I first started emailing with Laila on October 15th, so we’re both very happy to finally share our exchange with you. Meet Laila, known on Foap as @fotolaila. A scuba diver, a photographer since 8 and a passionate traveller.
Laila, to kick things off tell us a little about you: who are you, where are you from, what do you do when you’re not on Foap?
I am a 60 year “young” woman from Oslo in Norway. I have lived the last 20 years in Stavanger on the west coast with my husband and my dog. Five years ago I retired from my job as an air purser for SAS Scandinavian Airlines and that gives me plenty of time to do all the things I enjoy, like photography.
I still travel a lot which I love, but now it is just for experiences and fun, not work. I bring my camera wherever I go, so my photos are mostly a documentary of my travels and experiences outside in nature. Since scuba diving has been a passion for me for the last 30 years, it is natural for me to take my camera with me to this beautiful, mysterious world.
You have an impressive profile on Foap with 461 photos! How did you start with Foap? Why did find it appealing?
I found FOAP in a search for stock agencies. I have for many years been delivering photos to iStock, Dreamstime and Shutterstock where I am accepted as a photographer, and I like to see what is going on in that area. Foap seemed interesting because it gave me the possibility to upload photos from my mobile phone without very strict quality control and a long acceptance time.
I first became interested long before Foap, when I was about 8 years old, but times were very different then. Since then, I have always brought a camera with me on all my travels and any potential opportunities, and also under water. For 30 years, I have been scuba diving.
In 2003 I joined a local photo club and started my digital photo travelling. I am still in this club, and now also in the leadership. We are an active, fun group with many activities.
I can also mention that I work as a freelance photographer for a Norwegian magazine, and I have been used occasionally by other companies as well.
I would just like to say that this is an amazing shot! Where was this taken? Who is the person in the shot?
This photo was taken in my neighborhood where we have many long beaches. I went out on a stormy winter day last year with my best friend and my camera. The sky was dramatic and so were the waves. I used her as a model, as I often do in my work.
What is your own favourite photo from your profile? Or the most significant one to you?
It is difficult to point out a special photo because I have a lot of nice memories with most of them. I think the photo of my husband walking between the two cruise ships is cool if I should pick one. It was also a nice vacation with good memories.
I was intrigued by this photo. Its one of the first ones that appears in your portfolio. Is this a print you took a picture of? Was it on a white background? I really like it, it looks very pop art.
The photo of the wooden Russian dolls are indeed made by me from scratch. I own these dolls and took them out on the terrace on a sunny day. I made sure that I placed them in the angle I wanted in the sun so the shadows were cast the way I wanted.
After this it was an easy job in Photoshop. I marked the dolls and shadows and made the wooden floor white, then I marked the shadows and made them black. Easy, but the effect is great. I have a good knowledge of Photoshop and I experiment a lot to make a different photo by mixing my own photos and add filters, etc. Great fun, but I have kept them out of FOAP since this is rather impossible to do with a smartphone. I’m thinking of transfering these photos however and addidng them through my phone.
What’s one thing you would change about Foap to make it better?
I would not change so much about Foap, but I would like a little stricter quality control. The community does not often have the right skills to decide, so I feel that many photos are accepted without criticism in quality and composition. Maybe it is time for a clean up? You are blessed with many good photographers. I do not know how you spread the word about Foap, but the more publishers, magazines, web sites and so on, know about you, the better the sales are for everybody.
I like the new FOAP look and the fact that you can see who the photographers are on each photo. And that you can see more photos on each page.
Laila, thanks for your time!
Indeed, Laila is right in stating we are very spoiled with the amount of talent on Foap! Team Foap is always blown away by the talent we come accross on Foap, in missions, etc. Furthermore, I see from emailing with you in preparing these Q&As that Foapers are a group of people with a great deal of passions, which makes my job a lot more interesting and easy! This would be very cheesy to state, if it wasn’t true. 😉
Have a great weekend everybody!