MISSBISH Photography Workshop | Samantha Feyen

Author: Diandra Barsalou / Photos: Samantha Feyen
01.11 / MB Series

Photographer: Samantha Feyen

Instagram: @samantheeyo

What was the first camera you shot on and how did you progress to the camera you use now?
Believe it or not my first camera was a disposable camera I stole from our local convenience store on Maui.

At age 14 I worked all summer to buy a Nikon D3100 - a Costco camera cheap enough for me to take rad pictures of my beautiful beach babes of friends I had. That was my baby for a quite a while until I realized how limited I was with it. I knew that if I was going to take photography seriously, this camera wouldn’t do it. Shortly after, I upgraded to a Canon 6D which really helped kick off my career. I learned so many things from that camera, I strongly recommend people to start off like so - I can’t imagine going head in into an advanced camera - you need to let yourself grow. Let yourself learn.

I now own a Canon 5D mark IV.

You're a photographer, but also a media manager, producer, and art director - how do you balance being such a renaissance creative, is it ever difficult to pitch to clients?
No and Yes. Yes and No. Till this day I honestly can’t comprehend how I’m balancing all these outlets but I’ll let you know once I find out.

How do you approach storytelling in your photography?
I approach it as organically as possible. Mistakes are welcome, and unexpectedness is to be expected.

You have an iconic yet irreverent style, what has influenced this?
Vintage Photos. I have quite a collection of vintage ’70s, ’80s, and '90s magazines and photography books. It’s a goldmine of inspiration. God, there isn’t anything like it. The use of lighting, shadows, space, and color, it’s never ending. Photography was so much more work back then, we are so spoiled as photographers in this century to be able to just point and shoot.

What would your dream collaboration be?
I’m way ahead of my game here, but my dream collaboration would be with Gucci. Their campaigns are so well thought out and ahead of anyone’s time. They are so iconic and have been blowing my mind for as long as I could understand high fashion. They never shy away from controversy and a photoshoot campaign that makes conversation is my cup of tea.

Tell us about your relationship with the Hawaiian islands and Thailand, both in your work and on a personal level.
It’s an odd combination, I know. Thailand and Hawaii, what a trip. I’m half Thai and lived there for most of my childhood and preteen years. Growing up in a small village in the mountains really gives you some perspective on life. I didn’t get to grow up with gadgets and gizmos that most people my age did, and as corny as that sounds, it really did teach me the value of things. So did Hawaii. Hawaii taught me to slow down, take things in stride, and to be forever thankful for your surroundings. I cannot fathom who and what kind of photographer I’d be without experiencing these places.

With Hawaii being such a popular destination, where do you love to travel to most on the mainland when you get away?
Seattle has my heart.

What are you listening to right now?
Africa by Toto.

What does MISSBISH mean to you?
MISSBISH means being the best, bada*s you and not a carbon copy of another person.

Who is your main MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she inspires you.
Kehlani. I am so inspired by her everything. The way she moves, speaks, sings, she’s just an incredibly attractive human being - not in a sense of sex appeal (though she is sexy AF) but in a sense of being humane. She’s so relatable and that’s so hard to find in the music industry nowadays. I’ve been following her journey since her sound cloud mixtape days and even then I knew she would be someone I strive to be like - headstrong, brave, yet vulnerable.

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