Interview with Kayleigh Mifsud : A Remarkable Travel Photographer
Kayleigh Mifsud was born and raised in Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. Coming from such a small country she has always felt a bit claustrophobic. That claustrophobic feeling was one of the major reasons why back in 2011, she decided to move to the UK for her further studies.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. Coming from such a small country I’ve always felt a bit claustrophobic. Even when I was a little girl, I would grab my mum’s luggage and pretend I’m off travelling to another country. That claustrophobic feeling was one of the major reasons why back in 2011, I decided to move to the UK to further my studies.
While I was at university, I did a lot of travelling around in the UK. This was my first time away from home and for the very first time I could just hop on a train or get a cheap flight to anywhere in Europe. That liberating feeling stayed with me to this day. This is when I started getting into photography, which goes hand in hand with travelling. I’ve recently moved back to Malta and for the past three months I’ve been photographing every nook and cranny on the island.
2. Did you go to school to study photography?
I didn’t study photography but I first got into photography whilst I was at university.
3. Can you please share the story about the start of your photographic journey?
I would say that travelling is what got me into photography. I wanted to capture the beauty of my surroundings, be it bustling cities or serene landscapes.
[cave in Ramla l-hamra, Gozo]
4. How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been taking photos for a long time but I got my first DSLR back in 2013 and from there I’ve taught myself how to make the most of the functions of the camera I got back then.
5. Photography is your passion or profession or both?
Photography is my passion but I’m working towards making it my profession as well.
[Sirmione in lago di garda, Italy]
6. How would you describe your photographic vision? What kind of feel do you try and create in your photos?
What I try to portray through my photography is there’s beauty in everything, even the most mundane things. You might have seen something a million times but when you see it through the lens, you see it through a new perspective.
When I’m taking pictures, I like to go for really colourful surroundings. I also like taking pictures of serene landscapes.
7. What type of camera and lenses do you use?
I’ve got a Nikon D3500. The lens I use the most is a Sigma 18mm-200mm but I also have Nikkor 18mm-55mm and 55mm-200mm as a backup.
[Duomo in Florence as seen from Palazzo Vecchio, Italy]
8. How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Although I do use Photoshop to edit photos I took on the road, I try to make subtle changes to the original pictures. Personally I don’t really like it when photos are unrealistically over-edited as I feel that kind of ruins the original picture.
What I like to do is enhance the colours that are already in the picture and make them jump out more.
9. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement so far was when I my photos were featured in a blog post about my home country.
10. What is the best compliment do you have ever? Could you please share Happiest Moment in your Photography Life?
Happiest moment I would say has to be when my boyfriend and I were trekking on an ancient Roman road in Wales, at some point we realised we were lost but we kept walking until we ended up on a hill and from up there we could see all the way to Anglesey. We spent ages taking pictures up there.
The best compliment I’ve gotten so far is when an established photographer saw my pictures and assumed that I was taking pictures professionally.
[Popeye village in Malta]
11. What are the characteristics that a good Travel Photographer needs to have?
Don’t be shy to talk to locals because they always know the best places that aren’t necessarily in travel guides. Try and drive yourself instead of opting for public transport as you can stop the car whenever you want.
The amount of times I’ve missed opportunities to take great travel photos because I was on a bus. Get out of your comfort zone when you’re travelling, that way you get more opportunities for photos that other people wouldn’t come across.
Keep an open mind when you’re taking pictures on the road, for you something might seem mundane but for others from different countries it might not be.
12. What are some simple tips for taking great travel photos?
I would say being flexible with your travel plans is essential as however much you plan there’s always something that goes wrong or can change. Weather play a central part in landscape photography so as a photographer you need to be prepared to move things around and making the most of the weather. Also allow yourself the time to take good pictures. Don’t rush from one location to another otherwise it will reflect in your photos.
[church ceiling, I took in Medici Chapel in FLorence]
13. How do you make a living with your travel photography?
Sadly I don’t make a living out of travel photography yet but hopefully one day.
14. So what’s next in your list?
My next big travel and photography destination will be Nepal. My long term goals are to get into street photography and spend a couple of months travelling through New Zealand.
[Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech]
15. Any specific tips you have for newbie photographers?
I would say always have your camera with you as you never know when opportunity will pop up. Unfortunately I’ve learnt this the hard way, you wouldn’t believe the amount of times I went for a walk and at thatmoment in time the lighting was just perfect and I didn’t have my camera with me.
16. You have a website also, please tell me about that?
I have a blog on WordPress where I write about my travels. https://themediterraneantraveler.wordpress.com/
My photos are on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/133469187@N08/albums
[Somewhere in Norway]
17. Words for your followers and why they should follow you?
Thank you for taking an interest in my photography. I hope that my pictures inspire people to travel off the beaten path. There is so much beauty out there waiting to be explored.
What I try to convey through my pictures is that ultimately travel is the best education, you learn so much about different cultures, you meet people from different walks of life and you experience new things. People following my photographic journey will get to see just that through my lens.
18. If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet where would you build your dream home?
It’s hard for me to choose one country to live in as I don’t want to settle down but if I had to choose I would say either Norway or New Zealand.
19. Words and suggestion about my website www.indiaataglance.com
I think it’s a really great travel website and the interview section makes it even more colourful. Keep up the good work!