Bettina Bogar moved to Toronto from Budapest six years ago, and she’s used the Canadian hub to build a solid foundation for her commercial photography and creative direction. From that home base, she’s completed successful campaigns for the likes of Lululemon, Airbnb, Porter Airlines and Cadillac Fairview, to name a few.
Still, Bogar’s love of dreamy imagery and feel-good hues have landed her a love affair with the California coastline. After a handful of inspiring trips to Los Angeles and San Francisco, she’s developed a knack for beach portraits. Don’t believe her? Ask her to show you her camera gear sometime — as she tells us, it’s full of sand.
What inspired this particular project?
I fell in love with California while I was in Los Angeles, shooting a four-week assignment for Airbnb. During those four weeks, I had the chance to photograph most of LA’s neighborhoods, which gave me a totally new perspective of the city as well as its people. I came home re-energized and ready to create. Ever since then, I try to visit a few times a year, just to turn my mind off, soak in all the sun and photograph whatever creative thing I feel like doing.
This summer I flew to San Francisco and did a solo road trip down the coastline to LA to gain some inspiration and recharge my creative batteries.
Once I arrived, I got introduced to an amazing creative director, named Haleigh Wojciechowski. I approached her with a mood board, and within a week we were shooting on location in Malibu, with a full team of models, makeup artists, stylists, etc.
Are you purely a photographer or do you have other creative pursuits?
My other pursuit would be creative direction. A lot of my clients come to me with only a spark of an idea. Then they just let me lead the process of developing the whole vision for their brand’s imagery.
Why did you choose photography over other creative mediums?
I think for me it came really naturally. Ever since high school, I was always the one with the camera, taking photos of my friends (mostly girls). Then it just evolved. My first DSLR was a Canon 7D, then quickly switched to full-frame, and the rest is history.
What camera did you shoot on?
I used my beloved 5d Mark III for this shoot.
How does your gear help you take better photographs?
If you saw my gear you’d probably shed some tears. I never travel without my equipment, and I often shoot at beaches, underwater (with a housing) or other extreme conditions. So most of my stuff has sand on it or in it, or is beaten up pretty good. To me, nothing can replace the colours that Canon cameras can capture, which is why I’ve been using their gear for the past eight years.
If you could shoot any subject who would it be and why?
If you could go anywhere to shoot where would it be and why?
Oh boy. My bucket list is endless when it comes to traveling. I’m dying to do a shoot a fashion editorial in a desert (don’t ask why I want more sand in my gear), to travel Hawaii to shoot more surfers and to discover all the beauty New Zealand has to offer.
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For more of Bettina’s work: