With more than 16 years of experience, freelance photographer Andrea Senyk has captured stunning images around the world using only the natural light available. Inspired by black and white photography, nature and travel magazines, Senyk graduated from a photography program and honed in on her photographic skills. These skills led to her latest accomplishment of being chosen as the Selected Artist for Huawei. As the Selected Artist, Senyk was flown to London with a friend and given two Huawei P9 phones with built-in Leica dual cameras to capture the London scenes. While in London, we met up with Senyk to ask her about her favorite photographers, what she's learned from traveling around the world and her thoughts on the Huawei P9 camera. Check out the exclusive interview and the amazing images Senyk captured on the Huawei P9.
TH: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do?
AS: Hello! I’m Andrea, a 28 year old Canadian photographer. I studied in Ontario but currently live in Munich, Germany, where I work as a freelance photographer. I love to be outdoors, cooking or eating.
TH: How did you get into photography?
AS: My aunt and uncle gave me my first film camera for my 12th birthday and I rarely put it down. I was always chasing sunsets, and posing my friends and kittens for portraits. After taking various communications courses in high school, I decided to pursue my dream and graduated from a 3 year photography program in London, Ontario. I have been travelling and working as a freelance photograph ever since!
TH: Do you have any favorite photographers that have inspired you? Who are they?
AS: I really enjoy looking at classic black and white photographs from Henri Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams, Eve Arnold, Jock Sturges, and Sebastian Selgado. I get inspiration from photo-community websites like 500px as well as nature and travel magazines like National Geographic, and try to read as many online articles and books as I can. There are so many young and talented photographers out their today making beautiful and inspiring images, it is hard to choose. Konsta Punkka, Elisabeth Brentano, Ray Collions, Yana Mazurkevich, just to name a few.
TH: What is the main thing that you have learned while traveling around the world capturing images?
AS: Be completely open to what comes your way. Most days things are hard and you do not find what you are looking for, but rather something completely different. And then other days your camera and your situation/location just click ( pardon the pun ) and everything falls into place. And this always happens when you least expect it. Move, get outside and shoot. Seeing the world, even if it is your own backyard, is the best way to keep moving forward and learning. Keep your chin up and look around! Walking around with Google maps in front of your nose is no good.
TH: How do you go about capturing stunning images using only the natural light available?
AS: Like I said before, you can only create with what you are given. Some days the sun is shining, others it is dark and gloomy. Using the mood and the light you are given is key. Take your time in order to create a great exposure and composition in the camera. The less Photoshop and post production, the better. Also get used to changing your angle often. Squat, sit, turn, twist, in order to see things from a different perspective then every other person does. My boyfriend thinks I am crazy when I do this, and laughs at all the people watching my odd positions. Dare to go off on your own, and bring snacks and water with you. You never know where you will end up.
TH: What advice do you wish you had when you first started out?
AS: Photographers are artists, so sometimes you will work jobs you do not want to do. You will work long hours of doing things you do not enjoy, in order to pay rent and put food on your table. Eventually, after hard work, things settle down and you find yourself in a place that you were searching for all along. Never stop dreaming, and give out as many business cards to people you meet as you can.
TH: How do you feel about being chosen as the Selected Artist for Huawei?
AS: I was ecstatic and honestly stunned for 2 days straight. I thought it was too good to be true. I am happy to be able to network and connect more with others through Talenthouse, and hope for more opportunities like this in the future.
TH: Why was your image “Sitting, Waiting, Fishing” the perfect photo to submit for Huawei’s perfect moment?
AS: It was my birthday and my boyfriend woke me up early to make sure I got outside to see the fog hanging over the Lost Channel where we were camping in Northern Ontario. I rushed outside with my camera in my pajamas to find the boys fishing in the beautiful morning fog. Like I said before, you cannot make these moments happen, but sometimes you find yourself in the middle of them and everything falls into place. "Do not snap, shoot!" was the perfect opportunity to showcase this image to others.
TH: As a professional photographer, what things do you like about the HUAWEI P9 with a built-in Leica dual camera lens?
AS: What’s really funny is that I have been using an iPhone 3G for the past 8 years and rarely take photos with my camera phone. The Huawei P9 was a huge step up and captures images at night, and in dim restaurants so incredibly well. The contrast, colour and professional features it offers are outstanding! I would definitely recommend it to anyone wishing for a great smartphone with amazing camera technology.
TH: What are your favorite go-to lenses and cameras for everyday use?
AS: Well, for the past 4 days now, I carry the HUAWEI P9 with me everywhere. I have a Sony compact camera RX100 that stays in my handbag. When I travel or go to a shoot, I bring my Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-105mm F4 lens and a 50mm F1.8 lens. My favourite overall lens is a 80mm manual Tilt-Shift F2.8 Lens from Photex. It is unique, and makes me see my surroundings and situation with a new creative perspective.