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Diana Vilic

Blogger Visual Marketing Student Photographer Coffee Addict

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Evolution the Photograph (My Story) | Light

  • 4:44:00 PM
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This post might not make any sense unless you read my previous post "I'm not a Photographer".

Blog Title

No one knows how old I was when I started taking photos. That may seem like such a vast and somewhat arrogant statement. As if to say, I was destined to do this. My dad says around the time I started walking, I used to hold my families many cameras. My uncle swears before I ever picked up a camera I used to hold my hands up like a director framing a shot.

What is known, is that I used to sneak cameras onto school property, when I wasn't supposed to, because I would hold photoshoots with my friends at recess. I know the first item I ever purchased was a Polaroid izone, the white and blue digital kind. And I know my first ever camera was a Polaroid izone, the film kind with a sticky back. I knew I loved photography, but I had no idea it was even a hobby let alone a job.

I always just thought I was a creative kid.

When I was a kid I drew over everything, I used to get in trouble from elementary-high school for drawing all over my school work. So much so, where my teachers started docking points off assignments if they had a doodle on them...guess what, I still drew all over everything.

Fast forward to the ages of 6 and 7. My parents had a 2 Nikon coolpix's, (one of them had a whopping wait for it 6 megapixels, which was massive at the time). They also had a Minolta, two Polaroids, whatever Chilon made in the 1990's, and both Kodak film and digital cameras. I really did grow up around this stuff. I vividly remember being a toddler and being able to load film into a camera.  When I purchased a Rolleiflex SL 35 E at a second hand store, I was surprised I still remembered it.

I took this shot of my cousin on her graduation day using one of the many Kodak cameras I had access to during my childhood. The whole night the camera was attached to my hand. It was pretty bulky and somewhat heavy for a kid. Every now and then I take it off the shelf where my camera collection sits and I'm pretty surprised I could carry that thing around for so long, It has weight, even in my hands today.

In middle school, I got own Nikon Coolpix, it was thin and had 12 megapixels. It also cost my parents around $250, which was a steal. (Honestly I cannot get past the fact that point and shoots nowdays can cost as little as $95 regular price and they have more features.) The camera could go up to a whopping 600 ISO and it had a sport option and wait for it...macro.
It was at that point I started taking this photography thing seriously, and then I thought it was too hard and I quit after three months. (Way to stick it out Diana).

Back then, my photography was completely different than today. I don't do landscapes or still lifes. But I was a social awkward kid who avoided mirrors, any kind of portraiture scared the living crap out of me. I didn't want to confront my flaws let alone others. 

I didn't pick up a camera again, until I wanted to be a director in high school. I used my good ol Nikon Coolpix that hadn't been touched since and made videos of all my friends. My teachers for the first time ever, actually encouraged me bringing my camera to class. My parents later on that year surprised me with a Sony Bloggie. A video camera capable of shooting stills well recording. The sensor was complete shit, the megapixels were crap and the video quality was decent for a camera in its range, but it's nothing to write home about. Honestly, out of all the cameras I've used throughout my life, this one was probably the worst. It had absolutely no features, what you saw was what you got. But I loved it!

I started using the still option more than the video. With it, I took the photos above. After that I was addicted, it was the first time I started calling myself a photographer.

I always find it funny, the camera I truly started photography with, the one that took some of my best shots early on, wasn't even a camera, it was technically qualified as a video recorder. 

From there, everything I knew spiraled. Within four months I got a Canon t3 for my birthday, it's still the camera I use today. It has 12 megapixels, a decent sensor, even by todays terms. It doesn't have wifi, the shutter is starting to lag a bit with age, it's due for a cleaning. It has only known 3 lens its whole life, the two that came with it that I rarely ever use, and the 50mm I purchased two years ago. The only flash I have ever used was a Canon 430 EX II,I've only used it a handful of times. And I still refuse to buy a wireless trigger for it. Yes, I'm aware I'm limiting my use for it, but quite frankly one of my biggest regrets is being coaxed into purchasing a flash I couldn't handle by a salesmen who had no idea what he was even selling.

The point is, I don't shoot even today with insanely advanced cameras. I opt to shoot with a 12 Megapixel camera...today DSLR's have around 42 Megapixels standard. The first 42 Megapixel low range DSLR came out two years, yes two effen years, after I got my camera. I don't care for every lens range in existence. My sweet spot is 50mm, anything closer or farther and I feel like I'm losing a part of the story. Yes, that  opinion is probably going to change but right now, it is what it is.

