March 9, 2021

Ep 24 – How Viktoria Haack, a Nikon & Lowepro Ambassador find balance in her photography to avoid burnout

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The Art of Photography
The Art of Photography
Ep 24 - How Viktoria Haack, a Nikon & Lowepro Ambassador find balance in her photography to avoid burnout

Hey Wicked Hunters, 

I’m excited to have Viktoria Haack, Nikon and Lowepro Ambassador to join us this week. Viktoria shared her story on how she decided not to niche down on her photography. She shared her humble beginning and how she progressed in her photography journey over the years. Viktoria shared her view and approach on the different photography genre and how she finds the balance to avoid burn out and keep her spark and passion in photography.

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Viktoria Haack  0:00  
You know, I don’t consider myself to be a landscape photographer or a wedding photographer. I just consider myself to be a photographer. So wherever I am, whatever I want to shoot I shoot

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  0:20  
Hey, weekenders Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast where we share our passion and how photography gives us hope, purpose and happiness. Today, I have someone very excited, exciting. And Victoria has been, you know, in the game for a while, and she is one of the world class photographer who is currently living here in Canada. I guess it’s still considered as Canadian Rockies. And you know, if you look at her photos, she goes from portrait all the way to landscape and her photos are absolutely amazing. So without further further ado, I’d like to welcome Victoria How’re you doing, Victoria? Hi, Sandy.

Viktoria Haack  1:02  
I’m good. Thank you so much for having me.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  1:05  
Oh, perfect. Well, yeah, thank you very much for joining us. I’m sure the listener will be, you know, very excited to listen to some of your story and some of your struggles. So first of all, give us a little bit introduction, you know, who is Victoria, and kind of give us a little bit of background, how you fell in love with photography in the first place. And why you decided to, you know, make it a full time thing.

Viktoria Haack  1:36  
Okay, so I’ve been doing photography, probably, well, I mean, I should probably start by saying I’ve always been interested in in the art, so I was going to be a fine artist. And I headed off to art college to do that to start with. And then I ended up doing an art history degree. And I studied more kind of anthropology and non western art. So that was kind of interesting. So I moved away from actually physically creating art for a while. I then ended up working for the National Trust in the UK, which is a big conservation charity. And I moved on to a tiny island with my husband, and this island was only 500 acres in size, and only about 10 minutes from the mainland. But we were fairly isolated, the boats would stop running at about 430 In the afternoon, and they didn’t run before, I think it was eight o’clock in the morning. So we were kind of stuck on this little island. And it was beautiful. It was a nature reserve. And it was really beautiful. But it was at that point that I picked my camera back up. I mean, there wasn’t, you know, you couldn’t kind of pop to the cafe or the pub or whatever at night. So really well, you know, it was fairly isolated in from that respect. So I picked my camera back up, and I had a dog and so I would walk the dog on the island, and I would just take my camera with me. And so I was seeing the same kind of views every day, but with a little bit of different light or a little bit of mist or things like that. So that’s kind of where I started with photography. And when I lived on the island, I had no one to really share what I was shooting with. So I, I started using online stuff. So I went online, and there was a a site called Deviant Art, which I used. And so I would upload my images. And I would get inspiration from the other photographers that I could see on that site. And I was very new to it. Also, I was kind of learning the craft by looking at their images, and then trying to figure out how they done stuff. And then sharing my images and, you know, getting some feedback from people. And so that’s kind of how it really started. And I guess I was lucky in that my first commercial client was the National Trust, who are a very large organisation in the UK, but because I worked for them, you know, it was a great, great step, they needed some images of the island, I had images. And so my first big client was this huge client. So that was pretty awesome as a start. And then we left the island after 10 years looking for a place that was kind of quiet. But and so that we could, you know, maybe go out for a meal in a restaurant or like go to the pub or something. But we still wanted it to not be you know, super busy and we love the landscape. And my brother lived in Canada at the time. And so we ended up moving to Canada. And we’ve been here ever since. So that was 13 years ago that we moved here. And then I continued you know, I was suddenly able to visit way more places so I could jump in the car, and you know, go shoot different stuff. I had more than 500 acres to shoot. And so you know, it was fantastic. And I continue to post my stuff on social media. I started using Facebook at the time. And then I think inevitably, you know, what happens is if you’re in a small community, people see your work and then you know They’ll think, oh, this person is a photographer, maybe they can photograph my kids or something. And so I ended up, you know, shooting, doing kind of family stuff. And it was terrible, you know, really scary, you know, shooting commercially and people paying me for stuff, they’d see my landscapes and then asked me to shoot that family. And I was like, Oh, okay. So I kind of fell into commercial work that way. And it just kind of escalated from there. So then I, you know, I shot my first wedding, which was kind of scary, but then, you know, I kind of got over that, and continued doing that. And, really, it’s just a story of living in a small community and shooting a lot of different things. Because I couldn’t be, there wouldn’t be an industry to support me as a food photographer, for example, in this tiny little town, so I needed to continue to shoot everything. And initially, my landscaping nature work didn’t really generate any kind of income, you know, I was just really shooting that for myself. And then gradually, that has come as well. So I’m pretty lucky that I can be a photographer who shoots many different things and can turn my eye in a lot of different directions and still make an income from all those different sources. So that’s kind of my story of how I got here. That’s amazing. So

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  6:13  
do you still shoot a wedding? Or you can put that, oh, wow, okay.

