Maria Vazquez of @cestmaria is inspired by geometry, clean lines and colours. Find out how she takes her eye for beauty and shares it with the world…
Maria Vazquez’s Instagram is awash with pastel tones and peaceful imagery. From Mexico to London, @cestmaria’s camera reflects the world around her. And, as she explores her new environment, she says uninterrupted connectivity is key:
“What I like about Instagram is that it enables you to connect with different people wherever you may be,” Maria explains. “It’s like a curated gallery for your work. It also gives you the space to create communities, making it easy to find people who have a similar aesthetic or the same interests as you.
“I like to see what other people are doing. It also helps me stay up to date with the latest fashions, what people are interested in, and where the trendy places are around London or elsewhere in the world.”
Full of whimsical colours and minimal compositions, Maria’s photography is distinctive. She says it’s about removing any clutter to create a sense of calm:
“I believe style develops over time, but it’s largely dependent on your surroundings and your experiences,” she says. “Mexico, for instance, has really beautiful lighting and really nice colourful spaces. My focus there was to create a sense of peace.
“I think that peace comes with the minimalism – trying to take the clutter out of the city and create images that are clean, simple and easy to look at. I really like pastel colours, as they add a sense of fun.”
“I think that peace comes with the minimalism – trying to take the clutter out of the city and create images that are clean, simple and easy to look at.”
While the light’s not quite as good in London as in Mexico, she likes the variety of spaces here, and the ability to capture a wide range of urban settings:
“Now I’m in London, my style is evolving,” Maria says. “London is busier – there’s so much going on. It’s colder, and I think in my Instagram you can see that transition. The photos I take here in London have more texture and more noise. They represent the spaces that I visit and the places in which I live.
“I strongly believe that inspiration is all around us. I read a long time ago that you need to be very careful of your inputs – the movies you see, the books you read – because that shapes what you produce.”
So how does Maria achieve her signature look? She says it’s largely intuition, and she encourages other photographers to find a style that works for them:
“I like geometry and I like simple lines,” she explains. “The things that catch my eye tend to be colourful, very minimal, featuring patterns and clean lines. The style is very specific, so I know how to compose the shots instinctively. It’s about having an eye open to see the beauty in everything – and I often look to nature. I take inspiration from art and the Pantone guide, and love creating something with a colour scheme.”
And, as Maria is not traditionally trained in photography, she says her style is intuitive and organic:
“First, you need to develop a style that feels right for you – that is easy and natural to make,” she says.
“There’s such a huge push for content creation at the moment that people are copying content instead of doing what’s right for them. You need to develop your own essence, so you can create organically without having to copy other people’s work.
“Then after that, just dedicate time and practice, practice, practice. It’s all about trial and error. Play around with styles that work for you until you find your method.”
Once you’ve got your own method and style sorted, what’s next? An exciting opportunity for Maria right now is the evolution of Instagram stories:
“When you build up a big Instagram following, people want to get to know you as a person. Instagram stories allow people to find out more about your day-to-day, and full signal is vital for that, as it’s all about sharing in the moment.
“When it comes to regular posts, there are times when I’m travelling or in the middle of something and I need to post there and then. Other times I wait until I have content. But being able to post when and where I need to is so important to my work.”
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