austin (@caustin89) for landscapes. It’s great too because both of these photographers, as well as a lot that I follow, are from the same city, so I can get inspiration in different places around the home.
Any advice you want to give to beginners?
Practice does make perfect! The more shots you take, the better you’ll get in the future. I’ve 100% noticed an improvement in my shots since I began getting back into photography. Also, when you’re shooting a landscape, once you’ve gotten “the shot”, take about 10 more! I find that the lighting could change, or something could happen and change the whole scene in front of you!