Viktoria Haack  6:19  
Still, my, my income is made of so many different kinds of small things. So I mean, I’m not making a load of money from one big thing. But my, my income comes from a number of smaller kind of sources. And I think the thing that I enjoy was, at one point, I was making, you know, quite a lot of money from wedding photography, but I felt kind of burnt out, I didn’t want to be shooting, you know, weddings all summer, and my daughter was growing up, and I was spending my summer editing. And so I thought, you know, okay, I’m just not going to do too much of that, I’m going to do a little bit of that. And so I’ve always tried to keep everything in some kind of a balance, so that I don’t get, you know, don’t get bored of shooting people’s weddings, and I don’t dread shooting the next wedding, I actually look forward to it, because I don’t do you know, so much of it. Like when again, when I was first doing kind of commercial people photography, I would get to kind of the end of the fall, which is big kind of family photo time. And I would just say I don’t want to see another smiling face, you know, just put take me to the mountains, I just want to get out of it. So I’ve tried to, and I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to kind of balance the different genres so that I can enjoy, you know, still continuing to shoot wedding photography, still doing family stuff, or whatever it is. But there’s a nice kind of a balance.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  7:36  
So that’s great to hear. Thanks for sharing that, you know, I myself love. I love so many things I like, you know, so many different genres of photography, and I find I struggle with that, like trying to find a balance. And that’s, you know exactly what you say I usually do one thing so much and now burnout and and move on to the next day and then go like, Oh, I missed the other thing is, yeah, it’s interesting that you share that. It’s it’s definitely, like a different type of photography really bring a different type of fulfilment, I suppose. To our soul. So yeah, very interesting. And so I see a lot of this work from you where it’s, it’s like a winter wonderland. Portrait, like a moral landscape that is complemented with a portrait not Not, not mainly a portrait, but like a landscape with a portrait. And, you know, those, those work are just so beautiful. I really love being able to have that fashion part of it with the landscape. What got you started into that? And, yeah, share us a little bit what got you into the story into that and why you started to do that.

Viktoria Haack  8:52  
I think because all the different genres of photography that I shoot crossover, I don’t see any kind of, you know, I don’t see any, you know, I don’t consider myself to be a landscape photographer, or a wedding photographer, I just consider myself to be a photographer. So wherever I am, whatever I want to shoot, I shoot. So if I’m shooting a landscape, and I think, oh, this might be cool to, you know, put a person in there and see what that looks like, then that’s what I do. Like, I just don’t feel that there are any, I don’t want to be bounded by any kind of, you know, I don’t want any boundaries on what I can shoot. So basically, if I’m in the landscape, and I happen to be hiking with a friend and you know, I think I maybe shoot the landscape and I think it’s missing something or it you know, how interesting would it be to put the human element in here and sometimes I will shoot those shots and they will never see the light of day and sometimes the shots with the human and the ones that I you know, prefer to share or maybe I share both, but it’s just another you know, facet of things that interests me and I could just be with my A dog might pop him into the shot just to see how that looks. So there’s, I really just have no, I think there’s just no there. And there’s also not an awful lot of pre planning, I’m usually just in the place, and I just do whatever feels like I want to do. Like, it’s as simple as that really

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  10:20  
awesome. And so I, you know, when I, when I think of, you know, landscape photography, or when I’m on the wearing the landscape photography, hat, usually I really focus about the landscape and the nature and stuff like that and totally forgot about, you know, adding human element on that. But when I see your work, it really creates something that is that is extra ordinary, you know, like something that’s really different. How do you how do you think that adding human to your to landscape help you with creativity and creating a more unique images?

Viktoria Haack  11:01  
Um, I mean, there are people that absolutely hate seeing the human element in the landscape. And I’m, I’m also one of those people too, sometimes, you know, I just don’t want to see I just want to see the landscape. I don’t know, I think it’s a difficult one. Yeah, I don’t know, I’ve kind of I’m kind of lost track of my thought now. But sorry, remind me again, what the question is,

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  11:29  
I was just, my question was just simply like, you know, do you think that it’s important for photographers, you know, like people like landscape photographers, to think about a different genre of photography, and try to incorporate that with, you know, what they love the most in photography, in order to create a unique type of photo, you know, we all know that photography is, can be saturated in a way. So Does, does that help you with your creativity and being able to create something that stands out?

