Maria Vanonen

Animal & Wildlife | Last Updated: February 4, 2021

My name is Maria Vanonen I’m 30 years old Industrial Designer running my own two brands with my husband and taking photos along the way. If it wasn’t for Yoda my dog I’d probably still be the person not understanding why it is not enough to just look and experience.

When Yoda came along I was preparing to apply to school so I didn’t jump straight into my photograph journey. However, after getting into school I started snapping more photos of Yoda on my phone and posting them to Instagram and soon discovered I actually like photography.

So after a year of experimenting with photography with my phone and iPad, I got my first camera. It was an Olympus om-d e-m10 and for two years I played with it and learned how to operate a camera and shoot manual.

In 2015 I got featured by Instagram and suddenly I had thousands of followers. Having more people to see my work really made me think of what I want to post, and that has developed me as a photographer a lot and still does.

In 2016 I started working with Panasonic Lumix and naturally shoot with their gear as well. I love the fact that with Micro Four Thirds system I can fit ALL my camera gear plus some other stuff in a tiny Fjällraven Kånken.

I enjoy being outdoors with Yoda discovering new places whether it’s near home or abroad and prefer as little weight on my shoulders as possible.

When I go out I usually bring one camera, Panasonic Lumix GH5 and two lenses that are typically one wide angle like Panasonic Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4 and a portrait lens like Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2.

Of course what lenses I bring always depends on what I’m doing and what the weather is like. For example, when I go skiing I don’t bring the above mentioned because it is not weather sealed and also with fast moving objects I prefer zoom lenses for versatility.

My set for activities like skiing typically is Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 and Panasonic Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8 – these two give good coverage for different kinds of shots I might be after on the mountains.

As I’m working with a dog most of the time I’ve learned some tricks how to get the right look from her that fits the surroundings and describes the feeling I’m after the best. Luckily my gear does some of the work for me. I use 6k Photo Mode a lot to capture those blink of an eye moments.

Another thing I find very useful is the fact that most of my lenses feature Power O.I.S, that is the lenses’ own stabilisation system that works magic together with the camera body’s Dual I.S stabilisation system.

This is great for someone like me who prefers to shoot handheld. Although I love working with good equipment I truly believe that the camera you have with you is the best. I’ve taken great shots with my iPhone in moments when it has been the only camera at hand.

My main gear:

Panasonic LUMIX DC-GH5
Panasonic DC-GX-800

Panasonic 8-18mm f/2.8-4
Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8
Panasonic 25mm f/1.4
Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2
Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8

SIRUI TRIPOD T-024X+C-10S (I use it for self portraits and night shots)

Fjällraven Kånken with Fjällraven camera insert, Wayks, random small inserts for any bag.


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