Through The Lens with Aiala Hernando
Things don’t just happen. They take time to blossom, to develop and to flourish. Friendships don’t just happen – they require an initial connection, grounds of familiarity and specks of common interest to bloom into something beautiful. This is what happens when I bring someone into my space, my little blog where I share some of the most intimate stories with all of you. Interviewing someone is the same for me – we connect, exchange friendly emails but then something more magical happens. I let it flourish, I don’t rush it. A friendship is built, a new love for the person is found, greater respect and then I find a new appreciation, a story develops to share them with the entire world in this pretty little space I like to call Garden Heart.
If you think about it – isn’t it the same with a new skin care line, a camera, a movie, a new cuisine or anything new that enters your life? We get to know its wonders to see if there is a compatibility. In the end, it’s the most important part (at least for me).
For the past year, I’ve been building a new lovely friendship with one of most talented and loveliest photographer, director and visual artist. Even though we haven’t met in person, I’ve shared intimate moments of my life with her, exchanged touching emails and along the way learned so much from my new friend about photography and styling. If you want to know how to do something at its best, to the best of your ability, you find the most talented people in the world and become their mentee to better yourself in whatever you set out to do. I’m in love with the whole visual aspect, it’s what draws me to blogs, magazines, cookbooks and accounts on social media. So I went to the best to learn and soak up all there is to know.
I’m beyond delighted to introduce my friend and super talented photographer, director and visual artist on Garden Heart.
Through the Lens with Aiala Hernando
Elli: If you had to choose three words to define your style of photography, what would it be? What mood do you love to create most?
Aiala: Painterly, strongly graphic with an aura of seductive darkness.
Elli: There is something quite magical about food photography. How does it make you feel when you create and capture a moment on camera?
Aiala: I think the word that would describe what I feel best is passionate. I feel passionate and excited every time I have a new project and every time I ‘create’ a whole new scene.
Elli: I’ve always been fascinated with food styling and photography, especially when it comes to making healthy wholesome food look visually appealing. It sounds easy, but for the most part, many struggle with it. What are some tips you would recommend to incorporate when starting out?
Aiala: I never get tired of saying this: light is the key, to everything. For me, that means natural light. There is nothing as appealing as a perfect combination of light and shadows to create magical scenes and gradients.
Elli: Your work brings you to different parts of the world. Do you find that has influenced your style of work?
Aiala: Traveling always influences you, in all parts of your life, both professional and personally. I think that it helps you approach everything in a different way, in a more opened one.
Elli: Which raw ingredients are easy to work with, look beautiful on camera and maintain their freshness throughout the shoot?
Aiala: Red fruit is the most painterly, beautiful ingredient I have found so far.
Elli: Many noted that photography comes natural to some and challenging to others, do you agree? Do you need to have an eye for design, styling and creativity?
Aiala: This is something many people would not agree with me on. I think that to become a true artist, someone with that ‘something’ that transmits feelings, you have to be born with that special gift. However, I also believe that hard work can achieve almost everything.
Elli: How did you get started in photography?
Aiala: Photography is something that’s always been part of my life. My father was a photographer when he was younger and art has always been a part of me since forever.
Elli: Who are some of your favourite foodie bloggers?
Aiala: The truth is that I do not follow many food blogs, I read more magazines and cookbooks.
Elli: Will you be teaching any classes and online workshops this year?
Aiala: I always try to teach some courses every year. Even when I don’t have a lot of time to do it, but I still make time to a least teach one or two.
Elli: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Aiala: Don’t search for others’ approval, believe in yourself.
Elli: Thank you Aiala for being here in my little space and sharing your learnings. For anyone interested to browse and get inspired, Aiala’s website is my go-to inspiration, her Instagram account is one of the most incredible portfolio feeds I’ve ever come across and her workshops are beyond educational.
I had the honour to be in one of her online classes and my experience was extraordinary. Aiala is an exceptional teacher, mentor and coach. She is truly one of the best, a professional who cares for her students’ work, who understands the world of photography and who challenges each of us, pushes us beyond our limits. Every project gets reviewed by Aiala and then you receive very detailed feedback. She really takes the time with each piece to write back to every student, not to mention she always responds back every time you have a question. Every question matters to her. She has the ability to create human connections online, without ever meeting in person. That’s an art in itself and so rare to find, most teachers have a hard time creating this warmth online with their students. Incredible to see how much she loves her work and how much she appreciates the work we do as students. Below is my final project in Aiala’s class.