Viktoria Haack  12:04  
I think so. I mean, I think we’re all so different, that I think that, you know, if you, I think you should I, my feeling is that you should just do whatever speaks to you, if it, you know, I don’t think that landscape photographers should necessarily put a human element into their landscape photography, if that’s not their thing, you know, but if they want to, then why should they not that, you know, I just think that it should be it’s an art form. And it’s, however, you want to express yourself in whatever medium and I think, just because you’re a landscape photographer, you shouldn’t feel that you shouldn’t do that thing, if you want to do that thing. But I think it should just be open, I think you should, you know, in the same way that I think that, you know, you don’t have to shoot the landscape with a wide angle lens, you can shoot it with a long lens, you can shoot details, you can shoot, you know, I don’t think there should be any rules, really, in that respect, I think, you know, it’s an art form, and you should be able to express yourself and shoot, you know, however you want to do it. And just for me, sometimes adding the human element adds something to certain images. And sometimes it probably doesn’t, and then I won’t use that shot, or maybe I do use that shot. And people are just like, why the heck did you put that? You know, sometimes maybe it doesn’t work? I don’t know. But I just, you know, sometimes it just adds maybe a little bit of scale or adds, you know, I think I posted a shot on my Instagram recently, it was a frozen waterfall, and I posted the shot without the human element and the shot with the human element, you know, and then there are those people that, you know, the majority of people on Instagram prefer the human element, but that just might be, you know, the people that were looking at that image, and for some people, they probably would just rather not see a person in there. So, you know, it’s so subjective. I’m not very good at giving you a clear answer on that one.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  13:50  
But that’s great. Yeah. So like, I guess what I get from that is, you know, not don’t be afraid to, to go outside your comfort zone and try to incorporate different things in your photography.

Viktoria Haack  14:03  
Yeah, I agree. And I think there is some, you know, I think sometimes if you’re labelled as a landscape photographer, you know, why should you not you know, but people that just are very keen, I think, sometimes to stay within their particular genre, because they think that it’s going to, if they shoot other stuff, or share other stuff, and I think the other thing that I’ve learned from a lot of photographers is that they do shoot a lot of different things, but they just don’t choose to share it, they choose to just share the thing that they want to be known for. And I mean, I don’t know whether that’s, you know, there there are schools of thought that that say that that’s definitely the way that you should go and that’s definitely what I always you know, learned was that you know, you should, you should have a niche, you should just shoot the one thing and be a specialist at that. But all I can say that is in my own personal experience. The opposite has worked for me I have kind of made more of a name for myself by being more of a generalist and shooting different things. Things that I have from just shooting the one thing, but I hope that people would still take me seriously in whichever genre I’m, you know, shooting, and that’s the thing. I don’t know, maybe I’m not considered to be a landscape in nature photographer by many people, because I shoot other stuff, too. I don’t know.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  15:19  
That’s fantastic. Yeah, I mean, you know, I know that there are a lot of photographers out there who enjoy just shooting and not, not being able to, I guess not, not not being able, but not being pressured to label themselves as a certain photographer would really, you know, take that weights off, you know, their shoulder, as, as you say earlier, there’s a lot of this notion of, you know, niching, down, niching down, and, you know, it might be true in a way but in some other way, if that takes away the happiness of shooting and taking photo, then I totally agree with you, you know, just do do take what you love. So really good advice there, thank you very much for sharing that. Sharing some, some of your struggle I know, you know, being a female in a male dominated photography, male dominated industry can be challenging, I would be guessing. So share some of your struggles, and maybe some of the stories on where you can where the listeners can find some inspiration and find some. What do you call it, like, someone to look up to, when it comes to photography and excelling in photography?

Viktoria Haack  16:41  
So I think, you know, when I was starting out, it was there were definitely more male kind of landscape and nature photographers that you would see, I don’t know that there are less women shooting, I just think that they were less visible. And, you know, this is something that I’ve really thought about a lot, I think, certainly there are more and more female, nature and landscape photographers becoming visible. And I think that’s the key is that people just need to see that there are people like them out there. And I think that, you know, it comes down to you know, the colour of your skin, and, you know, whatever it is, like, you need to see that there are people like you doing the thing that you love, because that helps you to feel that you you can succeed in that thing. So yeah, I mean, to be honest, like, I haven’t had huge struggles, I don’t think as a as a woman, just Well, I don’t know, maybe I just maybe I just don’t notice stuff. But I think the main thing has just been the lack of visibility of women out there. And I think that’s certainly changing these days, you’re seeing a lot more women. And, and I think a lot, there are more different styles of kind of nature and landscape photography that we’re seeing as well, because I know, you know, at one point, I was using a kind of 500 px as an example of as a, an online sharing platform, and you would see very similar styles of photography all the time, you know, very much the wide angle, excuse me, landscape. And I think, you know, things, I’m certainly seeing a change in what I’m viewing on social media, I’m seeing, you know, different styles of nature and landscape photography, which is a real kind of breath of fresh air, I just think anything that opens the doors and allows people to express themselves and not feel that this is the only way or this is, this is the only way to be popular, if that’s what they want. You know, it’s just nice to see, as with everything in life, a diversity of, you know, people and of styles. And, you know, that’s, that’s yeah, I’m not sure if I went off track again, there.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  18:51  
It’s very interesting that you mentioned that actually, because I never really considered that. But yeah, like, it’s very interesting that, to think that, you know, it might not necessarily there are less female photographers, but maybe just less female photographers that are more vocal about it, that there wasn’t as much back then. So that’s very interesting point of view.

