Instagram star captures the dramatic beauty of Toronto's icons
Toronto's Aimee Hernandez picked up her first DSLR camera about a year and a half ago. She had planned a trip to Italy and was looking for a creative outlet - she found it in photography.
Since August 2015 and that fateful trip across the pond, Hernandez has garnered more than 14,000 Instagram followers and continues to post photos of Toronto as well as of cities from around the world.
During business hours, Hernandez is an account director at a database marketing company. “It’s nice to have something that’s completely separate from work that’s also more of a creative outlet," she says. "It’s really helped ground me as well."
She knows it's cliche, but photography has helped change her perspective of the city, and of the world. "It’s funny," she says. "Looking through a lens you notice things a lot more, you notice the little nuances."
Hernandez tries to get out with her camera as much as possible, but she's usually limited to one weeknight as well as on weekends. She enjoys shooting places such as the Gooderham Building, the Scarborough Bluffs and the Islands. She's always looking for a new perspective to share.
Exploring, she explains, is part of the fun. And that's especially true when she travels to new cities. This year, she's been to Chicago, San Francisco, Paris and Barcelona.
She was featured in the Art of Visual print magazine and has connected with members of Toronto's photography community via the app as well as through photo walks and meetups.
She often gets called "bro" on the app, as people assume she's a guy. Many of the high profile streetscape photographers and Instagram stars happen to be male. "It’s definitely male-dominated," she says.
She cites @bora.vs.bora and @mindz.eye as examples of local photographers who inspire her and in the States, she's a fan of @jennkichinko and @lisabao. She also like @monaris_ and hopes to one day branch out into street photography.
“I like the immediacy of street photography... you capture a moment and then it’s gone," she says.
For her own feed, she uses tags to grow her following and focuses on quality over quatity. And, she continues to explore Toronto via her camera lens.
"You walk by a street corner and you don’t really pay attention," she says. "But with a camera in my hand, I see things I wouldn’t have normally seen before.”
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