Aug 12th 2022

Teodora is a 26yr old Bulgarian-Canadian. She is a creative person at heart, and puts a lot of attention into every detail to produce aesthetically pleasing digital content. Currently, she is working as a social media manager, and as a freelance photographer on the side.

Her hopes and dreams are that one day photography will become her full time occupation. "I do believe in the notion that when your work is both your hobby and a passion it does not feel like working - and that’s my goal!"

Instagram: teodora.gran

Portfolio: teodoragran

girl holding drone remote as she walks into the ocean waves

How did you get into photography?

Art has always been a part of my life since I can remember. As a kid, I loved to draw and was particularly fond of creative subjects. At the age of 11-12, a very close friend of mine introduced me to her DSLR and to Photoshop. I'll never forget how impressed I was with the images she created and how intrigued I became when I heard about Photoshop's ability to change somebody's hair colour, which was enough to draw me in at that age.

So, I got my first Photoshop disc from my mom, and everyone said it's too complicated for me to use. In the years that followed, though, I mastered it through YouTube tutorials and self-study. As soon as I graduated from high school, I bought my first DSLR camera, and I've been building my gear collection ever since. As of recently, I got into drone photography and I'm honing my skills.

drone shot of norway rocks and the ocean

Where was your favorite place to shoot and why?

Norway is my all time favorite country to shoot in, and I was lucky enough to visit it recently. There were so many wonderful places I visited and the landscape was always changing. Not only that, but the weather was often surprising, which makes for some cool shots.

As a Bulgarian saying goes - there’s nothing better than bad weather. Especially true for landscape/drone photos, since the weather has a huge impact on the results - as changing weather always makes the light and the sky's colors gorgeous. There are always views to grab your attention in this country - the lush greenery and waterfalls make it a perfect place for photographers.

top down shot of person walking on the beach with white and blue waves

What’s the secret! Are there specific types of equipment for taking these kinds of photos?

Honestly, I've always said there's no secret, and that the equipment we use is just a tool to help us create better images and save time. I've noticed that people put so much emphasis on the gear that they use, or ought to use, but I'm only partly on board. It's important to have the right gear, but also to understand and know how to use it to your advantage.

However, the right gear won't be able to help if you don't have the talent, the eye for aesthetics, and the innate sense of what to capture, how to get your audience's attention, etc. That's what I've seen over and over again. Despite not being able to afford expensive cameras, the best camera is the one you've got with you (I've taken some amazing photos with my phone, and people have asked me which camera I used).

I guess, in a nutshell, good gear and talent make the best combination.

drone birds eye view of car driving along the beach

Where do you look for inspiration?

I've been getting inspired by other photographers and content creators on Instagram ever since I started my account. Observing and exploring other people's abilities and approaches is a great way to explore your own. The thing is, you can sometimes become oversaturated with online content, to the point where you lose your own personal style and blend in with the crowd.

As such, I think it is a good idea to follow other people's work moderately for inspiration. Besides that, I am inspired by new places, countries, beautiful light, and happy moments. As soon as I feel like there are no interesting things to shoot, I just grab my gear and head out to unknown spots, and I always find something that catches my attention.

drone shot of norway rocks and the ocean

What’s your favorite image you’ve captured?

This photo, of me standing on the rocky coast and the waves crashing around me, is one of my favorites. If the worst conditions produce the best results, are they really that bad? Here's how it went - I waited on that rock for about 40 minutes for the sun to shine just a little in extremely windy conditions. Then another 35min to take my shots and videos.

As I flew my drone, it struggled a lot with the strong gusts near the edge and I had no choice but to fly against the wind. No need to mention how scary that was. After that, my ears and head hurt like hell, and I was so cold. However, I hadn't noticed how cold it was as I was shooting. Yet I flew in 5 different coastal locations that day, in the worst weather I could have imagined, and I got the best shots of the season.

The verdict not only from this small experience but in life in general is that ‘’bad brings out the best’’ ♥︎

bright top down image of sand, waves and the ocean

Can you share some tips on how you shoot your images?

I'm trying to keep this tip in mind: always bring at least part of your gear when you go somewhere new. Numerous times, I've forgotten it at home and regretted it.

Here's tip #1- always pack your gear. For post processing, experiment as much as you can, and ask yourself before you start - What do I want the viewer to see first, what is the focus of my shot? - and emphasize that throughout the edit.

In my images, I always aim for one focal point and edit to make sure it stands out. And last but not least, I always try to follow the composition rules as they really make your subject pop.

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