A snapshot of Karla's life as a photographer

Arts & Culture

I loved to capture beauty and photography was quicker than sketching

Karla Darocas talks to My Guide Alicante about her love of photography.

First of all, I would like you to know that I am born and raised in Canada. I married a Spaniard and I love living and being here in Spain. I am grateful to Spain in so many ways, mostly artistically.

Because I was raised rural, surrounded by nature and adorable little wild animals, I was always interested in beauty. 

Grandpa taught me to look out the window and find a corner of beauty and try and sketch it out. He showed me how to see the simplicity that made me smile. And together we would try and sketch it.  To manifest the beauty and let it make us happy even more.

Photography: I had every kind of camera growing up. I loved to capture beauty and photography was quicker than sketching.

When I was 16, I did some reporting for my hometown newspaper. The deal was that I had to take the photos to go with a written report. Unlike today with digital cameras, I was given one roll of film – 12 shots. I had to be fast with the shots, especially at the local ice arena where the weekly hockey team had their matches, home-grown sporting events – hockey night in Canada .

Beautiful red sky on the Costa Blanca by Karla Darocas

I also had to grab good portrait shots, as quickly as possible – again of young hockey players with dreams in their eyes of playing for the big leagues one day.

My publisher at the time told me that it was the photos that sold the newspapers each week - as all the local family and friends could witness their youngsters in their adorable hockey gear and have that “proud” moment.

That got me hooked on photography and it also got me thinking about the power of the visual image - as a quest into the human condition. 

After high school in my small town, I ventured into the big city to further my education and hang out. I enrolled in a fashion course that included photography and journalism. That worked for me – the fashion designers and models loved to have their photos taken and they let me interview them.

Then I opened my first enterprise, a fashion boutique and after a couple of years, realised that to lose money wasn’t fun and that I was stupid when it came to business and being an entrepreneur.

So, I figured out a way to get myself into a big university where I could learn all the answers to my questions and survive in our economic world a little bit better.

At this university,  I went deep into the Fine Arts & Film Honours programme and strangely enough, I discovered the Spanish Masters.  Here was 500 years of visual language, stories, history, innovation, politics all wrapped up and well documented.

To help pay for my tuition, I arranged with the head of the Fine Arts department to have some of my fees bartered if I taught a class in photography and darkroom techniques. I spent the next year in the dark with students who tested my will. But, I survived.

Impressive Montgo mountain between Javea and Denia
Do people need to buy an expensive camera and lots of equipment to take great photos? If not, what are the basics that people need?
No.  Absolutely not.  Your capture device can be any camera or digital device.
 Everyone is taking 100s of photos and sharing them on social media, including selfies. What do you think of this? Do you think photography should be so widespread or more for special images, for example?
I don’t think you can stop images from circulating the world’s media services – tv, internet, magazines, newspapers...
Selfies, group shots, holidays, babies, vacations, beaches, bombings, refugees, they are all images creating a record of our life.
Do you think the art of photography is being downgraded? Many newspapers are getting rid of staff photographers as the ‘man on the street' can take photos with his phone.
There is the art of photography and then there is photography art. If you are a photographer just to be a staff photographer - you are missing the point and power of photography.  Look at the word – photo – graphy – making a biography of life with photos.
What secrets or tricks of the trade can people learn from your photography workshops?
I teach the principles of beauty from the Greeks up through time. Once you learn the principles of beauty, you can use your recording device to capture it. That quest to get up and go out with your camera to capture beauty will help to boost your motivation and give you energy. It will bust a bad mood by cultivating positivism and a sense of wonder. 
The Secret is knowing the principles of beauty and allowing them to help you to see beauty better.
Who should sign up for your courses?
Artists, Tourists, Hobby Photographers, Business people, Entrepreneurs
Karla finds images which make you feel you are looking at divine beauty
Can anyone learn to take better photographs?
Yes. Once you learn the principles of beauty, you cannot take a bad photo.
How important do you think the use of images is in business life now?
Business is about building relationships and developing trust before the exchange of values. I  think beautiful photos would go a long way to opening these relationships. 
What inspires you photographically in the Alicante/Costa Blanca region – people, places, food fiestas?
I like to take photos of all kinds of things. I report on everything – where ever I go. Life is an adventure, take photos. 
I love the landscape here. I am always taking photos of the Ifach rock in Calpe and the Montgo mountain in Javea. The coastline here is breathtaking to shoot at any time but sunrise if wonderful. I often get my pets into the photos as my models.
I enjoy macro photography too. I like the idea of capture an image and seeing it bigger. That is the wonder side of photography. 
I really enjoy taking photos of musicians and singers in action. I love their expressiveness and passion. 
The truth be known, that as you get older, no kidding, you go through your collected images and you hold on to the most important ones. You pick the photos that hold the most beauty - in your eyes, your mind, your heart. 
What is your favourite photograph and why?
A short time ago, I fell in love with mirror lens photography. I was studying the divine nature of art and the Michelangelo and realised that the divine they were talking about was in the middle of the mirror image. The crack! 
I have created some amazing images using this principle. It’s not easy photography but I have found many images that make you feel that you are looking at divine beauty. 
For more information about Karla Darocas and the courses she runs, visit:
HOME: 96 597 3234
OFFICE: 648 156 066
Fabulous image of the Costa Blanca coast