Interview with a photographer (Chris Miralles)
This is a rare treat for us in the UK, we are glad to interview Chris Miralles from the United States. The interviews are to look at different people associated with the industry. Each person has been carefully and specifically, due to their passion and interest.
It is a great honour to interview a fellow photographer from a different country. Chris has a different upbringing and been through different experiences in life. Chris has watched our Instagram feed from early on, which has brought a mutual liking of each other’s work.
Let us now begin with some information about Chris, take a peek into his life, his thoughts and some of his work.
INTERVIEW WITH A PHOTOGRAPHER – CHRIS MIRALLES
Tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up and ultimately what was life like for Chris Miralles.
“I grew up in this little US Territory island called Guam though my family is originally from the Philippines. I attended elementary school all the way to high school in the island. Life there was easy going, laid back and we often spend times at the beach. If you’ve ever been in Hawaii, lifestyle is quite similar in my opinion. It’s the island style, island way of life. The island has a diverse community of mixed ethnicity including the local natives called Guamanians.
I got my first SLR when I was around 16 years old. My father gave me a Nikon F4. I didn’t know much how to operate it but I went on to using it and learning as I go. Youtube and Google were not that popular back then so it was all a hands-on learning curve for the most part. ”
INSIGHT WITH CHRIS MIRALLES
Tell us about the people who have influenced you in life and your career. This could be both from a professional and personal point of view.
“My biggest influence is my father. He was the biggest inspiration for me and my siblings. He showed us a prime example of dedication to family and what hard work is all about.”
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY
“My earliest memory of photography was watching professionals do their thing when I attended family functions and wedding. It was enough to get me curious into how the whole thing works.”
From looking at your Instagram feed, it is clear your photography has changed. What has influenced this – people, technology, life or a combination?
“I think a combination of people and technology and the abundance of resources available today has a lot of influence in how my photography has changed or evolving.
In my opinion, I think all photographers are never satisfied with their work in a good way. There is always that certain percentage and reservation that something could have been done a better way. This is something the audience may never know but only the photographer will keep to them.
I try not to be a one-sided photographer. What I mean is I try to shoot everything whether it’s lifestyle, streets, or long exposure. I just don’t want to be that one person who comes upon an opportunity and not take the shot because it’s not my genre.”
What was one of the most rewarding shoots you remember and why?
“I think my most rewarding shot that I can recall is one I took inside this abandoned farm house in Shenandoah Virginia around July 2015.
It was when I had my first digital SLR, a canon SL1 with a kit lens. I came upon this abandoned farm home that had all the windows boarded up. The inside was so dark that it was nearly impossible to see what was inside. On the back of the home I saw an opening the size of a baseball and peeked inside.
There was really not much I could see except a few lights escaping into small cracks on the wall but still not enough to see details inside. The barrel of my kit lens was just enough to squeeze into the opening and I decided to do a long exposure shot as it was my only option to see what was in the basement.
After I was done I was surprised to see an eery basement that that told some story about the people that used to live there. It was enough to convince me and get me excited into learning more about photography because I realised our camera can capture many things that our eyes can be limited to. This abandoned farm home was my very first post on my Facebook photography page. ”
WHAT IS ALWAYS IN YOUR CAMERA BAG WHEN YOU GO OUT?
“I normally carry in my camera bag a Canon 5D3 with a Canon 85mm f1.2L and a Canon 5D2 with a Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art.
These two lenses though prime cover most of the focal length that I need as of now. I’ve actually shot a wedding with these two lenses alone though I wouldn’t recommend it.
I decided to buy two cameras because sometimes I don’t have time to switch lens and I’d end up missing opportunities. I also carry a Canon 580 Speedlite, a crystal ball, a prism and about six 32g sd cards, a lens rocket blower and six extra batteries for my cameras.
On the underside of my bag is a Foto Pro tripod that I always have with me. I also carry five ND Filters ranging from 3 to 10 stops.”
THE RANDOM QUESTIONS
When you were a child, what career/job/field did you want to go into?
“I wanted to be an airplane mechanic”
Who would you love to photograph?
“The pope sitting by a desk just contemplating about the world”
Name one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses
“One of my strength is my ability to make spontaneous decision. My weakness is probably my ability to be consistent in my editing. I usually edit based on my mood and i’m still learning to edit in a way that would give my gallery some sort of uniformity.”
Tech or talent?
Are google evil?
Food or film (eating out versus cinema)?
You are president for one day, what is your presidential order?
“Free education for anyone who wants to attend photography classes with a certain household income. ”
Where is paradise?
“Somewhere in Iceland”
Are we alone in this universe?
You cook a lovely meal for a vegan friend, afterward, you realise you used the wrong sauce, do you tell them?
Reading through Chris’s answers, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed. Chris comes across as a loving family man who respects his heritage. The medium of the internet and world wide web have allowed us to view Chris’s excellent work. This proves the digital age holds no barriers and has enabled Instagram to bring us together!
The passion and story behind his “first image” have shaped who he is today. The emotions in his answers forced me to immediately fire an email off to him, to thank him for his honesty.
Check out Chris Miralles photography on Instagram here and you will see the quality of his work. He also has another Instagram feed too here, where you can see fire and trick shots, which are sublime.
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