#LetsGoRyoko Vol. 1.0 with Debbie Fortes

We know Debbie from our early days with Ryokō. Her pictures have always been very inspiring to us, especially the urban theme, and beautiful pictures of life in Dubai and UAE.

One of her pictures was recently featured on billboards worldwide after it was selected by Apple for an ad campaign!

Join us for a chat with Debbie to learn what inspired her to become full-time photographer, and what is her dream project.. 

So, why don't you tell us how your journey started with photography?

I got into photography since I was a kid. I got inspired by a book I bought on sale. It was about the villagers in Southeast Asia. The photos were all shot in black and white. Later on, I also got into Instagram when I first attended an 'instameet' organized by Igers Dubai in DIFC about one and a half years ago.

Phone or Camera? What’s your ‘go-to’ for leisure photography?

I mostly shoot using my iPhone6, it’s handy and I can upload my photos to Instagram right away. However I always shoot with Fujifilm XE1 and Canon 5D Mark ii for professional pictures. My first DSLR was a Nikon D7000. I also have a mini instax and a Polaroid Cube.


What inspires you to shoot? How do you choose your subject?

Visual storytelling. I am not really good in words, I express myself more through the photos I take. I am very careful with the subjects I take and contents that I share. The photos should have an impact, a story to tell. A lasting impression. A WOW factor.


What genre of photography excites you?

I am mostly inspired by the photography style on Instagram. Street photography is very close to my heart. @cocu_liu is one of my favorites!


What is your DREAM project?

Maybe going to a war zone. Document conflicts. Something that has to do with underrepresented. Getting out alive with plenty of stories to tell and photos to share.

What is the hardest thing about photography?

To be honest, photography is not that easy as it may sound. You need to produce a photo with a good composition and tell a story. Spot on exposures. You need a photo that will only require minimal editing.



What advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?

Learn. Never stop learning. Shoot everyday. Train your eyes.

What’s you idea of a perfect camera bag?

A bag that can carry maybe 2 of your best lenses and also you can put some other stuff that you have, like wallet and some extra clothes if you are off for some road trips.

You can follow Debbie’s visual story telling style through the links below:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/debbiefortes
Website: www.debbiefortes.com
EyeEm: www.eyeem.com/debbiefortes