So, about a year ago or so ago I was interviewed for a website called Knots. It is a website to connect photographers with their audience and inspires travel. Weaving their Past with your Present. I was so thrilled being asked to participate and was featured among many talented people. Since my article was posted things have changed. At the time, I didn’t have this blog or really a platform besides Instagram to share it on. I thought it would be nice to re-visit those questions, updating them a bit and giving you guys an insight into what’s coming up next for sarenabee.com!
Tell us more about yourself?
My name is Sara, known as @sarenabee. I’ve lived in a few different states growing up, but spent most of my life in Florida. I went to college in Florida, and earned a degree in Graphic Design and Digital Media. I studied abroad twice during my time in college, once in Rome, Italy and then in Dublin, Ireland. If you have the opportunity to do this, I HIGHLY SUGGEST IT!
Traveling sparked my interest and love for Europe. Directly after graduation, I knew my fascination with traveling was not over, so I applied for a visa and moved to Ireland. I am currently living with my now fiancé, who also moved here from The Netherlands. We were only planning on staying a year, but almost 3 later – we are still here. We’ve picked a wedding date and the planning has just begun – so be on the lookout for some photos!
Do you have any interesting facts that people are not aware about?
Not really – my real name is Sarena, but I go by Sara. I’m honestly not sure why anymore; it just stuck when I was a baby. I think it’s a little too late to be called a different name now, but online the majority of people refer to me as Sarena. That’s where my Instagram handle came from.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
I would have to say my parents. They’ve never told me “no” and have always encouraged me to chase my dreams. I started traveling so much more frequently, because of them.
Currently, where do you reside in and what do you love about it?
Right now I’m in Dublin, Ireland as I’m sure many of you know. I love living in a city. Dublin is small enough to feel like a home, but big enough to feel like a city. There is always something going on here, which is one of my favorite parts. It’s also amazing in the years that I’ve lived here, I’ve seen about 20+ different friends and family members. I guess Dublin is a popular destination!
Since you are living in Dublin, are there any places to visit?
There are so many amazing places; you can get lost looking at all of the street art in Dublin. There are so many good restaurants to eat at. I’ll be posting a more detailed blog about Dublin pretty soon. Outside of Dublin, I love Belfast. Even if you can take the train up for the day, I would. It’s quick and cheap – definitely look into taking the Black Cab Tour there. In Northern Ireland, you can stop at The Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Both of these have stunning views of the coast, and you get a taste of some huge Irish cliffs. I’ve written a post more detailed here. Of course speaking of cliffs, The Cliffs of Moher are fabulous. If you fancy a drive, do the Ring of Kerry. Another one of my favorite locations is Cobh. The buildings are all colorful and there’s a bunch of Titanic history to learn.
Where do you love to shoot in Dublin?
One of my favorite local spots is the Howth Summit. The view is killer! It’s a small fishing village, with a super cute weekend market, and not to mention, great fish and chips. To get there, just take the DART to Howth from the city center.
What is a typical day like for you?
I am still working from home, but for a different company many of you have heard of. They make the iPhone. It’s a full-time job but I still have plenty of time to go out and meet new people in the community and take some time to photograph around the city. Since starting sarenabee.com I’ve been trying to keep content coming your way, so I’ve also upgraded my work area with lighting and a new camera and lenses.
If you were a city, which city would you choose?
I honestly cannot choose just one! At this point in time, I am a HUGE fan of Amsterdam. My fiancé is Dutch, so I spent plenty of time there. It was great to see the city and everyday life as a local, instead of a tourist. I love the canals, tulips, windmills, and everything Dutch. The feeling of old architecture, mixed with such a modern lifestyle, makes it one of my favorite places on earth.
If you could invite four famous people to dinner, who would you choose and why?
I would invite Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, and Jimmy Stewart to dinner. I really enjoy old classic movies; these people are some of my favorite icons. It would be so entertaining.
You have mention that you have travelled to many countries, where are some of the countries you have been to?