And it works for me.

Photo Timeline of my Photography Career

2012 (The Bloggie Era)

This was the era where I had no idea what I was doing but my camera wasn't even an actual camera and it was complete crap in low light situations. But I couldn't stop seeing. I become obsessed with chasing light. It mattered to me to keep doing what I was doing, even if I had no idea what that was.

2012 (The I Finally Got A Big Girl Camera...DSLR Stage)

When I got a DSLR, I started photographing everything and anything. I had no idea what I was doing, all I knew is rule of thirds, how to use photoshop and that I was really enjoying what I was doing. 

2013 (The Do Everything Era)

Still have no idea what I'm doing at this point but I knew I was very Intrested in the human face and I grew very bored of still life. I also photographed things about 3 times a week, every week, for the whole year. I didn't really ever shoot the work I wanted to take, but I the opportunity to have a lot of work and people supported me through it. As a result, halfway through the year my work got strikingly better.  

2014 (The iPhone/Canon Era)

The iPhone Shots

This was around the point I started getting too busy to keep up with photography. I stopped taking photos to just take photos and I started to focus on what was easier for me to work with on a day to day basis. (Phones are easier to carry around then DSLR's and lens.) I started to love stories and that developed the style I have today. 

The Canon Shots

I tried my hardest to take a lot of shots with my DSLR, but it got really hard to dig out a DSLR and lenses and lug them around. Also it's very easy to take portraits of people on a iPhone or my Rolleiflex SL35 E but DSLR's are still very intimidating for some people. In 2013 I was blessed to work with mostly professional models and stage actors who are very comfortable around cameras so working with camera shy subjects got way too stressful for me. And I took it very personally when a subject didn't look the way I wanted to in my photographs. Despite having over $1,500 of camera gear in my tool belt at this stage, it didn't make me a better artist. I felt very stuck because on one hand I had great tools and a massive collection of cameras to choose from but I didn't see my skills improve. Using film cameras and my phone became a lot more attractive than my DSLR.

2015 (The Hardest Era)

This was the era where I quit calling myself a photographer and resorted back to being a hobbiest. It's also the era where I scrapped everything technical I knew and focused on the shot. I stopped taking clients but I shot the same amount of work. I just used more than a DSLR to take it. I also took way more selfies at this point, simply because I wanted to practice posing and I was the subject I always had on hand. This was the year I focused completely on the work I wanted to take.

Canon Shots

iPhone Shots

I started to treat my iPhone shots the same way I treat the shots I take on any of my other cameras. I always liked stories and photos you need to look at more than once, so that's what I tried to create.

2016 (The Undefined Era)

This is who I am today. In 2011 I wanted to be a director. From 2012-2014 I wanted to be a photographer. In 2015, I had no idea. I had one horrible experience with a client and something inside me cracked. I wasn't doing the work I wanted to do, so I walked away. I was the published photographer I dreamed of being, I was photographing models and actors, It should have been the work I dreamed of doing. At one point I did in fact dream of that. Funny thing about a dream is you want it until you have it.
So here is who I am in 2016. I completely love photography. I can't stop myself from seeing. But I can't lug around a DSLR non-stop. It doesn't fit my lifestyle and I can't take out whole days and weeks to work on elaborate shoots with hair and makeup and wardrobe like I used to.
Now days, I shoot with my phone, I carry a gopro around with me everywhere. I do not live by the chains of my DSLR. Yes, it usually is the best camera for the job. But I'd rather be making work than dreaming of making work.

Which brings me to the Light Camera. If anyone follows me on any of my social medias you know when I saw it on PetaPixel a few months back I was freaking the hell out because of how cool it was. Mostly because it addressed the problem I was having. I love making great quality work, I love shooting in low light situations and anyone else a fan of killer Bokeh?

Light is a smart phone sized camera that uses 16 cameras, 10 of which stitch together your photo, creating a shot with up to 52, yes fifty-two, megapixels. It's pretty much the baby of a DSLR and a point and shoot on steroids.

I'd love to say that's what drew me to the camera at first, but it was actually the sensor.  For anyone who doesn't know, when you're purchasing a higher end camera such as any SLR, you're mostly paying for the sensor. Hence the sometimes outrageous costs. (Did I say sometimes? I mean always.) The idea of putting a bunch of low cost sensors into one camera and still managing to make it be a great camera just blows my mind and makes me excited for the future of photography.

