Karina and Amir are a couple based in Vancouver that specialize in landscape photography. Together they form Vanexus Photography. Their portfolio includes many beautiful landscapes, especially those around their area of British Columbia. I reached out to Karina and Amir about the possibility of doing an interview for readers of Loaded Landscapes, and they graciously agreed. Below you can get to know more about them, their lives and work as a photographic team, and I’m sure you’ll pick up some inspiration from their photos that are showcased throughout the article.
Please tell us a little bit about yourselves, how you met, and how you first got started with photography.
We are Karina and Amir, based out of Vancouver, Canada. We’ve been a couple for a lot longer than we’ve been photography partners. We both have 9-5 jobs and so photography is a passion/hobby, with the goal of moving towards full time photography work in the future.
Our interest in photography started with the first purchase of a point and shoot just over a decade ago. We decided to upgrade to a DSLR a few years later as we wanted to start shooting a bit more than just the occasional trip or event. We tried to learn and hone our skills as much as possible with our entry level DSLR and really made the jump into photography as a source of income about three years ago.
What draws you to landscapes rather than other types of photography or subjects?
We’ve both dabbled in other types of photography, like portraiture and real estate. However, landscapes allows us to get away from the hectic daily routines, to slow down, and to really enjoy nature.
Nothing can replace the feeling and rush we get when we experience seeing the Northern Lights, or an amazing sunrise over a calm lake.
How would you describe your photographic style?
The most common description we’ve heard about our photos is that they are often peaceful and calm. We would attribute this to the fact that we really enjoy the process of being outdoors and being surrounded by nature and while we don’t follow a specific aesthetic, we do try to convey a sense of serenity through our photos.
Can you tell us about what it’s like to work together as a couple?
We both have our own unique styles, as well as our own strengths and weaknesses. So it is definitely a healthy collaborative process. Since it is the two of us, we tend to see it as an advantage as we can be more mobile and are able to capture different perspectives of the same area.
A lot of the time, it really helps to discuss and plan the shots with one another and get feedback for what would work best. Usually, one of us will use a wide angle lens to capture the whole scene and the other person will use our telephoto lens to focus on details.
For the photos that we post on social media, its possible for one of us to take the photo and edit it. However, for photos that we display on our website, we both have an input on the final image we present.
What are some of your favorite locations in your British Columbia?
For a road trip, Yoho National Park, and specifically Emerald Lake would have to be near the top of our list. The beautiful colour of the lake, the reflections, the morning fog, and the wildlife that live around the area all make it such a unique and wonderful natural gem.
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is another beautiful set of lakes that look amazing both in the Summer and Winter months. If you are trying to get away from the crowds, its best to visit during the fall and winter.
As for local spots near Vancouver, we would have to say it includes Golden Ears Provincial Park, Lighthouse Park and Porteau Cove Provincial Park. B.C. is an extremely large and diverse province, and we have barely scratched the surface. Hopefully, we will be able to explore some of the northern, and interior locations, as well as Vancouver Island over the next couple of years.
Do you have a dream location that you have not been to yet?
Too many to list! But Faroe Islands, Japan and New Zealand would have to be the top three.
What is your typical process for planning and scouting?
We are usually pretty meticulous in our planning and if we have access to the location, we try to scout in advance. We use apps like The Photographer’s Ephemeris or Photopills to be able to plan our sunset, sunrise, and potentially night photography shoots.
Having said that, we do plan specific, seasonal local shots and try to make the photo happen if the right conditions present themselves. An example of that would be our ‘Red Umbrella’ photo, which took around three years to fully come together as Vancouver is not known for its snow storms!
What’s in your camera bag?
We own a Nikon D810 and a Nikon D750 and we love both bodies. Our most used lenses would have to be the Nikon 16-35mm f/4, the Nikon 70-200mm f/4 and the Nikon 20mm f/1.8 for Astro and Aurora photography.
We also use a variety of NiSi ND filters, as well as a multiple tripods. We also never leave the house without a rocket blower, some microfibre cloths, and our remote shutter releases.
We also own a DJI Phantom 3 Pro, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to use it much thanks to the extremely strict laws in Canada.
What are you working on at the moment, or in the near future?
We just got back from a trip to the Canadian Rockies, so we have a lot of photos to process!
We are also looking to expand our photography portfolio and will try our hands in Architectural photography during the next few months. The weather in Vancouver will more than likely be grey and dull for most of fall and winter, so it gives us plenty of opportunities to step away from landscapes and focus on a new project.
Connect with Karina and Amir
If you’d like to get in touch with Karina and Amir, or see more of their work, please use the links below.
All photos in this post are © Vanexus Photography, used with permission.