Every morning I check out my social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ … Over the years it became an essential part of my morning routine. And even though checking Facebook and Co. could be like reading the newspaper every morning only one channel I use is really for fun (and business at the same time): Instagram – and one instagramer in particular inspires me every day with her amazing fashion, travel and landscape pictures – so I couldn’t resist but asking her for an interview.
I’m talking about one of Austria’s top instagramers: Marion Vincenta Payr also known as @ladyvenom. She fascinates a crowed of more than 280k followers snap per snap and day per day, always telling a unique story one never gets tired of reading. Now get to know @ladyvenom from a very personal side and find out what Instagram means to her, what makes an successful account and more.
First, has photography always been your passion?
Actually, no – it was Instagram that has sparked that fire in me and I’ll be forever thankful for the creators of the app for this. Of course I had a camera as a kid and loved to play around with it, but then this was buried under a thick layer of puberty 🙂
How do you take your pictures and how do you edited them?
My workflow changes a lot lately. I used to do #iphoneonly on Instagram for the first 3,5 years and loved it. This phase teached me a lot about photography and how to really see things, but at some point the limitations of the phone were starting to also limit my creative growth. That’s when I decided to upgrade to a DSLR camera. I bought my first used camera in late 2014 as a Christmas present to myself and since then everything changed. The first half of the year 2015 I used to take photos with the camera, then upload them on my computer, select the ones I wanted to use to upload onto Dropbox, downloaded them on my phone and edited them there (with apps like VSCO, Snapseed, Touch Retouch, SKRWT). And now I entered the next stage, which is learning to use Lightroom to edit. So it’s a learning process all along 🙂 But I also have a portable SD card reader with Wifi so I can snap something, upload it to my phone directly and edit while on the go, which also happens sometimes.
Looking at your Instagram profile it feels like a story. Do you plan and coordinate your posts?
Less than I should, actually 🙂 Of course I know when I’m on a trip or have a campaign planned, but the rest of it is based more on my current feeling 🙂 I always have a few photos in my camera roll that I hadn’t posted and that are edited already and that I can use, when I’m back in the office or don’t have time to shoot something.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Oh, that’s an easy one. Mainly from Instagram 🙂 I do have a tendency to follow way too many people (currently over 2.000 people), but I cannot limit myself to only one aesthetic or style or to only follow people I know. There are so many amazing photographers out there and I’m also happy to call some of them my friends. And the strongest creative force in my life is actually my husband (@lionheaded) who always pushes me to the next level (and makes for a great model as well) 🙂
What are the ingredients for a good instagram account?
Real passion and love for photography first and foremost. And then also an authentic interest in the social interactions – because it is a community of people and not a place to fight for numbers or attention. Those are the main ingredients. If you sprinkle those with consistency, authenticity, interesting content and put in some time and effort, there’s your “perfect Instagram recipe”! 🙂
From your point of view: what are the 3 things every instagram picture should have?
A story to tell, an emotion to show, a motif that fits on a small screen.
Your pictures tell every kind of stories. Most of them focus on nature and architecture but also on fashion. What is your favorite kind of photography?
My favorite kind of photography is travel photography, where you can mix those 3 types (plus add some food and art photography to it). My personal favorites always have a touch of life in them, be it a human or an animal (I have this thing with birds) – so I’m not so much into pure architectural shots, but appreciate if there’s some context with a person experiencing the architecture.
What has been your favorite location for taking pictures?
That’s a hard one 🙂 In Vienna I love the Albertina in the early morning. In Austria I enjoyed the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße and all it’s surrounding landscape very much – it is otherworldly beautiful up there. And around the world I couldn’t just pick one spot, Istanbul in the early morning hours has been magical, so was the archipelago of Gothenburg in the rain.
You have almost 300.000 followers. Do you think this social media “fame” changed you and your life?
I wouldn’t call it fame, but it did change my life. I’ve discovered photography as my passion, made friends all over the world and had the chance to see so many places I usually wouldn’t have visited. Also I had the chance to be part of a community of amazing people here in Vienna and with the @igersvienna crew we get to share this passion with all of those people.
Is it possible to be a professional instagrammer?
Yes, it definitely is – there are many examples all around the world. Here in Austria Instagram is slowly becoming a relevant channel also for companies to include in their marketing mix. So my friend Ana is the first professional Instagramer here in Vienna since a month and I’m really thrilled to see where her path is leading her!
Do you see Instagram as a part of your future?
I see photography and social media as part of my future. The channels are evolving so quickly these days, that it’s not certain, how long Instagram will be around in it’s current form or if it will be accompanied by other platforms such as Snapchat and Steller. But Instagram has reached a size, that it won’t be replaced any time soon, so I guess I’ll stick around there for longer 🙂
What would you advice other passionate photographers?
Be passionate about it, follow your instincts and gut feeling, evolve and learn. Do not get tied up in technical discussions and do not let the feeling you’re worse than others stop you from anything. Be yourself, be kind and stay humble. And if you’re working for someone else, always give a little something extra 🙂
I hope you enjoy this post and maybe even learn a little for your own instagram account. Thank you to Marion for this great interview – we are all looking forward seeing more of your breathtakingly beautiful pictures!
Happy instagramming, everyone!
*1st picture by Cim Ek Photography – all others by Marion Vicenta Payr @ladyvenom