Photographer: Ana Faneite @thefaneite Model: Susan Mykalcio @susamie Creative Director: Ana Faneite @thefaneite
When did your passion for photography start and what were the main milestones that turned you into the artist you currently are?
I’ve had a love for photography since I was in highschool and I had a purple point and shoot. I used to be that kid that took their camera everywhere. After years with that camera, I convinced my parents to help me buy my first DSLR, a Nikon D3100 and I gave them $100 for it. Obviously, that was not the cost of the camera but they bought it for me. I am a self taught photographer that spent hours -and still do- watching youtube videos about photography. This is the one topic in life I cannot get tired of. There is so much to learn every single day.
One of my biggest milestones was creating a contest in my home country, Venezuela. I invited people to participate in order to win a free photoshoot. The contest was called “Mas vida, mas color.” (it translates to more life, more color). Initially, I took pictures of every contestant at my home studio, which at the moment was my aunt’s house. Then, people on Facebook voted for their favorite contestant to win the prize. Lastly, the winners won a free photoshoot that included pictures at the beach, at a stable and near the pool. I could not believe I did that.
After moving to the United States I took my photography slowly. I would work on the weekends and for special occasions. It wasn’t until last year, during the pandemic that I told myself I needed to follow my passion. After working for others and dedicating so much time to other people’s dreams and careers, I decided it was my time. Ever since I made the decision I could not be more happy. The first month of being a freelancer I told myself to book one photoshoot each week. By the end of that month I had booked 12 photoshoots. It was then, when I said, I am not stopping now.
What's the best part of being a photographer?
One of my favorite parts about being a photographer is making people feel great about themselves. I love seeing people realize how beautiful they are and then go home with a smile on their face. I cannot believe I get to be a part of that.
What is it like being a female photographer in a field dominated by men?
I used to think I needed to prove my worth all the time. As if, having X amount of gear would make me equal to male photographers. However, nowadays, people are more inclined to work with photographers that resonate with them. People that they feel comfortable with and that have shown expertise with their work. I do not think I am competing against anyone but myself.
Do you remember your first paid photography gig? How did it go?
I am not sure if this was exactly my first one. But I remember shooting a group of friends from my school. I hired my friend as a makeup artist and we had everything set up for them. I was so happy and fulfilled with this. I remember I even made a t-shirt for me and my friend to say “Photographer” and “Makeup artist,” respectively.
What gives you ideas and what inspires you to create your beautiful images?
My culture inspires me a lot. I also use other types of art as inspiration, such as music, paintings, etc. Pinterest is another source for other inspiration and to create my vision boards.
How long does a shoot day typically last and what is the preparation like?
A shoot day could be around 3-5 hours depending on the photoshoot. But the preparation lasts even months. When I am creating a concept and I am the creative director of the photoshoot I spend sometimes months creating my vision. I gather inspiration from Pinterest, things that I already own, music, etc. Every photoshoot is unique, therefore, the timing is changing all the time.
What from your point of view makes the shoot successful?
I am very picky with my work and what I do. I believe there has to be a couple of components. 1. excellent quality of photographs. 2. I have to be happy with the end result. 3.my client needs to be happy.
How has photography influenced or changed you as a person?
Photography has taught me how important it is to have discipline and consistency. It has influenced the way I see other people’s businesses and how much effort we all put in it. But it has also taught me, people judge a lot and we have to be good to ourselves and others. Moreover, it has taught me that it is possible to find a job you love and makes you excited every single day. I am so grateful I get to do it and I get to inspire others to follow their dreams.
Can you name a single work that has resonated with you emotionally? Why?
I remember I got to take my friend’s wedding pictures. Even though that is not my field, I was so happy I got to share those moments with her and her husband. Photography allows me to stop time, moments that won’t happen again. I am grateful, beyond words.
What projects are you working on next, and what are your goals for the future?
I am working on some other publicacions. Currently, expanding some of my work to Europe and creating there. My main goals are to find my work printed in more magazines as well as seeing more latinx models and diversity printed in magazines. That is mainly what I strive for.
Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?
You can find my work through my website thefaneite.com and stay connected via email email@example.com or my social media channels:
IG: @thefaneite @thefaneitephoto