From the reviews I read online, Light does fit in your pocket, but very tightly. Which doesn't seem like much of an issue for me. Girl pockets are jokes after all, if it can fit in my clutch, I'll be happy, I mean I can't even carry my DSLR or SLR in my massive size purses.

I know a lot of the people who read my blog, aren't photographers. Which is why, even though it's long I set up my post like this. You can see how skill changes through time and how photographers stick to a few cameras. Good photographers know their limit it only with them. Your skills and passion develop the more you take photos. Now apply the same logic.

Cameras are bulky. Lens are expensive. Most ranging $500-1000, and that's cheap. Well point and shoots are getting cheaper, DSLR's and SLR's aren't at least not by much. Imagine having the passion but being unable to create, because of cost or because of inconvenience. Light addresses every single one of those issues. This is something the photography community hasn't ever seen before. No one knows what's going to happen with it. But things are going to grow.

Now do I think you should by a Light L16 Camera? Hell Yes. If I had the thousand dollars I would in a heart beat. But I have a history with photography that spans my whole life, I've practically sold it my soul with no regrets. Of course, whether or not they contacted me, if I had the means to I would buy this camera. I can see my potential grow using something like it.

But that's the thing, I can see that world. Maybe you can't right now. And it's ok if you can't because we're not all photographers. But Light is doing things Kodak and Polaroid were doing when they helped develop the digital camera, they're making history. I predict in the future we'll all have a Light Camera, they're doing things that are way too cool to be saved for only those of us who claim the photographer title.

Because of technology growing at such a rapid rate, our stories are ours for the making. With small high power and low cost sensors, and 16 cameras at three different focal lengths we build our potential. When 10 cameras fire simultaneously, we're limitless.

Like my skill set grew, the future of this art will too. We're all photographers in this day and age, and I've ranted about it to the moon and back. But, I can't change it and quite frankly, I don't want to. Light is going to make photography easier, it's going to be more accessible. Our phones are great, but they're not cameras. They just have cameras. We've been told for too long that we have cameras in pockets. No we don't. It's time we all reclaim the beauty of photography and the art that it is. We all have unique stories and our phones only tell them all in the exact same focal length with pretty much the same none existence sensors. It's time to see how limitless we all truly can be.

If you want to check out this sweet little startup and their awesome camera technology, which I highly recommend. Click here

Marketing student with a focus in visual marketing with a addiction to coffee.


  1. What beautiful work!! Truly inspirational. I look forward to following your work and enjoying the world through your lens.

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  3. Wow!! I loved it! I really enjoyed reading your life story concerning photography. I have also seen a lot of your work and you definitely have tremendous talent! Never give up on your dreams!

  4. I love seeing how you got better and better! I hope you find yourself in 2016 and looking fwd to what is yet to come!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    1. Thank you Pam. I can't wait to see what comes.

  5. I've always been a big fan of your work and extremely impressed with your level of maturity and creativity! It's SO amazing watching my daughter grow through your photography! Each session you capture something in her that stuns me; that I didn't see. Your photography is definitely art as it not only tells a story, but has energy! I can't tell you how many people that have only seen the pictures that you've taken of my daughter, comment on how beautiful her Spirit is. Like, how can you tell a person has a beautiful Spirit through a picture??? Lol. somehow you capture that!!!

    1. Awe thanks Eddie. Khyli has always been one of my favorites to photograph.

  6. This is so cool! I love this so much! It's a great way to tell your story! You've been an amazing photographer for quite some time! I kept thinking "what a great photo" and then the next one would be even more amazing!:)

    Shannon Sage

    1. Awe thank you Shannon. You seriously just made my day.

  7. Oh wow! I've always loved photography as well, though I never took it too seriously. In high school I was lucky enough to use old film where we had to produce it in a dark room which was so much fun! (even if your fingers smelled like salt & vinegar chips afterward!) I currently have the Canon T3i as well, and though I only bought it in 2012 it's already quickly aged... I just couldn't bother to keep purchasing new ones and the price of lenses kills me!
    Such a fabulous post! I'm sorry that being a photographer may not have worked out for you, but I do hope that you find what you're looking for in 2016 :)

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

  8. Hey, Diana! :) You have beautiful shots, beautiful photography. :) I like how you go with what you like not putting yourself in a box. Just doing what you love. I think that helps you to be craazy creative in photography, and probably in life too. :) And it was interesting reading your photography story, even though I haven't read the previous one ("I'm not a photographer"). :)
    Keep up the good work! :))


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