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Piran

Picture perfect (or Pirano, in Italian) is a small & most popular town on Slovenian Coast. It sits nicely at the tip of Piran peninsula and it brings tons of photo opportunities for both, professional and amateur photographers. To be honest – it is so lovely even just using your mobile phone will be enough for many amazing photos.

Piran - Tartini Square

One of the best places to see Piran is the bell tower of the Church of St. Gorge. Paying a few euros to get to the top is well worth since the tower offers unobstructed views all around. Just come prepared! There are lots of steps to climb:)

Piran peninsula from bell tower

Piran beach from bell tower

When you get tired of all the views get down & enjoy the narrow streets of the old town. Shops, bars, restaurant, galleries, you name it, Piran has it.

Streets of Piran

Don’t miss the main – Tartini Square. The place where Tartini Square is located today, was once a harbour for fishing boats of Piran. Today it is the city centre, a place everybody meets, eats out and – takes some of the best photos. I, for example, love the statue of violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini in the middle of the square. He points his finger in a way you can make some nice (funny) photos using just this motive. For sure all the houses built in the Venetian – Gothic style make a great back (or fore)ground for any photo you will take.

Tartini Square

The only problem you’ll face here (and generally in Piran) is – the crowds. Specially in July & August the town is just full of tourists so try to avoid peak season. If you are not lucky enough and it gets to busy anyway, climb the city walls. This place offers simply the most beautiful view of the whole town and it is amazing all year round. If you get hungry … there is a nice restaurant just behind the city walls. It offers great home food and the prices are (for Piran) very reasonable. If you are lucky enough the restaurant owner will share some interesting stories with you.

Piran from the City walls

City walls

lukaesenko

Luka Esenko. Amazing landscape photographer and an Instagrammer that – sometimes – makes me crazy. Each and every photo he publishes on Instagram could end up on @Igslovenia profile. Every day. But this only means – he is good at what he does. And this is – photography, sharing his knowledge about photography & connecting great photographers and incredible locations in his new app. I just had to ask him a few questions;,

Hi there Luka, we will start as we always do; can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you, what do you do?

Hi Sanja, I am a local photographer based in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Photography has been my work for the last eight years when I started running workshops in Slovenia and Croatia. I also love the outdoors, the Alps above all, this is why a lot of my photos are from there.

Ljubljana from the Nebotičnik / Skyscraper caffee.

Ljubljana from the Nebotičnik / Skyscraper caffee.

You are a professional photographer, I know that. What does Instagram mean to you? Or better; People say that Instagram is only for amateur photographers. What do you think about that?

To be honest I am pretty new to Instagram. I started last summer when I was on a vacation in Croatia. It soon became quite fun and I’ve had a lot of feedback and interaction on my posts. What I like about it is its focus on photography and I find it more enjoyable to browse through the feed. For photographers (pro and amateur alike) this is a great channel to promote their work and services.

Slovenia. You take people around our country for photography workshops. Can you say that there is a place that amazes people more than other? Or – what is your favourite photo-destination in Slovenia?

Quite obviously Lake Bled and its island is the most popular among my clients. But there are many other less “iconic” places that people love and make great subjects for photography. Unique to Slovenia are its hilltop churches – my clients always wonder how crazy we are in Slovenia to build churches on top of the hill – who wants to walk up there?!? I always reply – well – photographers :) Personally, my favourite place is the Julian Alps. I love the mountains, but unfortunately I’m usually way too busy to get out and spend the time I’d like to out there. For that reason every moment I do get to spend there is even more precious.

Church of St. Thomas / Sveti Tomaž.

Speaking of photo-destinations. You took connecting amazing photographers and incredible destination to a whole new level. You are a co-founder of the snappguides application. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

Recently we released SNAPP Guides – destination guides for photographers. This is a mobile app (currently available on iOS with Android coming soon) where photographers can purchase guides to destination they are traveling to. With these guides they get exact coordinates with interactive maps (routing, current position, different layers..), information how to get there, when to go, practical advice on photographing that location as well as inspirational images. We work with pro photographers around the world to deliver the best possible information and currently we have ten destinations available – new ones are being added to the collection every month.

Laka Bled; Island & Castle in the back.

Sounds amazing! And looking at the @snappguiddes social media profiles and page … you have tons, literally tons of amazing photos. Who are the photographers that you are working with? How did you meet?

We sure have a lot of great images to share! Through my previous work I met many excellent photographers from all around the world. With their help we partnered with the best authors/photographers from destinations such as the UK, California, Oregon, South Africa, Ireland, Austria and many others. Now we’re receiving requests from photographers who want to make guides with us and we’re growing our team of photographers quickly. If you have extensive knowledge of photo locations in your area and would like to build a guide with us do get in touch!

