Insta Fav #64: Don Macänlalay


Our Insta Fav #64 is Don Macänlalay also known as @directedbydon. He is a freelance creative based in Seattle working with a spirit of exploration and nostalgia. He loves to travel and to explore nature and we’re glad to be able to introduce him to you in the following interview. Enjoy.

Follow: @directedbydon

Where are you from? How does that place influence the way you photograph?
I’m from Washington, DC and just moved to the Pacific Northwest in Seattle, WA.; Each place has been unique, I think adapting to your environment is really a key ingredient when I’m taking photographs, what possible way could I show this place from a different point of view? It’s interesting because you get this sense of place when you take photographs somewhere, like you leave bits of yourself behind and take bits of the places you photograph with you.

What are your favorite environments to shoot in?
My favorite environments to shoot in are quiet, empty places in nature that see some traffic. Unfortunately, because of work I don’t get to do that as much, but when I do I try to make sure that I find a moment where you feel like ‘Yup, moments like these’.

What are the strengths of shooting primarily mobile? How does this affect your imagery?
It’s fast, and in the moment and most of all, it’s less intimidating when you’re taking photos of people. I don’t have to worry about changing all my settings and missing out on the moment. This really affects my imagery only in the sense of texture or depth of field, but then you find a different type of texture through post editing that really makes it into something that an expensive DSLR camera just doesn’t give you instantaneously.

Who and what are the things that inspire you?
Movies inspire me a lot. I love the lighting and pay attention to the tone and texture of movies and shorts. Some of my favorite examples of it would be in this online short called the Beauty Inside by Drake Doremus. Its tone and texture along with storytelling are an absolute wonder. And I’m constantly trying to find ways to incorporate what I see in movies onto how I take photos for my feed, to have this cinematic gravitas, which with mobile can be limiting to a degree.

Favorite instagrammers?
@morningslikethese, @withhearts, @philipleclerc, @bethanyolson, @rivaramos

Tell us a little about your everyday.
I typically daydream on the bus on the way to work, about places in the PNW I want to visit and ideas for photos, then I get to work and schedule a lot of my week out for posting and collaborations. It’s finding those moments of brevity and the chance to capture a moment worth recording that are like an easter egg hunt each time I leave the house. I’m the social media manger for The Nature Conservancy’s Washington Chapter. The Nature Conservancy is the world’s largest environmental non-profit working in 35 countries and every state in the US, to protect land and nature for people.

Which Apps do you use to edit your pictures?
I only use one app at the moment, and that’s VSCOcam. It’s been pretty standard throughout Instagram, and yet lately, sometimes I debate whether or not to use it less, simply because there are so many people who take photos and edit with it that I wonder if all our photos will begin to look like each other.

If you’d like to become a future ‘Insta Fav’, follow @ignant. We’ll look into it.

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