50 Questions with Noel Alva photographer Noel Alvarenga

Exploring the world, camera in hand – Noel Alvarenga from IG account Noel.Alva is one of those photographers who have turned his passion into his dream: combining the two loves of travel and shooting to form his career. Having shot the likes of big name influencers including Tara Milk Tea, Gypsea Lust and Chelsea Kauai to name a few – it’s Noel’s moody outdoor adventure shots featuring beautiful girls that have put this one firmly on the map (and seen him continue to inspire his 289K Instagram followers).

Currently in Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica and soon heading to Nicaragua, we put the LA native to our Fast 50 test – chatting to him about everything from falling down cliffs while taking a photo to being friends with the people behind his favourite Instagram accounts…

Missed the last articles in the 50 Questions series? Click the links to read interviews with Coconut and Bliss’ Sophie Fisher, Sky Naite, and Scent of Obsession’s Nicoletta Reggio.

1. Best grooming product of all time? Burt’s Bees Lip balm. I need about 3 of the lip balms AT ALL TIMES. I alway seem to lose them! I also love the Burt’s Bees Cucumber & Sage Cleansing Towelettes and TIGI Bed Head B for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax
2. Hair “done” or messy? Messy
3. Favourite fragrance? Lacoste Essential
4. Favourite item of clothing? Black jeans
5. Favourite fashion brand? H&M, I like it simple
6. Gym or exercising outdoors? Outdoor hikes
7. Yoga or running? Running
8. Healthy eating or treating yourself? Treat Yo Self!
9. Can you cook? Unfortunately, I cannot
10. Favourite food? Tacos or pizza… still not sure

11. Favourite drink? Green Juice with lots of ginger
12. Best place to eat out? Chipotle
13. Happiest moment? The moment I began to photograph as a living
14. Saddest moment? Feeling truly alone for the first time while living in Australia
15. Instagram or Snapchat? Instagram
16. Blog or YouTube? Youtube
17. Iphone or camera? iPhone X
18. Type of camera? Nikon D750 with a 20mm 1.8 lens
19. Facetune or untouched? Untouched
20. Lightroom or VSCO? Lightroom

21. Favourite filter? I’ve created my own filter presets. Link in my IG bio!
22. Favourite way to edit pics? Read above…
23. Hiking or driving to a photo location? Anything worth seeing that is rare is worth hiking to – that way you can get the beautiful, rare shots
24. 9-5 job or full-time influencer? Full-time whatever makes you happiest
25. How did you first get your start in Instablogging? While living in Australia, my IG account began to explode with imagery of beautiful locations and lovely women
26. How much time goes into a normal picture found on your Instagram account? It’s a full on adventure every time. Location, fun with individuals, then a quick edit
27. What’s your top Instagram tip? Do it because you love it – not because of the likes
28. Who takes your pics? I am the photographer
29. Career highlight since being an influencer? Traveling to beautiful locations such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
30. Career lowlight since being an influencer? Feeling like people are simply using me because of the photos I take

31. Best campaign you’ve ever worked on? My friends are in a band called “The Head and The Heart” and going on the road with them is my favourite
32. The best gift you’ve ever received as an influencer? Travel and stay for several days along with full-on activity of adventures in places. That’s all I ever want
33. Scariest moment you’ve ever faced in your career? In January of 2015, I was shooting on some cliffs of North Bondi, Australia, and I was leaning too far over to photograph that I fell 4 meters down to the cliff below me where the girl I was shooting was located. I landed on the edge of that cliff and the drop would have certainly killed me. It’s my only near death experience but I limped away from it without breaking my leg or worse
34. Last thing you googled? “Best countries to live in South America”
35. Favourite film? “Amelie”
36. Favourite book? “The Little Prince”
37. Favourite song? Currently, Lucy Rose – “Shiver”
38. Favourite band? Daughter
39. Living in the city or living by the beach? Beach
40. Camping or hotel? Camping under the beautiful stars, always

41. Favourite travel destination? Kauai, Hawaii
42. Going out clubbing or quiet dinner with friends? Dinner with friends, but it’s never quiet…
43. Partner or single? Whatever makes you bloom
44. Siblings? I have a little sister who is turning 30 this year and a little brother who is 22. I turned 32 on the 21st of January
45. What city are you currently living in? Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, but currently roaming Central and South America until I make it to Patagonia!
46. Celebrity crush? Winona Ryder since she came out in Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands
47. Pets? A little kitten I got at a tortilla shop in Guatemala – her name is Baby
48. Top five Instagram accounts to follow? Luckily for me, I am friends with all my favourite accounts which include the following: @chelseakauai, @sam_kolder, @helloemilie, @gypsea_lust, @doyoutravel to name a few
49. Favourite quote you live by? “Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure”
50. Top career tip? Be true to yourself. If you’re not happy what you’re doing, you’ll never be satisfied.

All images: Noel Alva

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