Can you share some ‘behind the app’ information with us? What are the places (locations) that people love most? How is Slovenia doing? Can we expect more photographers here soon?:)

A tremendous amount of work goes into each guide. Every spot has to be populated with relevant information, exact coordinates and beautiful images. Most of the spots have been scouted more than just once to make sure the information is valid. At the moment, the most popular guides are Yosemite NP in California and London, UK. Slovenia is doing well, but it is obvious that it gets fewer visitors per year compared to other better known destinations in the world. I’m working hard to change that!

What are the plans for the future? Which destinations in Slovenia will be presented in the app?

Right now the most popular places of Slovenia are covered, Lakes Bled & Bohinj, Ljubljana and Istria. The Complete Guide to Slovenia will follow but I can’t promise when – it is huge amount of work to cover it all! As for SNAPP Guides, we want to cover as many destinations as possible. We’re working hard to deliver new destinations, but because of our high standards it takes time.

As a local and as an amazing photographer … what would you say to a person visiting Slovenia for the first time? Where to go, what to see? (Beside – Bled, Ljubljana & Piran, that is:)

Well, the ones you mentioned are definitely the obvious, right? My first suggestion is make sure you allow enough time – Slovenia might be small but it has lots of great places to photograph! Be prepared to do some hiking and you’ll need a car. Visit one or two hilltop churches for sunrise or sunset, don’t miss the wine region (Brda or Prlekija) and be sure to explore Soča river valley.

Thanks Luka! And … all the best with your amazing projects! 

Thanks for giving me this opportunity at Igslovenia!

 

Sanja Leban Trojar – @sanya_lt

You can find more about Luka Esenko and his work on his web page, Facebook or Twitter profile & you can follow him on Instagram.

JSFtravel

Ljubljana, 14. 12. 2015, by @sanya_lt

As most of the Instagrammers that keep amazing me I’ve found the @JSFtravel profile while going through photos tagged #igslovenia. I soon discovered that the profile belongs to a lovely American couple whose job is – to travel. Or – is this a full time – hobby? Let’s find out!

Can you present yourself? Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?

We are an American couple, Sarah & Kris, travelling full time. In April 2014, we left our jobs, sold everything we owned and set out on a journey to travel the world. What we find most fascinating about travelling is experiencing different cultures. We love learning about the people, food and local customs in the places we visit.

For 20 years, Kris worked for an airline. His flight benefits allowed him (plus spouse, once we got married!) to fly for free. He has been travelling much longer than me to places I still haven’t been, like Egypt, Brazil and Scotland. With the number of years, he worked at the airline, he was able to take an early retirement while keeping his flight benefits; therefore, we pay only a very small fee to fly, which helps tremendously in budgeting our travels.

My background is in journalism and marketing. I like finding the story about a place and sharing it with other people. When we decided to travel full time, I created our blog as a way to tell stories of the places we were visiting to our family and friends back home. Just as much as I like using words to tell stories, I also like capturing images with my camera and let the photos show the story.

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How does your life look like? How much do you travel?

We are essentially homeless – without a home or possessions to return to – so we are constantly travelling. However, we do travel slowly. Staying in one place for a month at a time allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the area. In between our longer stays, we pick destinations along the route where we might stay for a week or two at a time.

How do you pick your destinations? Where do you search for information about a new country, new destination?

There is so much of the world that we want to see that we often find it difficult to choose where we will travel to next! In our first year of full time travel, we were actually travelling ‘around the world.’ We had a goal of circumnavigating the world in a year’s time, which we did. We travelled west, starting in South America – and spent time on six continents before arriving back in the United States for a short visit. During that time, we chose destinations based on westward travel.

Now as long term travellers with no specific route, many things come into play when determining our destinations. We choose where to go based on affordability, accessibility and interest-at-the-moment. (Example: After spending winter in Melbourne, Australia, we caught the end of summer on the coast of Croatia.)

At this point, there are very few places that don’t interest us – we want to see it all!

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Are you professional or amateur photographers? What equipment do you use for taking photos?

I am an amateur photographer; a hobby photographer, actually. I use a Canon Rebel T2i with a 18-55mm lens – and I almost always carry my camera with me. In rare occasions, I use an old (and more portable) Canon Power Shot. Kris uses his iPhone and, honestly, it sometimes takes the better photo.

Can you describe us your photography style?

I don’t really have a photography style. I like to takes pictures of the things I see – and I want my photos to retain a real-life quality to them. My favourite pictures are the ones that tell a story all on their own, without any words needed.

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How did you end up on Instagram?

Instagram is a travel’s delight! We wanted to connect with other travellers, as well as have a place to display our photos – Instagram is perfect for that!

How often do you publish? Do you interact with other people on Instagram? Who would you recommend to follow?

We publish on Instagram once a day, but throughout the day we interact with the people we follow – and the people who follow us. We love the Instagram community. Seeing pictures around the world fuels our passion for travel.

