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Instagrammer Of The Week: Alex Manno
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Instagrammer Of The Week: Alex Manno

Picture of Remy Millar
Updated: 2 December 2016
Every week, we bring you a #CultureTripper, a hand-picked selection of the best Instagram photographers from around the world. From the islands of the Maldives to the mosques of Lahore, these photographers showcase their talents through their beautiful feeds and remarkable images. Alex Manno from the U.S. shares the artistic inspiration behind her images.

How did you get into photography?

Growing up, my mother took countless photos of my brother and I. She would always have her clunky film camera in hand, capturing memories. She stored all these photographs in albums in which I, when older and more appreciative of her being a constant paparazzi, would spend many days going through and recollecting past moments of my life that I had forgotten about or was too little to remember. I loved how with a simple photograph, I could quickly be transported back to that exact moment and remember with such clarity that day, that place, that outfit even! Through her ‘photographs of memories,’ as I like to call it, I found myself wanting to photograph my life in the same manner — to have something tangible to look back upon. From there, photography grew into an outlet for creativity and a means of expressing myself.

What inspires you?

As of late and most notably, travel has been an enormous inspiration for me. I find so much beauty in the different and the unfamiliar. The landscape, architecture, people and culture found within every place I visit, along with color and texture, inspire me to capture these details through my photography. I recently visited Iceland and was completely mesmerized by how untouched and unearthly it is there. Visiting Iceland not only inspired me but has also motivated me to travel outside my comfort zone, explore less visited parts of this world and to photograph those moments along the way.

What is the inspiration behind your Instagram handle?

Alexandpugs is, simply put, an appreciation for pugs. I am kind of obsessed with them.

Has Instagram changed the way you photograph?

Without a doubt, yes! With its ease, accessibility and positive demeanor, Instagram has become a melting pot of creativity that is constantly evolving, providing a resource in which photographs can be showcased and explored daily. It has truly made me more aware of the art and beauty found in my everyday life.

Whose work influences you?

I find myself discovering amazing photographers every day through Instagram, and so my influences are constantly changing and evolving. Some days, I may be more influenced by travel photographers and other days more by fashion photographers. There is, however, an overall theme to which I pull inspiration from and that is artistically captured photographs. Photographers whom are able to obtain a sense of authenticity in such an artful way are my biggest influences.

What do you want to say with your photographs? What message do you want to convey?

Through my photographs, I want to convey a sense of art and beauty. Amongst people, places and things, that of which I photograph, I create a balance between the authenticity of the subject and my own. In doing so, I hope to achieve a level of consistency that when someone looks at a photograph they know I took it.

What motivates you to continue taking photographs?

My constant desire to be creative and to document personal moments whether being an aesthetically pleasing experience or simply what I am reading are my motivation. More so, motivation to continue taking photographs is also found in the work of others, the sense of community in the photography world and the passion that everyone showcases.

How do you find subjects that you want to take photos of?

Unless I plan out a photo shoot with a friend, more so for fashion, I do not actively seek subjects to photograph. I normally find myself, at random, finding beauty in the little things in life. I may be walking around the neighborhood and find a cat looking out the window perfectly so, or there may be a beautiful sunset with endless cotton-candy clouds. These raw and uncoordinated moments are what I love to photograph and share with others the most.

Among your photos, which are your favorites and why?

Currently, my favorite photos are those I took from Iceland. Iceland is a country like no other country I have visited before. The environment there, how it changes from one minute being sunny, lush and green, to the next being engulfed in snow and mountains, is breathtaking. I completely fell in love with Iceland, and I will cherish the photographs I took there and the memories that I made for the rest of my life.