10 Questions: Pande Kadek Heryana Saputra

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Pande Kadek Heryana Saputra (better known as Apel or Pande or Heryana or Jhon), is a wedding photographer based in Bali, Indonesia. Pande is passionate about the environment, and an advocate of Balinese culture. His work reflects a unique point-of-view that is authentic, creative and honest. His breathtaking photography is often set in the ethereal landscapes of Indonesia, and tell of his spirit and passion, describing what life is – a story. (can you believe he’s only 27 years of age??)

1. What is life to you? What it should be?

I’m just an ordinary person who lives in Bali. I love my home and I would love life to be like it was 40 years ago. I love having visitors to Bali, but I’d love it to keep it’s culture and history alive as well, now the big issue is some investor will reclaim 838 hectors of our ocean to make a new land which saddens me. Bali doesn’t need more hotels; Bali needs real culture – people know Bali because of her culture! So #TOLAKREKLAMASI #ReclamationRejected. I love photography, music, design and everything about art and I think this is an important part of life. I come from a family of artists, including painters, carvers and music composers. Now I’m trying to be a great visual storyteller.

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2. There are a lot of professions out there – why be a photographer?

Good question, I used to work as a graphic designer in news department and tourism marketing, it was so boring sitting in a room for 8 hours every day, 6 days a week – felt like being in a jail to me – it was crazy. Now, I love to start each day knowing that I’ll meet new people and do new things. Photography is in my soul, my real passion. I love capturing a moment. Some people just love photography because of fashion, but for me photography is my passion.

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3. How much is your family an influence on the way you view life, see things?

I know they would support what I do even today knowing I would pursue photography. Unforunately, due to an accident, they are no longer with me. My family circle has always supported what I do, art is in my veins so I know they would be proud that I have chosen to photograph people on such an important day as their wedding.

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4. What is your favourite non-photography pastime?

My good friends and family say I’m crazy because I have so many hobbies! I love music, design and, of course travelling.

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5. What do you like to eat?

In Bali we have a food called LAWAR and BALUNG, its a mix of vegetables with pork ribs, it’s my favorite dish ever. Everyone should go to Bali to find the great food, I promise you will fall in love with the local food, especially the spices and flavours!

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6. Is/Are there any project(s) you wish you could do – or might do?

Because I love to travel and want to visit new destinations and people, I would like  to document an event or place around the world, not just in Bali. Anywhere around the world would be really awesome. I hope someone invites me 😀     {BTW PandeSydney, Australia welcomes you!}

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7. Is there a big difference between your personal work and commissioned work?

I always put my heart into all of my work – both personal and professional. When I’m not working on weddings, I love to photograph the many cultural events that take place in Bali.

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8. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?

My left eye. I close my right eye for focusing. I wish I could keep both open to look out for more moments!

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9. Are there any unseen experimental images in your attic you’d like to show us now?

There’s a single frame I captured that will never be replicated again – first image below. It was a scene with spectacular view – depicting Balinese on their pilgramage to the temple. It was raining for 4 hours non-stop, the grounds were flooded but the spirit remained. Sadly, this amazing landscape of tall coconut tree would never be the same as a new hotel and restaurant will be built.

10. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?

Maybe I would have learned to speak English better before I become a photographer. I love to share my artwork with people around the globe. I only got 1-2 hours a week to learn during high school so I’m not a perfect speaker. When I create a great picture, I’d like to have the words to explain more even though people normally know the story from the picture.


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