I’ve obviously been to The United States but I’ve also been to Australia, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Wales, Monaco, Romania, Hungary and The United Kingdom. A lot of those places I’ve been to multiple times. I plan to continue my travels, so if anyone suggests somewhere else, I’m all-ears. I think this year I want to make Japan, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark to my list. I love the thought of being completely immersed in new cultures. I love to see the way the world lives. It’s so inspiring.
Who do you travel with?
It really depends on the adventure sometimes family and friends, majority of the time my fiancé, and sometimes alone. One of my travel partners is my cousin, Kim, and another is one of my best friends, Brooke. I can call either one of them up and they’re at my door with their luggage packed 15 minutes later. Speaking of which, I am going on quite a few trips in March!
What is in your luggage like when you travel?
Oh my gosh, I am not a light packer. I admire anyone who can go backpacking! I tend to over pack, I think mostly because I’m a last minute kind of person and don’t know what I’ll need. I’ve learned to just wing it. I’ve gotten better about it. I just bought myself a MacBook for my birthday, it’s so small and perfect for blogging on-the-go. I’ve yet to find that amazing travel carry on, but I’m still searching.
I cannot travel without my iPhone, because that’s where I do most of my photography. I’ve started to use my DSLR lately, but everything I post to Instagram is always an iPhone shot. Also, I always bring about 3 different charging batteries because it’s impossible to find an unused outlet at the airport. Oh, and a conversion travel plug.
We would think that there are some funny/awkward moments while you travel, are there any interesting stories to share while you live abroad?
I had a funny/awkward moment while I was on the subway in New York. I was editing a photo, so that I could post it when I got service later, when all the sudden I feel a tap on my shoulder. A young girl said, “I know this might be weird, but are you @sarenabee on Instagram? I follow you.” At first, I was so caught off guard. It was unbelievably awkward. We laughed it off, and come to find out, a few months earlier I remember responding to her comments about where to visit in New York. It’s a really small world.
We noticed that you have received an invitation to the White House. How was the experience like?
Yes, I was one of 20 people chosen to visit The White House last year. I guess there were a few thousand people that signed up! I was so honored! Unfortunately, my flight was cancelled from Dublin, until the next day. By that time, I would be flying into Washington DC a few hours after the Instameet. It was a huge bummer, but I’ll be crossing my fingers for another invite one day.
Why do you love to photograph?
I love photography because it’s given me a sense of community. Community ties in Instagram and social media. Social Media is a place that never sleeps. I can be posting at midnight my time, but get responses from people that see my images in the middle of their afternoon. I’ve been able to connect with so many various photographers around the globe, as well as keep friendships with these inspiring people along the way. I feel like I’m constantly learning and trying to improve. It’s really challenged me to capture all the moments in my life, and is a way to help others get to view different places in the world that I’ve been so lucky to travel to. With the help of Instagram and Steller, it encourages me to hold a visual diary. I wouldn’t call myself a photographer though.
What equipment do you use to shoot your beautiful photographs?
I mainly use my iPhone 6s Plus, however I do own several Nikons. And most recently I picked up the Olympus E-PL8. I was a mobile ambassador in 2013 for Polaroid Fotobar, so I absolutely love all of my Polaroid cameras! I always keep an Olloclip on me and a Gorillapod, too. Just in case.
When did you started posting photo on Instagram?
I started posted on July 4, 2011! I downloaded the app before it was a social media platform. My first photo was of a candle. It was so bad!
Have you met anyone interesting on Instagram?
I meet new people all the time. In Jacksonville, I have a solid group of people that I chat with almost everyday. We are referred to as #ThatJaxCrew. These guys are where Instagram started becoming an everyday thing for me, way more than just an app. If I ever have a question or just want to tell a joke for that matter, they’re the guys I look to first. So much talent!
Lastly, what can we expect from you in the future?
More adventures! And lots of photos. I am hoping in 2017 that I will post more. Its one goal I set for myself. You can have a read of that here.