Photographer Feature: Wanda Lopez (@dreamersoflife_photography)

Broadside of blue building
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Once a week, we interview one of our Patrons or a photographer from our Slack community on!

We hope that you learn a new spot or new camera setup! 

Who are you, and where in New Jersey are you from?

My name is Wanda, I’m currently workings towards my bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

My free time is dedicated to landscape and nature photography. I was born and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and my current hometown is Wrightstown, New Jersey.

What are the three best spots for photography in New Jersey, and why?

1. Historic Smithville Park and Mansion in Eastampton, NJ.

This spot has so much to offer, from a Mansion you can visit, to an art gallery, a streaming dam, a Worker’s House Museum, a beautiful lake, trails, picnic areas, and so much more history. 

2. Historic Walnford in Allentown, New Jersey. You can visit the beautiful and elegant Walnford house built in 1774, an operating 19th century grist mill, farm buildings and beautiful landscape. If you’re lucky you might cross paths with a friendly cat who loves some attention.  

3. Zimmerli Art Museum (Rutgers) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. A great art gallery of different genres suitable for all ages making a fun family trip. And it’s FREE.

Nearby Rutgers facilities and campus that offer different restaurant options to eat after your visit to the museum. Perfect for artistic enthusiasts. 

Want more museums? Check out our guide.

What's your camera setup?

My camera setup consists most of the time just my CanonRebelT6i. Depending on my intention of shooting, I will bring along my tripod along with my wide-angle lens that allows for macro close-ups.

What's your dream piece of gear? Think big!

Sigma APO 200-500mm f2.8 it’s a type of lens made for wildlife photographer who I aspire to be. However the price tag is more than hefty at a whopping $25,999!!! 😮Along with the best of the best lighting gadgets.

What's one bucket list photo of New Jersey you haven't gotten yet?

Great Falls in Paterson, New Jersey. When you think of of finding falls in NJ, at least it’s not something typical that first comes to mind.

When I found out about it I had to make it as one my top places to see and photograph.

Want to visit waterfalls? Check out our map and guide. And learn how to take photos of them!

One tip for aspiring photographers?

A simple tip: Don’t shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like!

Many times it can be overwhelming seeing so many photographers shoot the same thing and it can become hard to see what’s the best photo out there. Yet — nothing catches my attention more than when I can feel that a photo was taken with passion. Gravitate to what catches your eye and not necessarily what you think my catch another’s eye. The people who notice your work will see your effort in taking such a photo.

What's your favorite part of being a photographer?

Freedom of creativity and uniqueness you can bring to the table. Everyone has that personal touch that no one else can capture but themselves. We all have it! Don't aim for perfection — aim for inspiration.

“Photographer Feature” is an ongoing segment featuring our Patrons and Slack community members. Contact editor Abbey Dufoe for more information.

NJspots is a growing community. By sharing you can help.

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