Viktoria Haack  19:14  
So sorry, just to interrupt, but I do own workshops and things, you know, the the number of women, there’s loads of women up there, and when I’m out, you know, in the back country and stuff, but there’s not more men than women, and there’s, you know, just as many women with cameras and stuff, they’re out there doing it, but for some reason they’ve just not been as visible I think, you know, that’s that’s the thing. There’s definitely a lot of women out there doing it. Sorry.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  19:39  
Yeah, no, that’s perfect. And so is that I guess, you know, like being a male like we all like to we all have that dominant you know, nature on our cell phone, that self centeredness you’re gonna get there. Well, there’s the female subtypes are a little bit more mode is about there. But they are about themselves. So would you encourage? What would what would you encourage other female photographers to get out there and to be to share more of their work? You know, to be seen more of, in this world of photography.

Viktoria Haack  20:15  
So you say, what? How would I encourage them to? Yeah, what what I think sometimes, as well, with female photographers, they tend to be just for my, the experience that I’ve had, and I could be wrong with this, but I see a kind of an intuitiveness, about female photographers, often it’s less, they tend to be less technical, and more kind of intuitive, intuitive. And so sometimes when they’re placed in a situation with, you know, guys who are maybe talking or kind of techie terms, it can be a bit a bit intimidating, or it’s just not the way that their brain and I’m not might be making sweeping statements here, I’m not sure. But I know, I’ve been in situations where, you know, I’ve been sitting with, you know, some some guys chatting about landscape photography, and there tends to be a very kind of technical bias to that kind of talk. And sometimes I feel a little lost, but you know, I can look at I know my staff, but it’s, it’s an intuitive kind of, I can’t necessarily put the right word to it, but it’s more of an intuitive thing. And I think for some women, because that there were a lot of men that were very visible in the landscape field and running the workshops, and that kind of stuff, the thought of going on one of those workshops where maybe you the technical side would be would be just kept, you know, sort of talked about in terms that weren’t as, as, as easy for you to connect to. Maybe that has been something that women have found difficult. But, you know, I hope I’m not making massive sweeping statements here about the sexes, but and there are lots of women who are really technically savvy, I’m not one of those women, but for different, I should really be talking from my own point of view, but certainly for me, I’m not that technical. So that kind of stuff I find a little bit intimidating. And so I could see maybe some other women might feel the same. I don’t know.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  22:12  
Interesting, thanks for sharing that point of view. I’ve never really again, it’s something that I never really think about. And yeah, that’s very interesting to think about, you know, whether how we approach it as, as a human in terms of photography, so I’m really get technical about the gears and the settings. And I know that there is a lot of people who really care a lot about, like, what the settings is, well as like, you know, like, for example, for me, like if you if you ask me, it’s like, what setting you shoot is like, I’m not sure I just put it on the aperture priority mode. And, you know, if you set your priority, right, the, the photo will turn out, right. So that’s, I can totally relate to that. And that’s, I think that’s not only in, you know, fail in mail kind of separation, but just like in personality separation, I can definitely see that. Because, like, when I when I see people talking about it’s like, oh, yeah, this is the settings, I get switched off as well. It’s like, you know, like, it’s just a number guys. So, yeah, I’m glad that you share that. It’s something that I’ve never really think about. And I guess when you know, when you do like a workshop, a lot of workshop like yourself, it’s important to understand that point of view so that you can relate to different people at their own level. So perfect. Yeah.

Viktoria Haack  23:35  
Sorry, carry on.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  23:38  
So, share share with us. One of your favourite story in photography, or your favourite moment in photography, where you, you know, where you capture a certain photo and it’s just maybe one of your favourite or one of your memorable because of the condition that you had to capture those photos.

