Gabriela Tulian is one of the most successful lifestyle photographers in the 500px Marketplace. We love the vivid way she captures simple details and memorable moments—her photos draw us in and make us wish we were part of the scene. Gabriela grew up in Cordoba, Argentina, where she lived until moving to Montreal, Canada, in 2001. She identifies her main interests as portraiture, food photography, and lifestyle photography. We asked Gabriela a few questions about her photography, where she finds inspiration, and what advice she would give fellow photographers.
500px: How did you get started in photography?
Gabriela Tulian: My first contact with photography was in 2011. At that time, my job required me to take pictures of commercial products, so buying a camera was the obvious choice. The first time was about a great deal of experimentation and fascination, and quickly photography began to take on great importance in my life.
How would you describe your photography style?
I’m constantly seeking to define my photography. It’s hard because I like to take a wide range of pictures. Most professional photographers recommend specializing in a specific style, but for me it doesn’t work. I follow my feelings and I capture what inspires me in that exact moment and place.
Where do you find your inspiration? What are some of your favorite places to shoot?
There is always a creative quest for new inspiration. I try to travel or visit new places as much as possible. I listen to music to get in the mood to create—music that speaks to me. I also use communities such as 500px and social networks to follow the work of talented photographers. Besides, I get inspired by other artists’ work the same way that I am inspired by the world around me, films, and even books.
Nature fuels my soul; as far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved spending time outdoors. Shooting outdoors is a great experience; we have unpredictable conditions, locations, and some places truly offer stunning backgrounds to take the image to the next level. But it’s not always possible to go too far. I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful city, Montreal, because it also offers me much captivating scenery to work with.
How did you get started in commercial photography?
Shortly after I started, I was contacted by a microstock agency offering to buy some of my pictures. Today, commercial photography takes most of my time, and I adore this exciting world.
What are your techniques for capturing great lifestyle photography?
I try to be a spectator to the world around me, so I can capture that “moment” as spontaneously and authentically as possible. I love connecting with people in an easy and relaxed way; creating an atmosphere where we can really get the best from everyone and everything flows naturally.
You’ve worked as an Assignments photographer for 500px. Can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like for you?
For me, Assignments are extraordinary challenges.
They allow me to organize my work differently, and create according to the client’s needs. These are extraordinarily enriching learning experiences.
Particularly, I love working with 500px. I like the staff’s personal touch. They make me feel very comfortable; they have always been there for any query, concern or unexpected situation, and I am very grateful for that.
Many of your photographs feature women or girls. What inspires you to create these portraits? How do you get ideas for the composition, subjects, or themes of these images?
Portraits represent a new world to me and I still have a lot to learn, but they allow me to convey new emotions that I otherwise would not be able to convey.
As my daughter is my most accessible model, she appears fairly often in my pictures, but in general I like people with character, who defy stereotypes. Regardless of where this new world takes me, I enjoy the learning process.
Have you faced any challenges as a woman working in photography?
Being a woman has led me to more benefits, I believe. I have always felt supported by the entire photographers’ community, and when it comes to clients, I think that being a woman has never caused any inconvenience.
What advice would you give women working in the field of photography?
Focus on your own vision; take lots of pictures. That is the best way to learn, improve, and find your own path. Do not despair when creativity disappears; it is just a cycle that comes and goes, and you have to learn to live with that (this is what I always tell myself 🙂 ).
Who are some of your favorite photographers that are women?
The theme of our current Photo Quest is “Women Driving Change.” Who is a woman driving change who inspires you?
Throughout my life, my mother has always been there for me, caring for me and encouraging me. I couldn’t be more grateful for having someone like her in my life. It was not always easy for her; she got pregnant at 19 in a remote Argentinean town. Her parents did not accept her situation, so she decided to start a new life, with me, in the big city.
For many years, she worked day and night, sometimes juggling 3 jobs at a time to provide for us. Later on, at the age of 42, she decided to become a psychologist and graduated with flying colors.
Her dreams and ambitions were so great, and with great dignity, she changed her destiny and mine to have a better life. My mother’s resolve and strength have always been my greatest inspiration.