With the fast-paced advancement of technology came all sorts of innovations in the field of photography, from lighter and faster professional cameras to wide-angle 12 megapixel smart phone cameras. Because of this, finding the right camera can get confusing, but Shaira Luna reminds us, “It really just depends on your purpose.”
We sat down with the child-genius-turned-photographer at the launch of Fujifilm’s X-E3 and SHARE SP-3 to learn more about choosing cameras and getting out of your comfort zone.
Smart phone photography is very popular now because of the improvements of cellphone cameras as well as widespread use of social media. What are your thoughts on this?
I think it’s just a change of time. Whatever tool you can use to make the image in your head come to life or to capture it as quickly as you can, by all means, go for it. You’d be surprised—there are some campaigns that are required to be shot with smart phones for instant uploading. In the end, it really depends on your purpose. What’s important is the image first before you think of the equipment.
What was your first camera?
My first camera was a point and shoot, which I got when I was 16. It actually took me six years before I bought my own equipment. When I dropped out of college, I needed something to get my mind off not going to school. During this time, I’d creep out of the house at night, watch bands, take their photos using my point and shoot, then creep back into the house. It just started out as a hobby. I’d take on anything I could shoot, like birthdays and events, then eventually I shot portraits, products, and food. Then I tried out travel, lifestyle, and PR photography.
Your photos are nostalgic. Is there a certain time period that you’re attached to?
I like browsing through old records, old covers, old photos, anything that’s not from today. I’ve done most shoots inspired by most eras. I think it’s just fun because I have to look for clothes and cast directly so we can get the hair and clothes right. One of my first personal shoots back in 2012 was Victorian.
Would you say that this is your comfort zone?
No, I don’t think so. While it’s bad if you’re too stressed out by something, I think it’s also bad if you’re not a little nervous and you’re 100 percent comfortable. I’m always on my toes, and I still research before every shoot. I research about the venue, so I know what equipment to use, and about the subject if it’s a profile shot.
What was one shoot you were particularly nervous about?
I went to Sydney alone for a photoshoot. It was really nerve-wracking because I’ve never been there, and I didn’t know how to deal with people, but it turned out pretty well. In terms of clients, I’m always nervous. I just don’t let it show, because when you’re shooting, you can’t let the subject feel like you’re not comfortable. I put them in their comfort zone, but it doesn’t mean I have to be comfortable.
What’s your dream shoot?
Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine! If I had the chance to shoot her, I’d just shut down. I even have a tattoo of her. I love her so much, so I’d go all the way. I’ll swap her my vintage clothes and raid her apartment in London. Aside from this, I don’t really have a dream shoot. I’d shoot anything.
Tips for aspiring photographers?
Always have your camera with you. When I was starting, I’d even sleep next to my camera. That’s how paranoid I was about losing it. Also, just keep feeding your imagination. Don’t pressure yourself to think that your photos have to look like what you see on IG. Don’t limit yourself to what you see on your feed.
CHECK OUT SHAIRA LUNA’S WORK ON INSTAGRAM AT @SHAIRLUNA AND @SHAIRALUNA_MANILA. FUJIFILM RECENTLY LAUNCHED ITS X-E3 FOR CREATIVES LIKE SHAIRA. IT IS A RANGEFINDER STYLE, MIRRORLESS AND ULTRA-COMPACT CAMERA THAT IS GREAT FOR PROS. ON THE OTHER HAND, SMART PHONE USERS CAN USE THE SHARE SP-3 TO PRINT PHOTS ON INSTAX FILM. YOU CAN ALSO CHECK OUT THE SQ10, WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO EDIT YOUR PHOTOS BEFORE PRINTING. VISIT FUJIFILMPH.COM AND INSTAX.PH FOR MORE INFORMATION.