Who would you recommend us to follow?

Jewelszee,  NoDestinationsTheTouristinHeckticTravels & Nomadasaurus.

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Slovenia? How/when did you decide to visit? Why?

Slovenia was on our list for a long time before we actually visited! We were drawn to the country for its beautiful scenic landscapes and the fairytale city of Ljubljana. We spent two weeks in Ljubljana last spring – which is not enough time!

What are your favourite places here?

We loved everything we saw in Slovenia – city, mountains, rural countryside, so it is difficult to pick one place. Being in the historic old town of Ljubljana was magical, but the natural beauty of Lake Bled was our favourite.

Which place is (for you) the best to take photos?

The entire country is very photogenic! We loved taking pictures along the river in Ljubljana’s old town. However, the best place to capture the splendour of Slovenia was from the hills that surround Lake Bled. The view of the lake from above by far surpassed any other vantage point.

What would you say to a first time visitor – what is ‘a must see’ place in Slovenia? See Lake Bled; slow down and take it in!

What did you miss while staying here?

So much! We didn’t make it to the coast or Piran. And, although we rode through the countryside, we didn’t stay in the rural area. We would love to explore the smaller towns in Slovenia and more of the mountains, as well.

What are your plans for the future? Coming back to Slovenia?

We plan to keep travelling for as long as we can. We definitely see another trip to Slovenia in our future – there is still so much more to see!

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jaka_ivancic

Who? My name is Jaka Ivančič, I was born & raised in Koper but I now live in Ankaran. I can say that I fell in love with photography when I was a child, we have been in a committed relationship for a few years now and also the future looks bright for us:) I’m a freelancer working on different projects; One of them is being the official photographer and video producer for Radio Capris, others are also mostly connected to photography, mainly landscape, food and events photography.

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Why Instagram? Instagram is one of 3 social media platforms that I use to promote my work (others are Twitter and Facebook). I use a digital camera (Canon 5D MK III) to share my photo impressions, mostly – landscape photography, and I also use my Iphone 6 to capture others moments of my life.

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What are your favourite ‘photo-places’ in Slovenia? Since I live in Slovene Istria and since – I simply love it, I take most of my photos here. Piran, Koper, Izola and everything around is my playground. Although the area is not large I always manage to find a new place and a new view.

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mighele_

Ljubljana, 5. 12. 2015, @sanya_lt

Instagram thought me an important lesson; before I go anywhere, I search through the #hashtags connected to the place I want to visit and I ask local Instagrammers for tips – where to go & what to see. Mighele_ is the person that ‘pops up’ when you are looking for ideas where to go and what to do in Italy, especially in its northern part, around Trieste. I have also found some of his photos of Slovenia and decided that an interview with a neighbour (with an amazing gallery!) is a must!

Can you present yourself? Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?

My name is Michele and I’m from the north-eastern part of Italy. My instagram name is @Mighele_ but I have also another profile, @mighele_daily and of course – you can find me on Twitter & Tumblr.

 I currently live in Trieste, but I was born and raised in Udine, where I worked as a graphic designer for several years. Now I’m working hard on a new project with my partner Marco called “Dezen Dezen. It’s very exciting to see the project – slowly but surely – becoming a reality! The next big step waiting for us is to move our screen printing manufacture to Trieste.

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How would you describe your photography style? I find your photos very aesthetic, symmetry is importantto you and (especially lately) there almost must be a splash of blue here and there. Am I wrong?

You already told everything. It’s not easy for me to describe my style because I have a very spontaneous approach to photography and most of the time I just shoot what I encounter during my days and on my travels. My photos are often blue because blue is the colour that surrounds me most of the time between the sea of Trieste and the sky of the Friuli’s Alps.

Are you a professional or amateur photographer? What kind of equipment do you use for taking photos?

Absolutely amateur! For the last few years I was only using my iPhone for shooting and for editing my photos. However, recently, Nikon Italy invited me to take part in a photography project and having a Nikon Reflex in my hand gave me a lot of new inspiration.

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How did you end up on Instagram?

Honestly, I don’t remember! When I initially installed Instagram 3 years ago, none of my friends was using it and I hadn’t understood the potential at the beginning. Only after a few months of using it &  with the number of followers growing it became more interesting. And, as you know, I never stopped using it! :)

Instagram is my favourite social media mostly because it allows you to tell stories in a very simple way! In Italy the community of Instagrammers  is very large and united. The first one that involved me was Instagramers Italia and thanks to them I discovered how cool Instagram is and met a bunch of cool people from all around Europe and the world.

Can you share some tips for Slovenian Instagramers? How to act on Instagram? What is really important for you?

Instagram is all about storytelling: Show your passions and show the most beautiful places in your country! Those are my favourite contents!

