Choosing a career is already difficult on its own. Finding something that also fulfills you on the inside is even more difficult. Photographer Aia Solis is blessed enough to hit that balance between finding a career and pursuing her passion. In this interview, she shares with us what she thinks is the role of women in photography, what makes her tick and the story about how she took a leap of faith. Let her honesty and beautiful images inspire you today.
Hello, Aia and welcome to the Online Magazine! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi! I’m Aia. I’m a registered nurse turned full-time freelance photographer. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2012.
How did you get into photography? What's your favorite thing about it?
I got into photography when I was on my fourth year of high school. I started out with our family’s first digital camera (a purple Canon Ixus), taking pictures of everything. On my 18th birthday, instead of having a party, I asked for an entry-level DSLR. That is when I really started to get to know photography better. I joined photography groups, forums, and tagged along photo walks and portrait sessions.
I was a part-time nurse when I started shooting weddings with my then boyfriend. Our studio went on for three years. I quit my nursing job a few months before we parted ways. I was lost! I wasn’t able to save up for my own camera, which was one of my biggest mistakes. I decided that I wanted to pursue photography no matter what, and that’s when I found The Picture Company. That’s where I learned basic lighting and honed my skills in portrait photography. I eventually took a leap of faith and went on doing freelance work full-time when I saved up for my very first full frame camera.
My favorite thing about photography is how it helps me express things I could not say in words, cause I'm never good with words.
As a photographer, what are the things that you look for before you take a photograph?
I guess not really looking for but more like the first thing that catches my attention would be the light, the lines and patterns, and how it falls onto the subject/s.
The world we're currently living in has a healthy mix of analogue and digital influences. How do you feel about them? What do you like about both analogue and digital photography?
I love analogue photography. I have always had a thing for the intricacy of its process and how it makes me feel really in touch with my photograph. Digital photography makes processing of images a lot easier, so for me, it is a necessity.
Going forward, we love the way you capture mood and show your style with your film photographs. What's your favorite film and camera? Why?
If I had the luxury to choose any film, I would always shoot with positive films. Hahaha!
Portra 160 and 400 and Pro 400H for portraits.
For black and white, I love Kodak Tri-X for its grains and contrast!
And Ultrafine Xtreme 400 because it’s very affordable.
As of the moment, my favorite camera to use is my Mamiya 645e and my Seagull 4b. I am still wishing for a reliable point-and-shoot! Something that I can work with on the streets without looking intimidating.
Your wedding photography is also something people shouldn't miss out on. It has that tasteful balance between creativity and emotion. How did you discover that you wanted to pursue that area of photography?
We can say that I am a hopeless romantic! I love love.
What's the most challenging part of covering weddings? What's your go-to focal length to capture the beautiful moments in between the shoot?
Right now, I only have a Sigma 35 art and a Samyang 85 mm which is a manual lens. Still saving up for a 135 and a 16-35. The most challenging part of covering a wedding is meeting your client’s expectations.
Do you believe that the quality of your gear dictates the quality of your content? Why?
Nope. Not at all. But it will definitely make it easier for you to produce your vision if you have better gears. A great photograph or body of work for me will not only be visually satisfying, but it'll also make you feel something as well.
As a photographer, what would you like to say with your images?
I just want to express how I feel and how I perceive things mostly. I want it to be felt.
Does being a woman in the field of photography pose problems or challenges? If yes, how did you overcome them?
My height pose problems and challenges more than my gender. Haha! I actually feel like it’s an advantage in this field.
What do you think is the role of women in photography in this day and age?
To show a different side of the story. To bring to light issues that mostly affect women.
What inspires you in your work? Who are the other women in photography that you look up to?
If we’re being totally honest, my rent and bills motivate me to work extra hard! Hahaha! My ultimate favorite is Francesca Woodman; I identify with her photographs so much. I love Elizabeth Messina's weddings in analogue. Hannah Reyes Morales, Carolina Maez, and Vivian Maier, to name a few.
Who is Aia Solis when she's not taking photographs?
A slacker. A sad, angry, uninspired, lifeless slacker! Hahaha!
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
I probably pursued my nursing. An ER nurse.
What does a perfect day look like for you?
Sand on my toes, the sea as my view, a bottle of cold beer on my hand and a smoke on the other, and the speakers on full blast.
Any last words for our readers?
We would like to thank Aia for letting us feature her images in the Magazine. If you're interested in her work, give her a follow on Instagram.