Ivana Cajina
We're joined by the Florida photographer for a leisurely edition of Frames.
Words by Tom Disalvo August 18, 2022

Ivana Cajina’s road to photography is just as simplistic as her leisurely portfolio. 

Born and raised in Tampa, the 32-year-old recalls the moment she first conceived of a career in photography with a sense of candor, and this realness seeps through to her work, with impromptu moments presumably snapped as they unfolded in real time. Just as Ivana happens upon a bustling fruit market or towering architecture in her work, so too did she happen upon her first camera some seven years ago. 

“I started taking photos back in 2015, when a friend of mine said to me “Hey, you look like you can take good photos”, and handed me a Canon 40d, [with a] busted shutter button and all. From there I became obsessed, and became freelance by 2020, [which is] wild,” she recalls. The spontaneity of Ivana’s start in photography translates to work, with her viewfinder focussed squarely on impromptu, unhurried scenes from the street. 

While there are moments of premeditation in Ivana’s portraiture work, complete with stylised costumes, it’s the less-planned moments that shine. This documentarian approach makes trawling through Ivana’s work feel like an exercise in realness, capturing unedited moments exactly as they happened without the need for excess fluff. “I truly love photographing just raw moments,” Ivana explains. 

“I guess you can say lifestyle images. My favourite is to grab my camera and capture whatever really gets my attention.” With a portfolio that traces her from her home state of Florida to Central America and beyond, there’s evidently a lot that caught Ivana’s attention. And while she captures each destination with equal attention to detail, it was a trip to El Salvador that Ivana cherishes the most.

“The craziest experience coming from photography has been getting to travel, especially one time when I went to El Salvador to photograph a resort and follow a chef around for a couple days. I learned about the local foods, the beautiful landscape and even got to photograph the milky way out there,” she says. 

As memorable as they remain, Ivana’s travels are ultimately trumped by what is her favourite aspect of photography: “the spontaneity…the people seeing your art and being able to feel something. I love all of it.”

Catch Ivana’s full Frames portfolio below, and head here to follow her on Instagram.  

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