Introducing @iddavanmunster. May’s incredibly skilled influencer of the month is based in Dubai. She’s worked on Vamp campaigns with ACUVUE, Ounass and The Ritz Carlton. We discover the inspiration behind her ‘lockdown challenge’ and how she gained 50k followers over night.
You’ve have started your own lockdown hashtag – #lockdownphotochallenge2020 – what made you want to start this?
The past few years I’ve been travelling a lot and I have never viewed my home as a creative space. Before lockdown, when the weather was nice my natural instincts were to grab my camera, meet up with friends and get outside. Since I can no longer do that, I thought this is the perfect time to slow down and push myself to create magic between my four walls. During lockdown, I’ve challenged myself to create images with limited props and space. I want to see how far I can go. Im using my biggest motivation – my emotions and thoughts – to inspire me. I love to capture true feelings, visualise my thoughts and freeze memories into images.
You get so creative with the props you have at home. Where do you gain your inspiration?
I have been collecting stuff throughout the years from hats to books and different props like mirrors. It’s always good to use props to complete the look, add meaning to the main subject in a photo and to add context to the scene.
How long have you been creating social content for?
I’m proud to say that I was part of the Tumblr/blogger era! I began writing a blog in 2012 on Blogspot about my love for vintage fashion. It was a time before Instagram was big for influencers and I loved the Blogspot community. I then joined Instagram in 2013 and my entire Blogspot following joined me. Content creation isn’t my full-time job, however I create images every day without the pressure of posting. It’s a passion. Photographs that make you feel something are beautiful.
Your style is very classic and feminine, can you tell us a little bit more about how you shoot your photos and curate your content?
I never save anything for a special occasion, I dress up everyday. Being alive is a special occasion! When I head out and take my camera with me, I always start with a clear idea of how I want to set up my shots, but more often than not, they end up totally different from what I imagined. I love the feeling of being surprised by my own photos. The best work is unplanned and unexpected. I strive to evoke emotion through my images. I want my audience to engage with the stories I am telling. Photographs are inherently subjective, everyone is going to respond differently to one image.
What apps do you use to create your edits and do you have any top editing tips for other influencers just starting out?
I use Lightroom along with Photoshop. I use Lightroom to edit the colours and Photoshop to do the rest. I also have a few presets that I have tweaked and developed myself. I find presets are useful for beginners, but once you learn more, you can create them yourself. Every photo is unique in its own way and needs a special edit and touch. My secret is to shoot raw, find your workflow, then build presets that work the best for your settings and make photos that look like you, not someone else.
What are your top tips for micro influencers who are wanting to grow their audience?
I focus on creating and sharing content and information that will attract the right people, people I want to engage with. I consistently post high-quality images and use the right hashtags for every post. What helped me the most in growing my organic audience was that my content was shared by brands and creators who had their own large following. For example, back in 2015 I had a collaboration with an Australian brand, Wheels and Dollbaby, who designed a Dita von Teese cardigan. Dita actually regramed my image and the next morning I had gained over 50k followers.
You have “Storytelling” listed in your bio. Tell me a little bit more about your love for story telling through images.
I’m forever inspired by travelling to new places, people’s life stories and those raw and honest life chats when time seems to stand still. I love to tell stories with my images. When it comes to my self portraits, they are mostly inspired by poetry, dreams and my emotions. They could be perceived as one of the mirrors to my soul, as they are deeply intimate.
What is your all-time best performing post on your feed, and why do you think that is?
My best performing post would have to be this image. Behind me is Persian tiles in front of the Pink Nasir ol Molk mosque in Shiraz, Iran. Persian tile designs are amongst some of the most spectacular in the world. Scarf designers in Iran are often inspired by Persian tiles which are then portrayed on the prints. I remember that morning, my husband and I were walking in front of the mosque and my husband said “Stop there, just don’t move”, he then took the shot and after I had posted it – it went viral. Many influencers who visited the mosque after me where inspired by this shot.
Quick fire round. Right now I am….
Listening to: Tracy Chapman
Watching: Planet Earth
Eating: Pad Thai
Wearing: My Sleeping gypsy vyshyvanka dress
Drinking: Masala Tea
What do you like about working with Vamp?
There’s nothing better than a client who loves your creative style and gives you the freedom to shoot in your own way – Vamp campaigns give me that creative freedom. With that being said, if there’s something really specific a client is looking for, it’s also exciting for me to take on that challenge and try to deliver exactly what they want to achieve!