• Aminda Villa's Photos From the North Shore

Aminda Villa is an aspiring photographer from Minnesota. She was the winner of a photography contest run by Billabong Europe and got to travel to Hawaii to hang out on the North Shore with the team. Read on below for a little more about this talented photographer and some of the beautiful moments she captured.

How old are you and where are you from?

I just turned 26, and I'm from Minneapolis, MN.

How did you get into photography?

A little over 3 years ago, my little sister needed senior graduation photos. I grabbed my mom's point-and-shoot camera and we started wandering the streets of Minneapolis looking for cool spots to have her pose by. I've always enjoyed photography, and my dad was a photographer, but it wasn't until that exact moment that I knew that I wanted to be a photographer. I bought my first DSLR (a Canon Rebel XS) soon after, and started making all of my friends model for me and I've been going non-stop ever since. :)

What types of things do you like to shoot the most?

Definitely people - I love capturing emotions and movement and putting my own spin on lifestyle portraiture.

Who are some of your favorite photographers?

I'm obsessed with the works of Val Spring, Phil Chester, Julia Trotti, Sam Hurd, Ben Sasso, Sean Flanigan, Yannic Schon & Susann Probst.

Where would you like to see your photography go?

Right now, I'm totally interested in shooting look books and magazine editorials. I think this type of media is so fun because not only do I get to photograph people in that laid back lifestyle vibe (which I LOVE), but I get to creatively incorporate the brand for which I'm shooting. I love being able to take my eye for moments + my techniques and merge it with a brand to show their intended vibe.

You won a photo contest that we did and won a trip to Hawaii. What was the trip like and how was it shooting and hanging out with some of the Billabong surfers?

My trip to Hawaii was absolutely ridiculous! I couldn't have asked for a better experience. It was so great to hang out with the Billabong team - they are truly inspiring. The way they talk about their passion is a great reminder that you really CAN do what you love every day - you just have to.. well.. DO it! It was a ton of fun photographing the girls. Being from Minnesota, I don't get to shoot on the beach much, so it was such a rejuvenating feeling to shoot in the warm sun with the ocean splashing my feet. Not to mention they're all absolutely beautiful (inside and out), so it made my "job" really, really easy.

I also got to photograph the Billabong girls in their North Shore beach home while they woke up, drank morning tea, and made breakfast. I love shooting real life moments like that, giving people a little behind-the-scenes peek that they otherwise wouldn't have seen - I'm super grateful they were so inviting and welcoming to me and my camera!

For more of Aminda's work:

Website: www.amindavilla.com

Blog: www.blog.amindavilla.com

Instagram: @amindav

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amindavphotos

Twitter: @amindavilla