Davina of @heydavina is a blogger living in Brooklyn, NYC, who, in her words, mixes the modern and the rustic. Her images capture both sides of the city that never sleeps; the bright and beautiful attractions that give the city its exuberant reputation, and the rustic exteriors and secret alleyways that hint at New York's past life.
How did you get started?
I started at the end of 2015. I had just left my job back home in Malaysia to move back to NYC and so my husband told me to go out, walk around, do something, take photos maybe, rather than just sit at home and do nothing, because he knew I'd be bored.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration mostly from the old architecture in downtown NYC (and most recently, Brooklyn). I love the old buildings and their charming and quaint vintage-like textures and details, both inside and out, and that always makes the most interesting photos for my feed.
How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?
Pictures of me, family and/or friends, they're private and I usually upload those on my private Facebook account, for just family and friends. These are pictures I take and keep for memories, so they're personal. Everything else, I take to challenge myself on a creative level - like trying to capture a shadow-play on a facade, or create a beautiful flatlay, or snap a store-front with the perfect stride-by, these I share on Instagram to inspire.
Any tips and tricks to your photos?
Firstly, if you're shooting with your phone like me, always shoot with good natural lighting, that helps give you a bright and vibrant image - artificial lighting always add an unwanted yellow tint. Secondly, I like my lines straight, so when I shoot facades and interiors, I always make sure my vertical and horizontals lines are straight, so that the images look nice and clean, and well thought of. Thirdly, make sure there's a focus in your image - know what you're capturing so that people know what they're looking at.
What camera and editing software do you use?
I'm currently using the Google Pixel to shoot all my images and VSCO to edit them. Occasionally, i would use Snapseed to do minor touch-ups that VSCO can't.
How would you describe your Instagram aesthetics?
Charming, thanks to all the old architectural facades and rustic interiors that I constantly photograph, inspiring, because this is NYC, and people aspire to travel here, live here, basically, just be here, and beautiful, since i always try to capture NYC in it's best light - making sure it's cute, or pretty, or charming, or colourful, or fun.
Tell us something no one knows about you.
I love listening to Golden Oldies! I grew up with my mom constantly playing Golden Oldies on the radio, and now it's feel good/nostalgic music for me.
What’s been your favourite piece of creative work to date?
Currently, I think this is my favourite (image below). Because I remember we went back to this cute little cafe the next day and again, there was this huge truck parked right in front of it, and i was completely bummed! I was on vacation in Charleston and leaving the next day, so it's not like i could go back again. So I decided to just take the photo anyway, but from a side angle and later realized that the photo was so pretty!
The best thing about being a creator?
It's so much fun! Meeting new people at events, trying out new cafes, hunting for charming backdrops... I can't complain!
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Start earlier! I wished I had gotten on board with the Instagram scene years earlier, before it got so saturated and wildly competitive.
Thanks, Davina! You can find out more about her at @heydavina.