Though a woodworker, Aleksandra Zee relies heavily, if not entirely, on her Instagram account to engage her community and bolster her sales. As a passion in addition to a necessity for her career as an artist, Zee continually offers a day-in-the-life perspective, allowing her followers to see her process every step of the way in her craft as well as in her life.
Viewers are able to walk into her day-to-day to experience moments at home, cuddle sessions with her dog, outdoor escapades with her boyfriend, and a start to finish perspective of her artwork. She divulges that though she has no photography experience, her love for shooting has grown tremendously with her need to market her work.
Here, she discusses her imagery and shares some insight on how to capture stunning images with only an iPhone.
The Toggle (TT): What are some tips and pointers for taking iPhone photos?
Aleksandra Zee (AZ): Good lighting is key, keeping a steady hand, and use a good editing app to fix any color and lighting issues.
TT: Do you have any photography experience other than using your iPhone?
AZ: I have not had any training or schooling in photography. Having an iPhone with an exceptionally good camera makes it easy to get the beautiful shot I want. I do have a background in art so composition and light are definitely things I am experienced in, but just picking up my phone and shooting a good photo has been a learning process.
TT: Do you ever shoot with anything other than your phone?
AZ: I use my iPhone and Polaroid. The iPhone allows me to take high quality photos of my artwork and adventures, but the Polaroid is most defiantly for nostalgia. It’s me hanging on to the past. I have had a Polaroid since I was a kid and have been documenting the things I make, the adventures I go on, and the beautiful moments since childhood. I hope to never stop using instant film. I love the result, I love having a physical photo of a moment, I love that they are always imperfect and I love that I have been caring around my box of old instant photos from moments of my life. If technology fails, I have my Polaroids.
TT: What photo editing apps do you use? What are your favorite filters/ style edits?
AZ: I use VSCO and I love the analog series of editing tools. I also do a lot of adjustments in the app on my own.
TT: What is your overall theme? How would you describe your vibe and style?
AZ: The mood is clear, clean, simple and calming. I have organized my selection of photos to be calming and natural and something that you want to sit and look at.
TT: Why do you think your photos resonate with people?
AZ: Because I am honest. I don’t just show the perfect parts of my life. I show my creative process, my messy studio, my dirty pup, dirty clothes and how all of that is beautiful and inspiring. I am also so stinkin’ grateful to be doing what I do, and believe in positivity and being present; and hopefully that is something that resonates with other people. Promoting that everyday—you have a choice to seek joy and chase that.
TT: How have your photos impacted your career as a woodworker?
AZ: My photos are my business. It is how I show my work, advertise my business and make myself and my work accessible for people to contact me and make orders.
TT: What are you favorite things to shoot?
AZ: The ocean, my love Antrom, my studio windows, my work in front of the old brick in my studio, and my cute lil pup.
TT: Anything you’d like to include?
AZ: Representing myself though photos is a process that I enjoy. Honestly portraying my life and breaking down stereotypes is important to me.