Viktoria Haack  24:00  
I’m just trying to think of one I guess one of my, one of my favourite images would be one that I shot. I think it was not this last fall but the fall before and I just headed out with a friend. And we had some kind of Misty conditions but no sun coming through. So it’s very kind of dull and and sort of overcast but some some some quite nice poor frost and mist, but just waiting for the light to come. And we will just buy a lake and we had suddenly had about 10 minutes of this beautiful the light just broke through the clouds. And we just had these beautiful light rays and just this intense, beautiful life for just a short sliver of time and then disappeared again. But I get I think it’s moments like that for me like just these, you know when you’re in nature and especially when you go out as regularly as I do and, you know, quite often conditions are not not optimal for the for the kind of, I don’t know, and this is the other, we’re going off point here in my mind because you know there are, you can say that conditions are not optimal for landscape photography, but really any conditions can be great for landscape photography, you just have to go out. But when you do hit those golden moments when you know the light does something beautiful and you happen to be in the right spot, and you know, you can shoot it, it kind of, it really helps with those many days when you head out with your camera. And you know, you don’t get that kind of situation. And you know, you can be shooting all sorts of things you can be shooting puddles with, you know, frozen puddles, or leaves, or you know, there’s so many different things you can shoot, but it is really nice when nature delivers those amazing moments and you happen to be there, especially when you go out as regularly as I do, and that doesn’t happen. So it is nice when it does. But yeah, I guess that would be one moment. Interesting.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  25:55  
And, you know, I’m glad that you mentioned that because I think as, as photographers, we really get fixated on that perfect, perfect moments, I’d say in quotation marks. The audience might not necessarily be able to see that, but I’m doing this quotation mark, get jester here. Yeah, that perfect moment. And I love how you share that. You know, like, it’s not always about that perfect moment. One thing that I want to, I want to get your take on is, you know, especially like you do like weddings as well. What, what can you do when, when the condition doesn’t turn out the way you like it, like, you know, or the way you expect it, I should say, because, you know, as a photographer, whatever photoshoot we we plan to do, usually we have this expectation of, you know, the lights going to be like this, and the sun’s gonna be you know, at a certain angle or whatever it may be, you know, but what, what can you do? And what what do you do when the condition can I just say it’s like, you know, what I’m getting give you the whole total expectation from from what you had in mind.

Viktoria Haack  27:07  
I think it’s two, it’s kind of different when I’m shooting portrait stuff to landscape stuff. But as an example of a landscape situation, I was heading into the back country in the footage last fall with it with a couple of friends and the forest fires were really raging down in the US and the smoke was really bad coming up into Canada. And, you know, you could you could barely see anything like you couldn’t see the mountains, you couldn’t, you know, it’s like, do we go like, we can’t even see the mountains. And then of course, you’ve got the issue of actually hiking in those smoky conditions. And you know, how much you breathing in, and is it worth doing this, and I know, loads of people, because that particular hike that we were booked onto, we’d had real problems getting onto it, it was very popular. And so loads of people had cancelled that trip, and maybe partly because of the actual physical problems they might encounter with hiking in the smoke. But I that trip produced some of the most, some of the images that I loved the best last year, that hazy smoke, added this amazing atmosphere to the shots. They’re some of my favourite images. And I think, you know, if I’d have actually looked at, you know, I did look at the forecast. And if I’d have gone by that and thought, well, you know, I won’t see the mountains, and you know, it, I think, you know, sometimes those adverse conditions can produce the most beautiful and unexpected things. And I think that can be the issue with projecting forward what you want to capture rather than just being I mean, I think, you know, we all do that to some extent. And I certainly, if I’m going to a place, I will look at images of that area, just to get some idea of what I might see and that kind of stuff, and you see certain conditions, and you’re just like, Oh, I really want that I really want those conditions. But I think if you just go with an open mind and adapt to whatever is provided, sometimes those adverse conditions can produce the most beautiful and unexpected results, but you just have to adapt to the environment and not be fixated on Well, I was going to get that shot with that tree and that mountain and it doesn’t work because of this and so I can’t shoot it you just arrive and then just see what is presenting itself to you and shoot it that way. And then I think with the portrait stuff, you know, again, I’m when I shoot, when I shoot portrait stuff for me, the environment, again is really important. So I’m often looking at weather forecasts and you know, trying to predict whether if there’s sun, what direction will it be in so you know, where am I going to position my client or whatever. So it’s a slightly different situation, but whatever happens, you know, if you’re booked to shoot at that time, then you have to just go with the conditions that are available and adapt. And, you know, for example, if it’s a super bright sunny day, you know, then maybe move your subject into the shade. You’d or you know, there’s loads of different things you can do. But it’s slightly different, I think, with portraiture and I mean, I’ve got a shoot coming up tomorrow. And I need to look at the weather forecast. So I will start by, you know, it’s a portrait shoot, I will start by looking at the weather forecast and trying to figure out what the light might be might be doing. So then I can decide on what kind of location but at the end of the day, it could all be totally different. So I’m just gonna have to kind of plan according to that, and then just go with whatever I’m provided with, and try and make the best of it and move things around to just make use of the conditions. And quite often, you go into a shoot with the idea of maybe the thing that you want to get, but quite often, you’ll come up with something entirely different, but it could be better. So I just think Don’t be disappointed if you can’t capture the thing that you envisioned. You can have that kind of idea, but maybe something even better will happen. So yeah,

