On charming gardeners who make our souls blossom
12 months ago on August 15th 2016 I was on a plane to Tenerife together with Diva Borrelli, my beautiful soul sister, after getting my first commissioned travel story for the Condé Nast Traveller. Our shot list was long, we had to capture the essence of three islands, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria in 10 days. From the moment we checked in to the first hotel till the moment we checked out of our last one we seriously did not stop! It was sheer madness!
It was exciting, nerve wrecking, fun, emotional, breathtaking and definitely an experience we will never forget. The Canary Island story came out in the December issue with 29 beautiful photographs and my first cover.
The feature was beautiful. Minimal, clean, modern and colourful. I must have submitted over 800 images to Matt Buck, the photography editor at the CNT, who instantly knew what worked, what was the strongest, what would be perfect for the cover. Seeing the editing process was crazy inspiring and as soon as I received the final layout I saw the pattern in colours, textures, feelings. Pattern submerging out of these three contrasting, individual islands.
Lanzarote definitely stole our hearts.
There was a few seconds of silence every time we drove around Lanzarote.
Silence filled with a sense of awe. I remember listening to Bon Iver "The Wolves" while driving to Timanfaya National Park to photograph the volcanic landscape. It was pretty emotional.
An immense expanse of dark, hard, volcanic soil. It felt like being on a different planet, beautifully surrendering to nature, breathing and receiving this magnetic volcanic energy.
I also remember the first evening driving like maniacs to Famara beach to catch the sunset. We run from the car straight to the beach not to miss the warm, pink and purple sunset light watching one (yes the only one on the whole beach) surfer emerging from water. This is how we met Raul and a whole group of friends from Valencia who were catching waves in the area at the time. Without bumping into Raul that evening we would not photograph any of the surfer portraits. His friends kindly agreed to pose for me and share their day with us.
We have met so many beautiful people, so many kind souls, helpful and loving individuals and I am so grateful to have had Diva Borrelli by my side.
If you haven't met Diva you must know that Diva is a modern witch. An American, blue eye, blond hair, huge smile, striking girl, who is capable of making anyone laugh and feel comfortable.
With her colourful wardrobe full of unique labels, black Birkenstock's and huge Harry Winston custom ring, she simply shines and attracts the light.
Diva isn’t just a self-help, healing, inspirational young lady but a stylish, bubbly, creative, energetic modern witch who dances often and radiates feminine empowering energy! She is the light. People always want to talk with her.
I am so grateful for this experience and meeting so many amazing people who let me photograph them.
Can't believe it's been one year already! So happy to be able to blog about this trip at this very moment after coming back from Santorini few days ago shooting for the Traveller again...
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom".
Photography by Ana Lui Photography shot on CONTAX 645 and Fuji 400H
Developed and scanned by Carmencita Film Lab