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Interviews  / Stories

Maria Diva

Tell us something about yourself

I’m a Beauty & Fashion shooter from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am also a big lover of makeup / beauty and wish to further my career into that field of photography.


How and when did you get into photography?

I got into photography at the age of 7, when I first came to Canada from the Philippines. Photography has always been a big part of my childhood from capturing our family’s new life in a new country. Looking back at old photographs, I started getting curious about the pictures I want to take and leave behind to remind me of the years that passes. I started picking up my dad’s film camera to continue capturing a feeling and moment I get at a specific place and time. Of course I got into trouble for ‘wasting film’ and money it takes to print them out, but It was a way to remember my journey in life and the moments that makes me feel a certain way. With that same curiosity, it helps me grow to be a better photographer, an artist and even a better person.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography, to me , is like describing a feeling/emotion that I have a tough time translating into words. It is a way to control the viewers feelings without having to say a word. To either be aesthetically pleased, disturbed, sad, happy ect. Although I may incorporate photoshop into my work, it is just a tool to enhance and create a vision I have in mind. Like a painter with a brush.


Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I have been pondering about my photographic style for years. And in all honesty, I dont have a specific one. I like to take all sorts of photos from different genres and try incorporating them for each set. But for the Beauty and fashion portion, i like to have great lighting. The people on my set knows i take a while to make sure the lighting is just the way I want it. I like to produce as good of quality as creativity. Clean shots.

Where do you get inspiration from?

People and Toronto. All about peoples culture, attitude, facial structure, personality… everything.


Studio, on location or both?

I love to do photoshoots either indoor or studio. But of course, when it’s cold and snowing in Toronto, I prefer the studio.


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I consider myself to be a hobbyist that turned professional. Does that count?


What has been your most memorable session and why?

My most memorable session would have to be travelling for personal work and being able to network with amazing models, makeup artists, hair stylists, designers and just creating art. Just feeling the moment between everything.

What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?

Everything around me can translate as inspirations. But i do read and when i can afford it, collect books and magazines about photography and fashion. Often Vogue Editions, Dior, Kinfolk, Lula, Richard Avedons books, Alexi Lubomirski…. Too many to mention.


Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Before photography school, ive shot with my Nikon D80. During school i’ve shot with Canon… but even before school ended, i went back to my first love and got a Nikon D810


What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

“Interrupt anxiety with gratitude.” Always start with a positive mind. Drop any negative thoughts and find ways to turn any bad situation around.


What do you think of our new magazine?

I was honoured to be asked to be featured in this magazine along with talented photographers. It’s great to see work from all sorts of photographers, makeup artists, models….from around the world.



Model: Ceca (Trend Models)

Model: Julie & Annewil (Uniko Models)

Modellen: Tatjana Lauwers & Sarah Tommeleyn

Photo: Selma Gurbuz

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