Thanks for finding me and for coming to view my work! I’m excited to share this portfolio of work with you. I’ve been a hobby photographer for more than ten years – with a break in the middle. I work between two cameras: a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28, and my Galaxy S8 smartphone. I’ve divided my photographs into categories and each has its own page. More of my photography hobby is detailed below, but if you want to just get on and see pictures, hit the menu, have a browse and please let me know what you think!
Aluna Rae DS Photography
by Laura De Stefano
HISTORY OF ALUNA RAE DS PHOTOGRAPHY
As a hobby photographer of more than 10 years, I have a diverse collection of images captured over the years, ranging from scenery and portraits to floral, sport, architectural and even food!
I operate my photography hobby under the name Aluna Rae DS Photography; an anagram of my first name and surname initials. I chose to work under a pseudonym after leaving my previous editorial job and wanting to make a fresh start. As I had more time to devote to my photographic hobby and grew my following and developed my skills, I began to tag my name onto the end, hence my official photographic handle is “Aluna Rae DS Photography by Laura De Stefano”! It’s a mouthful, but I love it.
Depending on the subject I work between two cameras. I have a Lumix digital bridge camera, which allows me some freedom to practice working with manual settings, or I have a choice from a huge selection of pre-determined settings suited to particular situations. However with the incredible development of smartphone cameras in recent years, and having recently found myself in possession of a Galaxy S8, I found the camera on there to be as good as, indeed even better than, my Lumix bridge camera in a large number of scenarios. I usually carry both cameras with me wherever I go, so I am ready for whatever might catch my eye!
I pride myself on editing my photos to an absolute minimum. 90% of my photographs are not edited at all. They are often cropped to change the composition of the image, but I very rarely apply filters or adjust the white balance, contrast, lighting or anything else. Photoshop and I are not too familiar with each other, and that’s something I am personally quite content with.
In a world where photoshopping images is not only normal, but expected and encouraged by all professionals, I enjoy that old-fashioned buzz the film-based photographers must have experienced; of having the challenge of capturing the sharpness and vibrance of the colours, and of getting the lighting, focusing, proportion and composition as I see the details in my minds eye. I just have the advantage of seeing my work immediately so I can see straight away what I need to do differently to improve upon the image.
WHAT IS ALUNA RAE DS PHOTOGRAPHY REPRESENTING?
My photography is essentially an extension and representation of myself. A reflection of who I am and what my values are. I photograph what I like, if something catches my eye – be it a certain angle of an everyday item, or a tiny detail on something, a pattern or something especially colourful or abstract, and I share my own favourites on my website and social media. I tend to stay away from photographing anything to please other people as I find the creative spark that makes a photograph something magical, rather than mundane, becomes an elusive creature when the pressure to deliver for other people is on.
It gives me great joy to be able to share my photos, especially with anyone who is directly involved in some way with those photos, and I am slowly feeling my way into photography for other people and keen to explore this avenue further.
One such example is my upcoming exhibition at Caldecote Open Gardens. I was privately invited to take photos of Childerley Hall Manor House and Gardens, an important local attraction and wedding venue, and I wanted to get photos from there to exhibit to the people of the nearby villages. Sharing my love of something local with people who are also local to the area is an unparalleled feeling.
COMMISSIONS AND PRINTS
If you are interested in purchasing prints of my work or if you would like to book me to take photographs of your pets, or of any venues, estates or gardens in the Huntingdon/Cambridge/Peterborough areas, please email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org, or text me/leave a voicemail message on 07791 347843.
Oh, and call me Laura!