Nancy Lova is a Travel Photographer with a love for color, culture and a thirst for gaining new knowledge about the various traditions each country has to offer.
Tell us about yourself! When did you start traveling?
Traveling has been an interest of mine since my late teens however the photography aspect came around much later when friends discovered I had somewhat of a talent and eye for it.
I’m still trying to establish myself within the industry and whilst I do, I work within Real Estate. I have sold to international clients from all over the world and often the ice-breaker or common ground we tend to have are either the countries we’ve both visited or the knowledge I have of the country they originated from.
I have a long way to go but I am proud to have taken the steps to do travel photography professionally and feel so blessed for the identity this has given me, all that I so far achieved and the like-minded photographers I met along the way.
As we begin our new #DTBehindTheLens series, we’re aiming to spotlight female travel photographers who are not only artists in their field but also showcase more than just a female figure in a photograph. Why do you think it’s important for women photographers to be celebrated?
Many still have the expectation to see females in front of the camera and be the subject of a pretty picture rather than taking control behind the camera. It also comes as a shock to some when they learn that a woman is a solo-traveler. “Aren’t you scared?”, “Isn’t it boring?”, “Why don’t you go with friends?” Are some of the questions I’m asked when I tell someone that I’m a travel photographer.
Travel photography isn’t for the weak hearted whether you’re a man or woman. It takes a great deal of strength, courage and initiative to go beyond what is expected of you and push yourself to experience what traveling has in store, all for the love of photography.
For a woman photographer to break the norm and the judgements that come with, deserves celebration in itself as well as for the gorgeous content she produces.
What change would you like to see happen in the travel industry?
I would like to see more people truly embrace traveling, not just as a tourist but as a local and develop more of an understanding of people from different cultures, faiths and traditions.
Traveling shouldn’t be treated as a check-list exercise to show off how many countries one has visited but as a way to be educated by the world.
What is one of the most enthralling experiences you’ve had while photographing the world?
One trip that I will forever be grateful for would be my visit to Udaipur, India. I went during an unhealthy and negative time in my life with an old partner therefore there was very little planning involved and hardly any knowledge of what to expect. Although I had my camera, my love for photography had pretty much taken a back seat in my life.
For years I heard of the spiritual power India can have over a person but never did I expect to experience this first hand.
At the time, my life had become a prime example of, “sorry, I was miles away” whereby my body would be present in settings but by mind was completely elsewhere.
Each day in Udaipur felt therapeutic, through the warm energy from the people to the calming sounds I woke up to first thing in the morning. I stopped feeding into the toxic relationship I had with my partner and focused on myself, I focused on what I wanted to get out of my trip to India and chose to have my camera for company.
By the end of the trip I was leaving Udaipur with a new sense of clarity and peace which ultimately encouraged me to produce content that helped my photography to get back on track and acknowledged within the travel photography community.
And that relationship? I put an end to that during a flight back from New Delhi. India was my wakeup call.
Through your experiences, what has travel taught you? What lessons does travel bring to those who experience it?
Travel has installed a humbling experience within. I have seen how some people live and the little they own but are richer in life than many others. This has opened my eyes to what is truly important and to value what is often taken for granted such as time and meaningful conversations even with those that you may never meet again.
One of the biggest lessons I reckon travel brings is patience, I find that a well traveled individual often is aware of which matters deserves a great deal of their time, attention and energy and which do not.
Have you ever faced any hard circumstances or issues as a female travel photographer?
I try to not take in the negatives too much but there have been times where I haven’t been taken seriously and was viewed as just a girl with a nice camera that would take nice pictures.
Free favors! From time to time I am asked to work on an assignment or shoot abroad and not get paid for it and instead be told that it would be good experience for me.
Some, men in particular, would assume my idea of traveling and photography is porn-star martinis by the poolside whilst trying to gain a great tan, capturing cute shots ( I mean who doesn’t love the sound of that ?) but are then surprised by my experiences and knowledge of the places I’ve traveled to.
I think one thing that is often a hard pill to swallow is when my dreams are downplayed by those that I tell. Some don’t believe in my goals or assume this is too difficult of a dream for me to achieve and I should just take up a different kind of photography like wedding or baby photography. The two are just as difficult to get into first of all and it hurts when a friend or family member who doesn’t have any experience in the industry, tells you to perhaps consider another option.
What piece of advice would you give to new female travel photographers?
Be strong, be fearless, be consistent. Treat travel photography as a job you’re passionate about rather than a holiday, even if you’re just starting out.
Let your camera be your best friend, take it everywhere you can and keep practicing – this was the best advice I was given by another photographer when I first started.
Be brave enough to visit new places solo and wait for no-one. Be ballsy, this is a tough industry behind the beautiful images you see online or in prints.
Lastly, enjoy what you do and be at peace when capturing content, the energy you have when traveling and using your camera is reflected in your work. If you’re in a rush and frustrated, then your work will look rushed. If your mind is clear and at ease then it is easier to capture the beauty of your environment or subject.
What is it that you aim to photograph during your travel experiences?
I aim to capture shots right in the moment, to make whoever may see my photos, feel as if they were right there with me.
The more color, the better, everyone has their own style in photography but I’m attracted to bright colors and sunlight.
I avoid typical tourist shots when I can, there’s nothing wrong with those but I find capturing well known places from different angles displays the eye of the photographer.
What is the best way to learn digital photography and editing? How did you learn?
Take your camera everywhere, play with it as much as possible. Reach out to other photographers and learn how they capture their shots. I love being inspired by others and putting my own spin on a new technique.
Regarding editing, I downloaded various programs and spent evenings just playing around. The mistakes I made to pictures often enabled me to learn a new aspect or tool of the program.
When editing, I like to come back to the image a little later before posting it on Instagram or submitting it somewhere or to someone. This is because in the moment you could either love or hate the finished edit and have a completely different reaction when you revisit it with fresh eyes.