Interview with Animaras | GBPW Episode 123

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One thing that I like to say to all street photographers is this: try, and don’t be afraid of strangers. I started out street photography thinking that someone’s going to get mad or annoyed at me. But it doesn’t happen most of the time.


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Want to take meaningful and eye-catching self-portraits? Check out our Self-Portrait Photography Indoors On A Budget course. You’ll find over 30 video lessons and challenges that will help you take stunning photographs of yourself.

In this episode, I speak with Sara, also known as Animaras. Sara is a hobbyist photographer from Malaysia who specialises in street and human interest photography. After she realised that she preferred having photography as a hobby, she enjoyed taking photos more. Sara’s background as a photographer is proof that everyone’s journey is unique and full of pleasant surprises.

We talk about:
– The joys of being a hobbyist photographer
– How to master street photography
– Why Sara downgraded her camera equipment
& much more!

Professional photography doesn’t have to be your end goal if it doesn’t feel right. As a hobbyist, you might find more freedom and creativity during your photoshoots. There’s no right or wrong answer in photography. If you’re curious about the life of a hobbyist photographer, make sure to listen to this episode today!

Here is a preview of our conversation with Animaras.

Q: Would you ever consider having a professional photography career?

Animaras: Actually I tried pursuing it professionally, but it didn’t fit with my soul. When I don’t shoot professionally, I can see things more clearly. The pressure is not there. You’re actually looking at it differently than if you had to do it for money.

For me, when I don’t have any burdens or pressure, I can shoot whatever I like. I just take the photo and that’s it. “Okay, this must be delivered to someone.” I don’t like that kind of pressure. That’s why I became a hobbyist. I stay in my lane.

Q: What was it like to downgrade your gear?

Animaras: I picked up a Sony A6000 in 2015. I used it a lot. The Sony A6000 was a wonderful tool for me to learn photography, because it’s compact and very easy to bring out. I paired it with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. It’s such a sharp lens and it’s very good for environmental portraits. It’s wide enough, but it also has a separation because of the aperture. I learned a lot of things from the Sony A6000. I experimented with it and used it for my videos.

Then I transitioned to a Sony a7 II camera. I don’t even know why I jumped to a full-frame camera because I didn’t have any opportunities to use it at all. I downgraded because I felt like I didn’t I need a lot of gear or lenses. That’s why I choose the Leica Q2. It’s very compact and it comes with one lens.

Q: After downgrading, did you find yourself taking more photographs?

Animaras: Yes, definitely. I bring this camera with me more than my previous cameras. Before, when I wanted to go out with one camera and one lens, I would feel the opportunity cost losses. I’d think, “Oh, I didn’t bring my long lens.” Things like that.

With this camera, I just bring it with me and shoot anything that I consider interesting. I take it as an opportunity to take more photos out there. I definitely take more photos with this camera than with my Sony A6000 or A7 II.

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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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