In a nutshell: Less selfies and more interaction! That was my winning combination and it allowed me to get to know so many people and some of them became very close friends of mine. It also allowed me to get in touch with some cool brands with which I developed different kind of collaborations.

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Slovenia? How/when did you decide to visit? Why?

Living so close to Slovenia also means I visit it often, but unfortunately I had only a few occasions to visit it as a tourist. In the last year we participated many times on Ljubljana’s arts and crafts markets with our Dezen Dezen handmades and each time I take more confidence with the city and fall a little bit more in love with it.

What are your favorite places here?

I have seen more Slovenian highways and gas stations than cities, LOL, but as I said I love Ljubljana and Piran! I would love visit the beautiful Lake Bled and I hope I will spend a weekend there really soon. Until then I will admire Slovenia on Instagram!

Do you think that Instagram community could do something to help you while exploring Slovenia?

Of course! Browsing Instagram galleries of my favourite Instagrammers helps me discover a lot of beautiful places that I never visited or even knew they existed but are just a few kilometres away. When I find something new and interesting it immediately becomes my next destination! The community can become a great resource to discover beautiful places. When you use hashtags and geolocation correctly Instagram is a very powerful tool.

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hulyaozkurt

Ljubljana, 25. 11. 2015, @sanya_lt

Usually an amazing gallery and 118.000 followers make a reason good enough to do an interview with an Instagramer. But, when it comes to @hulyaozkurt, we have to say at least two more things; Her photo of Lake Bled is the most liked photo ever on our Instagram account and she is one of the nicest Instagramers that we have ever met. She will always take time to comment on your photo, say thank you when you feature her work and immediately say ‘Yes’ when you ask her if she will do an interview with you. So, here we go …

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Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do? It is stated on your profile page that ‘Istanbul and Venice are in your heart’. Why? :)
I’m a lawyer and my greatest passion is photography. I was born in Switzerland and I’ve grown up in Istanbul, the city that will always be in my heart. I’ve moved to Italy 13 years ago and now I live in a small and very peaceful town called Treviso close to Venice. When I stand in front of the Gran Canal in Venice I feel as if I was in Istanbul facing the Bosphorus, looking at the seagulls playing with the waves.
How would you describe your photography (your photography style)?
I take pictures of my travels and life adventures, of what I like and what is harmonious. I love architecture and design. I always try to use natural light and avoid filters.

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Are you a professional or amateur photographer? What kind of equipment do you use for taking photos?
I’ve started as an amateur photographer with my dad’s Nikon camera, but as I’ve improved I bought a new camera for myself and started to take pictures also with my iPhone 5. As technology developed I’ve started to use an iPhone 6 camera and got a new Sony alpha 7s camera. I think that it’s great.

What does photography mean to you?
I think it’s a passion that I will keep for all my life. It’s a way for me to see the world.

How did you end up on Instagram?
My friends that liked my photos suggested me to use it, and I’ve decided to share my pictures on an Instagram account with my name. I’ve been chosen a suggested user by Instagram and the adventure started.

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Can you share some tips for Slovenian Instagramers? How to act on Instagram? What is really important for you?
I think that the most important points are to be patient, to practice a lot, observe every single detail and never give up. To share at least one picture a day is also important, it keeps your profile alive and your followers attached. I think that to answer to your followers is fundamental and always to be aware of the harmony and beauty of your pictures.

Slovenia? How/when did you decide to visit? Why?
I’ve been to Slovenia many times before, but I didn’t have Instagram then. I’m convinced that your country is beautiful with it’s nature, people, culture, cities, history and food. It’s a pleasure for me and my family to spend holidays in Slovenia.

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What are your favourite places here? What would you say to a first time visitor – what is ‘a must see’ place in Slovenia?
My favourite places are Ljubljana, Piran, Radovljica and Bled. Slovenia offers everything for a visitor; sea, mountain, lakes and history.
What did you miss while staying here?
Nothing sincerely, just my dog that was waiting for me at home:)

Where did you got the information that you needed to explore the country?
Before starting to a new trip I always check information on Instagram. For this reason I think that an Instagram community is essential to visit a country and to collaborate with @igslovenia on a future project would be a great pleasure for me.

 

All photos by @hulyaozkurt

 

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saratodo

Who & why (Instagram)? 

I am Sara Todorović and I am a young photographer. Instagram is a great platform for us photographers to show our work to a wider audience. It also helped me take my career to the next level. I love photographing nature, animals and events such as concerts and fashion week.

You can find my personal profile on Instagram under the name @saratodo & me and my friends also take care of the @simm_photography account.

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What (can I show you & give you some info about)? My favorite places in Slovenia are Ljubljana, Tolmin Gorges, Velika Planina, Bled, Soča Valley, Piran, Lipica and Zelenci. These are just some of the places I would highly recommend you to visit when you come to our beautiful country.

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