Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Inspirational Wednesdays: Kayla Rocca, Maderas Village photographer

I met Kayla with a camera in hand and a big smile in her face. Since the first time she stepped in our dorm in Maderas Village, Nicaragua; I knew she was a cool lady to be around.
She improved my time in Maderas in so many ways. Oh the times we passed together! She taught me "good English", she inspired me everyday with her photography and the way she used to love fruits and vegetables down there, made me appreciate some simple things I didn't pay attention anymore like food.

I hope this interview inspires you as much as she did with me in our time together in Nicaragua. Within this interview you can see some pics I took of her, and some other she took of me.

Thanks Kayla for all the love and the nicest pictures no one ever made me!
For more Kayla check out her just launched site:

- Kayla, how did you ended up taking photographies as a way of living, and what’s your favorite style?
My favourite style of photography is environmental portraiture. I love photographing people in their natural habitat. People are so interesting and capturing the essence of someone being themselves is something so special to me.

I ended up being a professional photographer simply through passion and hard work. I photographed things that inspired me, and through that, people saw my work and hired me.

Kayla, all stoked eating one of the sweetest pineapples we ever tasted
I took this picture in our dorm in Maderas one Saturday very early in the morning, what an angel!

- What brought you to Maderas and what was the main catalyst to go there? 
What brought me to Maderas Village is a little thing called fate. I knew I wanted to do some more travelling, but I wasn't sure when and where. My friend Laura suggested I check out Maderas Village. I went online, fell in love with what I saw and wrote one of the owners (Matt Dickinson) and emailed asking if he needed any photography services. I didn't hear much until one of my clients in Toronto gave me an e-introduction to, again, Matt Dickinson. It turns out that Maderas Collective was having a pop-up shop in Toronto and needed a photographer for the weekend. I instantly said YES. I photographed the pop-up shop and ended up hitting it off with the Maderas Family. From that moment on, I knew something special was about to happen. I flew to Nicaragua in January, planning to only stay for a couple weeks, and ended up staying for several months photographing and doing social media for the brand. It was one of the best times of my life.

- Things you absolutely miss about Nicaragua and what you won’t try again?
Ha! Great question. I miss Toña beer, Victoria Frost and sipping on fresh fruit rum cocktails while watching the sunset over Playa Maderas. I miss all my friends I met travelling, they truly became family to me.

- How was the whole experience in general and what did you learn?
Living at Maderas Village was one of the most extraordinary experiences. To be surrounded by such amazing, creative, and passionate people, in such an incredible environment was something one only dreams about. I learned a lot! I learned some Spanish, some surfing, some traditional cooking and how to live in a room with 4 other people, ha!

Having fun at the beach every day at sunset time 
And we all went for a surf trip. This old jeep was a legend
- What are you doing now and what are your next plans?
I am currently in Toronto and doing some work in Brooklyn. I am photographing a lot and in the process of launching my new website ( Life is good!

- Next travel or destination?
My friend and I are in talks of driving from Toronto to Portland and bringing our cameras with us. We want to stay in really eclectic places on the way. If anyone knows of a yurt we can sleep in, let us know!

- Anything you want to add to the interview that you seem interesting?
As Anthony Hopkins says, “My philosophy is: I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. ”

Me at a trip on a katamaran. © Kayla Rocca
Me and my surf buddy Nikki early in the morning just finishing a session. © Kayla Rocca
I wasn't possing, I promise. © Kayla Rocca
Me and Vincent caught in a lovely moment by Kayla. © Kayla Rocca


  1. Wow!!! So cool!!! it´s really pics from where i rather be!!! i love all your work :)

    1. Thank you, thank you very much!!
      So glad you're liking the pics.. stay tuned, so many more to come from where you'd rather be! :)