Zena Jisr: “I find myself constantly searching for the right light to capture the littlest things I see”
Let’s start Zena with this gorgeous macro shot of a sunflower. Tell us about it?
These beautiful sunflowers were given to me by my best friend Sylvia. She brought them to me one afternoon and decorated my outside patio. I love remembering special moments so I took a few shots of them sitting in a vase and wanted to share the outcome with the world.
Obviously nature is your passion, most of your photos are close ups, mostly from the countryside. Tell us about nature photography and what attracts you to it?
I feel so serene being in nature. I enjoy long walks listening to music while observing the beauty of the nature around me. After taking photography as a passionate hobby, I was drawn to details in nature. There’s so much beauty in details and if the light is perfect the results can be mesmerising. I find myself constantly searching for the right light to capture the littlest things I see. I find it fascinating. That’s nature’s perfection to me.
I know you edit for Instagram with Snapseed. Talk to us about your selection and editing process.
Almost all my photos are edited with snapseed. I usually enhance the details with a bit of contrast and intensify the colours to make them pop out. As you may know the dslr cameras captures flat colours so with a little bit of ‘snapseeding’ am usually very satisfied with the result.
You are not a professional photographer. How did your photography journey start? Was Instagram the reason?
I wish I was a photographer and get to do it as a profession.
I started out on Instagram and originally with quote-posts, then slowly I began posting iPhone photos that I was taking. I was getting really sweet comments from people who started following me. It gave me more confidence to post more of my own. I was encouraged by some to start using a dslr. So I got my canon. With few tips here and there and a course in photography (which was so much fun), I learned to use my camera and developed my own style.
What is photography for you, Zena? I know you are also an amateur singer. What connects the art of singing with the art of photography?
Singing is my first passion. Am not a professional singer but I do take vocal lessons and post some videos I take during my lessons. Music inspires me, it transports to a place where I disconnect from everything around me. While am going on a hike armed with my canon, the music plugged in my ears lets me feel everything around with such intensity. I start taking photos and I find myself smiling -especially when I feel I caught something magical.
What does your feed tell the viewer about Zena the person?
I have two feeds on Instagram, one more personal than the other. In the personal account I use quotes with my photos. Not just any quotes but ones that I relate to somehow and feel they are befitting to my capture. That account says so much about me if one reads. I am a person driven by her emotions whether am happy or sad. It’s like an outlet for my soul. It’s strange talking about oneself, but one can figure out a sensitive passionate soul driven by love. In a nutshell. Ιt’s amazing what I get in comments from those who follow me on Instagram, sometimes they leave me speechless with their kindest comments. I appreciate them, one and all. Thank you!
Cyprus is your home base, but you are originally from Lebanon. Is there a connection in these two neighboring countries which you share, through the camera lens?
Two beautiful countries separated by 25 minutes in a plane and am just so lucky to be a part of these two worlds. Each country has its own beauty, yet I haven’t had the chance to capture Lebanon’s nature’s beauty (since my journey in photography started here in Cyprus) but I have the privilege to discover Cyprus. I have this dream of publishing a photo book entitled “Cyprus through my eyes” to show a close up view of how I see this beautiful island. And if I get a chance I would do the same for my country. The connection would be viewing each through my lens and sharing it with the world.
Is there something you would like to try in the future, as far as Instagram/Photography are concerned?
I hope to keep taking photos and sharing them. I hope to meet more Instagram friends and go on journeys where we all share the same passion. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some wonderful people here in Cyprus who inspired me and taught me to venture outside my comfort one. Their support and kindness made my Instagram journey such a delightful one and I thank them one and all. Since I met them, my Instagram journey has taken a different level and I just consider myself lucky and more for you dear Krystallena, for finding me on ig because without you, I would still be hiding behind my personal account. Last but not least, I thank you for selecting me and giving me the chance to be interviewed. If I took a photo right now, it would a big, big heart.
Zena’s instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/Zena_Jisr/
The interview was given on 08.07.2016