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  30:56  
awesome. Yeah, I think one that one word that I really like what you just mentioned, you know, within that, within what you shared earlier, is that that open mind, like approach it with an open mind. And I think that’s a really, really strong word, when it comes to photography, because I know I had done this in the past, where I go come to a location, the condition doesn’t look great. And then I would just go home. But over time, like you say, like, you know, sometimes it’s unexpected, unexpected things would happen. And if you don’t, if you don’t approach photography, with an open mind, I probably would miss a lot of those moments for sure. Because, you know, we just go like, okay, not great, let’s go home. But if you approach it with an open mind, you could look past that and look at different things around the area. So yeah, that’s a really good advice that you have, they’re fantastic. And so, do you have a source of inspiration that you usually go to when it feels like, you know, when you feel uninspired, or when you feel like, you know, like, when you don’t feel like taking photos, and your photo is just like repetition or, you know, boring and so forth? How would you find? And how would you get out of that mindset and try to find that spark, again, and that creativity within yourself to create a photo that you can be excited again,

Viktoria Haack  32:25  
I think, you know, I spend quite a lot of time looking at the work of other photographers, and, you know, kind of going down rabbit holes on different social media platforms, and, you know, looking at people’s websites and that kind of stuff. And so yeah, I just find looking at other people’s art, you know, if I’m struggling, you know, I know, with the pandemic, and people not being able to travel, I’ve been become a lot more interested in the smaller scenes, which I was interested in back when I started photography, but that stuff kind of went by the wayside a little bit. And so looking at the way that, you know, certain people are shooting, you know, kind of smaller scenes and stuff, that gives me inspiration. And so, you know, I’ll head out with my dog with no plan to shoot anything, but just take my camera. And then as I’m moving around in the forest, and the light does something or I see something, you know, sometimes in the back of my mind, I’ll come back to some of those images that I’ve seen, and I’ve been maybe looking at recently and they will help to inspire me or help me to think about how I would approach shooting that certain subject. So I think, you know, looking at other people’s work is is for me, that’s one of the you know, and I think you know, not just looking at one person you never want to to just copy somebody but just taking inspiration from a number of different photographers is probably how I do and artists as well and sometimes reading stuff or watching a movie can trigger something you know, you can be watching a movie and then there’s some kind of like, you know, if you’re into portrait photography and you watch Blade Runner or something like that, you know there’s a certain feel to that movie. And that can can help me to feel inspired about maybe doing some kind of a shoot with that kind of a feel or so yeah, just being open to kind of and the same with music you know, music can can kind of make me feel creative as well. So yeah, a number of different ways. But I think for me, I just you know, I have to just go out as well so look at stuff you know, look at stuff in books or on the screens or whatever, but then I have to actually go out there’s no point in me just sitting here thinking about well if I do this, you know, I’ve just I’ve just need to get out there and actually, you know, maybe not go out there with the intention of shooting but have my camera with me and then that everything kind of comes into play the images that I’ve seen will you know they’ll still be in my mind and that kind of stuff.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  34:50  
Awesome. Yeah, that’s a it’s really interesting with the music, something that I’ve never really considered but yeah, you’re right because like with the music, you get this stuff. From feeling and you know, when you have different feeling you approach things differently, never really done that, but definitely something that I would try now. That’s very interesting advice there. Now with, with the, you know, photography being, we can call it saturated being so popular, right? How do you stand out amongst all of these photographers? You know, for, for those listeners who can just start it and in their journey in, in their photography journey, what kind of advice would you would you give them to be able to stand out from other photographers

