An Interview with Montreal-based Photographer Erik Barabas
At Shutterstock Custom, we’re honoured to host a large network of photographers spread across the world. We’re also very fortunate to have photographers across Canada, such as Erik Barabas, a photographer originally from Romania, currently living in beautiful Montreal. Today, we’re feeling quite delighted to learn more about Erik’s photography style, how he manages his photography workload with a 9-5, and how he structures his life creatively. Here are a few words shared with photographer and Shutterstock Custom contributor Erik Barabas.
Photographer: Erik Barabas
Location: Montreal, Canada
Erik, We’re excited to learn more about you! Please tell us about yourself.
I am 26 years old currently working full time in finance and doing photography part-time. I was born in Romania and spent half of my life there and the other half in Montreal. I think that kind of influenced my photography in a way and seeing certain things differently just because of the various experiences I had. Besides that, I'm someone that loves to create and go on different adventures and my main focus is really on progressing in life.
When did you pick up photography, and is it your full-time gig?
I picked up photography about 4 years ago now. It used to be a full-time gig but now I'm doing it mainly on the weekends since I graduated and wanted to put my degree to use and try out the finance world. I might make it back to having it as a full-time gig in the future.
What have been some of your favorite photo projects up to date?
My personal project titled "Behind Closed Doors" was definitely one of my favorites. It was an idea to mix video and pictures together.
Besides that, working on a recent Shutterstock Custom shoot with one of the client's on off-field tracks was really fun and different. This was a SSTK Custom shoot last year at Le Chateau Montebello that provides 4x4 experiences to visitors.
Montreal is a beautiful place to call home. Do you have favorite photography spots around the city?
Montreal is amazing. My favorite place to shoot is in the Old Port because of the more European looks and feels to the pictures. But the city has so much variety and different feels to it that you can get away with having your pictures look like you really traveled out of the city. Therefore, it never really gets boring around here.
We love your photography style -- Can you tell us about what inspires you most?
People in general inspire me a lot. Whenever I meet someone new whether at a photo shoot or not they all have something interesting going for them. Besides the personality you have they body expressions and facial expressions that are so unique to each person. This is what I try to bring out in my pictures. A lot of inspiration also comes from the setting at hand (the colors, location, light, architecture). I also watch a lot of movies that give me ideas on certain moods I would like to incorporate into a picture.
When did you start shooting with Shutterstock Custom?
I've been shooting with Shutterstock for about 3 years or so.
Name 5 things you can’t live without (anything from apps to products, you name it!)
The iPhone 8 is great, I find the camera in portrait mode is surprisingly good. I do some portrait shoots on that sometimes and it would be hard to tell the difference between camera or iPhone
Canon 6d or my Minolta film camera is what I usually shoot with
My Macbook because I do all my work, research, watching tv shows/movies and just general life stuff I think it would be a really hard time without it.
LaCie hard drive. It's important to have a reliable hard drive that won't crash on you and lose all your files!
As a photographer, how do you use Instagram Stories in your business?
I love to use Instagram Stories to engage with my followers. If I'm on a shoot or traveling I like to show the sort of behind the scenes of what's going on at that exact moment. It's cool to see I find for people that are interested. This also improves your business because brands can see that you engage with your audience.
Do you have any upcoming travel plans? If so, where and why?
Currently debating on where to travel. Possible choices would be Portugal, Thailand or Greece. I think all 3 are beautiful places with some great landscape and city shooting opportunities. Not to mention the street photography that can be done in Thailand.
If you were to give a new photographer some tips, what would they be?
Anyone that is just getting into it I would suggest to start taking pictures of what they are interested in whether that's landscape, portraits etc. It is important to perfect that and then to try out different thing while incorporating that first subject they are already good at. This will keep things interesting and widen your knowledge of photography. Also not to get discouraged and to remember that they do it for themselves first and if they like it that's all that matters.
There is no doubt that we’re living in a generation where it’s a lot more common to work as a freelancer AND have a 9-5 job. We’re very impressed and inspired by hard-working contributors such as Erik and we look forward to seeing where your travels and career take you!
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