Art Reviews & News
Mikala Wilbow is a self confessed 'camera crazed' water woman that works as a professional photographer on the northern beaches of Sydney. Mikala grew up miles away from the beach which gave her the freedom of being on the open road 'searching for the unknown'. This is where her passion and inspiration really comes from and what influences Mikala's style...seeing the world with new eyes. Mikala spends her week photographing weddings, shooting the surf and creating lifestyle images. And in her words "I love everything about what I do and I do what I do for the love of it!"
Questions and Answers:
How long have you been a photographer?
I have been camera crazy for as long as I can remember. I've been a pro photographer since I was 22 and I am now 26 so 4-5 years. My week consists of shooting weddings, portraits and surf lifestyle. I just can't get enough of it.
What inspires you about photography?
My inspiration comes from so many things but I think what inspires me the most is the way you can transform something everyday ordinary (so to say) into something extraordinary looking and magical.
Any formal training?
In the early days I didn't have any formal training. I was just a young keen photographer and spent time behind the camera experimenting. I felt the only way I was going to learn was to jump right in and go for it. I landed a job with a really good wedding studio and learnt alot of what I know today from working on the job. I think if you stick to shooting what your passionate about, that passion will come through in your images. I occasionally attend lighting seminars and short courses. A photographer once told me that lighting is one of the most important elements in photography and your always learning new things about it. It's so true.
You say you like to shot silhouettes because of the light, what does this say about your photographs?
I love waking up early in the morning and roaming around the beaches looking for things to photograph. Its a cool feeling waking up and heading out with your camera not knowing the interesting things you will see and capture. The early morning light is some of my favourite light of the day to shoot Silhouettes. I guess it is just a part of my style. My photos all seem to be really contrasty and colourful. I think it adds alot of power to my images especially because of what I shoot.
The northern beach's of Sydney are a hub of surfing culture do you have a fav. place/ beach for taking photos?
The northern beaches is such a great place. There is a long stretch of beautiful beaches to choose from, but my favourite place to shoot I think I would have to say freshwater beach. It is the smallest beach on the northern beaches, but on a nice day it is just so beautiful and the water is crystal clear. There is a good right hander in the south corner that is pretty challenging but awesome to shoot. There is a cool spot on the cliff to shoot looking down from an aerial perspective and shooting underwater is just magical.
You photographs really capture the beauty of the ocean, how are you connected to the water? Do you surf?
I pretty much grew up in the water. Any chance I had that's where you would find me. I grew up in the Hawkesbury out west. My mum was a swimming coach and threw me in the water at 18 months. I was competing at the age of 2 and followed that path until I was 14. I took a break for a while from the water until I got into surfing at 18. Since then my whole life has changed and my career has been taken down a path I never thought I would have gone down. I mean I wasn't surrounded by surfing growing up so I never thought this was a career choice. But now I am doing it and loving it. I can't ever see myself doing anything else but shooting surf lifestyle images and capturing the beauty of the ocean and beach. I feel so comfortable and happy in the water. There is something so peaceful about it.
Any exciting projects on the horizon?
Well yes, funny you ask. I have recently just returned from a 2 week shoot in the maldives. It was a shoot for surf lifestyle book. We spent 2 weeks in the north and south atolls shooting a range of images. 10 hour days, lugging gear around islands, on and off of boats, in and out of housings getting sand every where. It was hard work but its always worth it! So that is is the mix now and I'll let you know when it comes out.
To see more fantastic photographs by Mikala Wilbow www.mikalawilbow.com