Viktoria Haack  35:43  
out there? I think the key thing is to not try to adapt yourself to what you think that you should be or, you know, I think you need to really hold on to the thing that’s important to you. So for example, you know, if you, I don’t know, if you if you’re stuck at home with your kids, you know, and and photographing your kids in a certain way is the thing that really speaks to you. There’s no point in trying to be I don’t know, I think really, whatever’s really interests, you don’t shoot stuff that doesn’t interest you. Because there’s no point there’ll be no soul in it. So she, what, what means something to you, and what interests you and, and stick with it, and you can listen to advice from people and take little snippets of it. But ultimately, I think, listening to your own gut feeling about what speaks to you, and what works for you, is certainly what I’ve done. You know, I mean, like I said earlier, so many people said, Oh, you need you need to specialise, you need to be this, you need to be that. And I just thought, well, you know, I don’t want to, like I want to, if I want to shoot that, I want to shoot that. And so I’m going to do it. And I might, you might know that if you put it out there, if you’re engaging stuff by some of your social media, you know, you’re gonna have people that will be like, Oh, I didn’t want to see that. And maybe they’ll unfollow you, but that’s okay. With me. I’m just like, Okay, well, that’s okay. You know, if you don’t, if you don’t want to stick around for those kind of images, then you know, by that’s okay. Like, I’ll still continue to, to shoot what, what interests me and I think that’s the key for people. You know, just really stick with what resonates, resonates for you. And then ultimately, you know, hopefully, your own vision will bring you above the crowd. And you’ll kind of, hopefully, if you want to get noticed, I don’t know, but you’ll certainly feel more fulfilled if that’s, you know, if you’re not in it for the for the money or you’re not in it for the social media, then you’ll certainly feel more fulfilled if you do it for yourself as well.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  37:48  
Awesome. Yeah, that’s, I think that’s something that’s really important for I mean, in photography, anyway, I know that I have kind of fall down that mistake before where, you know, I cannot take away my love for photography, trying to confirm conform with what other people like. So really, I think that’s really important in photography or in, in sustaining your love for photography in the longer term. Yeah, really. And so, having said that, you know, like when you kind of shift from, for those listeners who kind of want to shift from just being a hobby and try to make a living out of their passion, whether they want to do it as a full time or a part time, what are some of the advice can you can you give them, you know, based on your journey,

Viktoria Haack  38:42  
um, it’s gonna be so different for every single photographer, it’s really hard to know, I think, just, I think always trying to be sort of true to yourself. And, you know, whether you’re trying to make money or not people, if, you know, people tend to buy from people that they like, as well. So, you know, if you’re, if you’re going to spend an hour shooting with someone, they kind of, you know, they want to like you as well, so, I don’t know, it’s a tough one, but be true to yourself, don’t be an asshole, like try and be a nice person. And, you know, I think that kind of pays off really, like you know, just be a nice person, be somebody who responds to people that that inquires of things with you be be someone who hopefully is generally likeable. And then they might want to do business with you. And it’s not really a photography. It’s not too much about the imagery but more about just the kind of person that you are. I think

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  39:49  
that’s, that’s really interesting. I mean, you know, when you think about it, it’s very true. You know, like, nowadays people with with the social media, we feel like it feels sometimes it feels like it’s more distance, right with with, with, with this human interaction. So I think that’s a really good advice, being able to being able to be a person and be personable will actually give you a competitive advantage. Yeah, that’s a really good advice.

Viktoria Haack  40:19  
I think so. And I think, you know, like, if you’re, if you’re physically shooting somebody, so for example, if you’re shooting somebody, somebody’s wedding and you’re with them for 12 to 14 hours, you know, you need to not be need to be a reasonable person, you need to be somebody that they want to be with for that amount of time. But But again, you know, coming back to social media stuff and social media interactions as well, you know, if people interact with you, and you don’t bother to even say, Thanks, or, you know, how did they feel about that? How does that make them feel if they take the time to say something about your image, and you just put it out there, and you’re just like, well, here’s my stuff, and you can like it, you know, like, it’s, it’s, I feel that, you know, for me, social media is, like a global, it’s like, word of mouth, but on a huge scale. So it’s like, if you’re trying to build those clients by word of mouth, in your city or your town, social media is that same thing, like you’re building clients, potentially, but on a global scale. So if you interact with them the way that you would a person, I, that’s how I look at it. So you know, I feel that if somebody messages me, unless it’s, you know, just a spam thing, then I will do my utmost to respond to that. And the same with people making comments about my posts, or whatever. And even, you know, people that may say stuff that you don’t want to hear, you know, they may not say the most complimentary thing, but again, I think thinking about how you deal with that, and not just like losing your shit, and just like that, and then have it, you know, like, think about how you’re going to respond to that, because, you know, you this is these are potentially your clients as well. So, yeah, I may have gone off track there. I’m sorry, if I did.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  42:02  
The thing you’re really spot on now, um, you know, I mean, like, I know that as with the social media, it’s true. Sometimes it feels like you’re, you’re talking to a robot, right? You know, some, some, some people doesn’t reply, you know, and kind of go like, okay. It’s like, it’s like, well, thanks. I’m talking to the wall. It’s literally it feels like that isn’t the I know, it’s the social media, but it literally feels like that, like, you know, if you’re talking to somebody in a cafe, and he or she doesn’t reply to you, that’s literally what it feels like. But yeah, it’s, it’s really interesting. Because you because like, you don’t see the expiration, so you don’t really kind of you don’t really think of that sometimes, but when when you think about it, it’s literally feels like you’re talking to a wall when you don’t reply to someone else.

