Ana Lui’s rise as Ibiza’s premier photographer has been stratospheric. Born in Warsaw, Ana graduated in Media Arts at Plymouth University after which she decided UK life was not for her. A season working in Ibiza cemented her love for the island and she made the move in 2007. Finding her island feet didn’t take long and she soon made her mark as Ibiza’s most sought-after wedding and event photographer, creating a brand that has seen her flown to nuptials all over the world. Having conquered the wedding market, Ana found herself in a position to add more bows to her quiver. She began to pursue her dream of branching into travel photography and her images – of Asia, the Caribbean, North Africa and Europe among other destinations – now grace the covers of the world’s leading travel magazines including Conde Nast Traveller UK. Never one to remain in the status quo, Ana is now focusing her lens on architecture, interiors and lifestyle. Inspiration came from roaming the globe for her travel photography, which often included shooting the most luxurious, unique properties and hotels. “I found that I really enjoyed that side of my work,” she says. “It’s about light and shape and form.”
Representing the choices of an architect and designer, using a camera and available light is an art form in itself. Everybody can take a snap of the Empire State building but few can truly capture its essence. “I am interested in telling a unique story of the people, idea and concept behind every design and structure,” explains Ana, who also styles the properties as she shoots. “I like to show the process that’s involved and all the emotions. It’s not typical estate agency photography.” As Ana has become more immersed in this new side of her work, she has developed a broad knowledge base. “I began to recognise designers by the style of their work and to understand the importance of certain materials,” she says. “It’s a different world for me and I’m totally fascinated by it.” This growing knowledge contributes a whole new meaning to her images, allowing for the design process to be transmitted through the camera and onto the page.
In recent years Ana has moved into the realm of film photography, introducing a new aesthetic to her work. Photographing on film allows for a certain ambience to permeate the images. “There’s a quality that is hard to pin down when you shoot on film,” says Ana. “It has a more human touch.” Grain, light, texture and depth of field all play a role in film photography creating a multi-layered finish that enhances the angles and shadows within an architectural photo. While film was Ana’s first love, the digital medium provides her with room to really play with style. Having the skills to shoot on both formats allows her clients and collaborators more choice and control over the results. Different projects require different approaches; the flexibility to choose is what makes Ana’s work distinctive. “My goal is to transmit a structure’s spirit and story,” she says. “Some stories respond to film, others to digital. Each one is unique.”
Ibiza provides a lot of scope for architectural photography. The island’s architecture runs the gamut from 400-year-old ancient stone edifices dripping in character to jaw-dropping examples of minimalist design. The island’s interior designers have created spaces steeped in island traditions from farmhouse chic and bohemian treasure troves to Scandi wholesomeness and contemporary elegance. For design and photography aficionados, Ibiza provides a kaleidoscope of options. For Ana Lui, the island is a never-ending source of inspiration and coupled with her global travels, she is never short of stimulating subjects. Motivated by a love of storytelling through images, her work possesses a unique ambience that showcases her personal desire for knowledge. The foray into architecture and design will be a delight not only for her but also for design geeks across the world.