If you have visited any of our social channels you will have no doubt noticed some of the inspirational photography that we have featured from the island. Recently we had the opportunity to have a chat with one of our favourite photographers to get to know the lady behind the lens, Alana Sprague of Lans Photography.
Alana is a born and raised islander growing up in Stratford where her parents still reside. Around 10 years ago Alana purchased a Canon Digital Elph Point and Shoot and she hasn't stopped shooting since, although these days she sports a Canon DSLR.
Having an eye for capturing the natural beauty of PEI, Alana gravitates landscape photography but of recent times has been dabbling in commercial photography and portrait shots. When Alana is not behind the camera, she can be found in Charlottetown where she works for the Canadian Red Cross.
How long have you been a photographer for? And how did you get started in the industry?
I started shooting about 10 years ago after the purchase of a Canon Digital Elph point and shoot. This camera became an extension of who I was. I had it with me all the time. Over the years I realized that if I wanted to be more professional I would need to upgrade. I started using a very out-dated Canon Rebel XT to get a feel for using a DSLR and upgraded last winter to a more professional model.
My sister and my mother were both avid photographers so it was almost like a natural progression for me to take up the hobby too. I would say that I’ve been the one who chose to pursue photography professionally.
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Because I work a regular full time job my day can end up pretty hectic at times. I’m currently shooting for PEI Living magazine so I can have several shoots in a week for them alone. I’m learning to balance my day job, photography career and personal life. When shooting for others it can be hard to find time to shoot for yourself. It’s a balance that I still haven’t perfected but am working to all the time. Being a photographer isn’t just about shooting the images, there’s a lot of groundwork before and after a shoot. It’s something that the outside world often doesn’t realize. An hour behind the lens can mean many, many hours in front of your computer! Every day is an adventure and some are more fun than others!
What would be your dream creative project?
Nature is my passion so my dream creative project would be travelling and shooting for National Geographic! I mean, what nature photographer doesn’t have that dream?
Can you give us a little insight into your creative process? How do you decide where and when to shoot?
For me, it can be a planned shoot or on a whim. In the past I would say that adventure was my process. Grab a friend, my gear, jump in the car and go. Sometimes I have a destination in mind or a certain time of day that I want to shoot but it’s often just being prepared and in the right place at the right time. We live on a very beautiful Island, I try to take advantage as often as I can. I also have amazing friends who feed my creativity constantly by accompanying me on my adventures.
Who or what do you turn to for a bolt of creative inspiration?
If ever I feel my creativity waning, I just grab my camera and go, doesn’t take me long to find my groove!
Instagram: I follow many amazing photographers on Instagram and often get creative inspiration from them.
Other Photographers: We have an abundance of talent here on PEI and the Maritimes in general and I’m lucky enough to know many of them. When I got started I reached out to many of them for advice. It’s wonderful when we can shared our passion and talent with each other
If you won a return plane ticket, where would you go?
This is such a hard question to answer for me. I LOVE to travel but I don’t get to as much as I would like. I’ve never been to Europe so that’s very high on the bucket list. My sister and Brother in Law spent some time in Brussels and it looked amazing. I’m also a hot weather girl all the way so there are many tropical locations I would die to visit. Lastly, Antelope Canyon just looks breathtaking, I would love to shoot there for sure!
If you could give one piece of advice to a 16 year old you, what would it be?
Push yourself, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and pick up a camera sooner in life!!
What is your comfort food?
Craft beer, Upstreet DoGooder to be exact. Not exactly food but a go to for me! #mugclub25