Viktoria Haack  42:55  
Yeah, totally. I mean, every person that puts a comment out there is a person. Yeah, like, so if you can attach the person to the comment, and respond to them in that way. You know, it would be the same as like walking down the street and someone says to you, that’s a really nice coat you’re wearing and you’re just like, do you say nothing? When you say, well, thanks. And it’s hard to you know, if you do have, you know, if you are busy on social media, it’s not always easy to keep up with all of that stuff. And maybe you can’t always be, you know, 100% responsive, but I think that it goes a long way to let you know, if you let people know that they have been hurt, even if you can’t necessarily respond, because you’re really busy. You know, like the these we’re all humans out there. So I think you need to interact with people in that way.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  43:45  
Oh, that’s amazing. Definitely. You just changed the way I think about social media for sure. You know, like, like, I know, like, it’s, it’s always in my in my mind that you know, there’s it’s a person behind that that account, but when you put it that way, it’s really different. Like, you know, think think of it like, like you say when you’re taught when you when somebody gives you a compliment on your colour, it’s yeah, it’s totally like true. Like, wow, it’s just I had, sorry, I just have a big aha moment. Just like wow, that’s, that’s amazing. Awesome. Well, thanks a lot for sharing that. Victoria. I’m just coming on onto our one hour mark here. So one question that I always ask the guests that come here is what advice like if you were to give one advice to other photographers out there, it can be anything? What would what would that advice be?

Viktoria Haack  44:43  
That’s a tough one. I don’t know. I think, I think I think probably the advice I would give is, just remember why you picked up your camera. You know, whatever you’re doing. Remember about why you picked it up. So if you, you know, if it’s your business and you’re trying to make money out of it or whatever, just remember why you pick the camera up and come back to that at some point because we can get lost in all the different things that we’re trying to achieve. But what was it that that that took us to picking up the camera? And how did we? Why did we continue with it? Why did we pick it up? Why did we shoot? Why did we keep shooting? So what what was it about it that made you want to carry on to start with, even if you may have lost that now? Probably that’s,

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  45:32  
that’s that’s a really good advice. You know, like, back in 2020. I like at the end of the 2020. I had a photography Bernau. And it was, it was something that I never thought I would ever have. Because I love photography, too, so much. But yeah, like at the end of it, I did exactly what you say. We’re just like, try to remember what I love about it and stop putting expectation for for myself when I go out and shooting. And yeah, I think I think that’s a really important advice, too, you know, that you just gave out there. So thanks for sharing that. Well, Victoria, it’s been a pleasure, I had so much aha moments, they own that conversation. I love them all the wisdom and the advice that you shared with not only me, but also the listeners out there. And hopefully, you know, the listeners out there can relate to some of those, some of those advice and some of those stories that you gave out and make a difference in not only their in their photography, but also in their life. So yeah, thanks a lot for that. So I know you have a beautiful collection of photos. How can the listeners find or, you know, get to know you better and see more of your photos.

Viktoria Haack  46:46  
I’ve got a website. So if you want to head to my website, it’s Victoria heart The spelling of my name is very strange and difficult. So

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  46:56  
I’ll put it under description. No worries at all.

Viktoria Haack  47:00  
I’ve got a website. I’m on Instagram, at Victoria Hawk, and I’m on Facebook, Victoria Hart photography as well. So yeah, come say hi, I will always do my best to say hi, back.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  47:12  
Oh, fantastic. Oh, thanks a lot for for that. Thanks a lot for being here. And we really enjoy it. Well, I really enjoy that conversation. And I’m sure the listeners do too. There’s so many things that I have learned. And I’m sure you will reach a lot of the audience in there and bring some inspiration to them. So thanks for being here. And I really appreciate your time, to the time that you spare to share all of this experience that you had.

Viktoria Haack  47:43  
Thank you so much, Stanley, I really appreciate you inviting me Thank you.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  47:46  
Well, weekenders there you have it is absolutely beautiful advice is there, some that I definitely, you know, some point of view that I never really have in my, in my mind or in my experience before and it’s definitely something that I that will change how I approach photography and also how I approach sharing my photography. So I’m really glad that we had this conversation. Just let us know and hit that hit. Hit that like button and subscribe to the podcast if you enjoy it. Don’t forget to have a look at Victoria’s work. It is absolutely stunning. And as she shares in this in this podcast, he have a really wide range of photography collection and they all beautiful, so highly recommend to say hi, visit her or visit her on her Instagram and Facebook. And yeah, just like Victoria says you always try to reply to everyone. So don’t hesitate to give her a nudge and say hi. Well thank you very much for being here. And I’ll see you guys next week.



The Wicked Hunt by Stanley Aryanto Copyright 2020 All rights reserved.