Angela Mocniak photo of sunflowers
Angela: When we got to the sunflower fields, they were covered in fog; I was excited! It was very dramatic. The flowers standing tall in the darkness around them just speaks volumes.
Jason Mocniak photo of a sunflower from the back
Jason: We encountered many other photographers and they were all fixated on the front of the flowers and how beautiful they were. I took the picture from the back of the flower because I wanted to be different than everyone else. I usually try to see what others are doing and then think what could I do differently?

Angela and Jason Mocniak enjoy their love for photography as a couple, going out shooting together, the same subjects but with their own individual points of view. Keeping a camera close at hand when traveling, the duo is always ready if the urge to stop and make some images strikes them. The two even plan “shooting dates” to spend time together.

How would you describe your style?
Angela: I love leading lines, but I also try to see things differently, we often times will shoot the same location several times and each time find a different way to view it.
Jason: I’d say that my photography style is simple landscapes. I often find myself low to the ground and trying to get as much interesting foreground in the image along with trying to find some sort of leading lines for the viewer to follow.

How do you describe the difference in your styles?
: Jason loves long exposures, shooting the big picture. He’ll find a spot, plan out his shot, then get set up. When I get to a location, I’m all over the place looking for different angles, framing and details.
Jason: I tend to want to take more simple photos but I feel like Angela is a lot more creative. We could be out photographing trees and when I look over at my wife she could be crawling under a bridge to get the same picture with a totally different composition.

How we see it.

Jason Mocniak photo of White Mountains and River Bridge
Jason: I loved the snowcapped mountains in the background with the fall colors, creating so much contrast between the snow, river and trees.
Angela Mocniak photo of a leaf with water drops on a log
Angela: There was so much to take in on this trip, the colors, rushing rivers and waterfalls, I was eager to capture all of it to the smallest details. The details of the water droplets on this leaf on a log caught my eye. I wanted to capture the contrasting colors, along with the detail of the droplets.

Where does your inspiration come from?
: My mother was a quadriplegic. She wasn’t able to travel much, let alone walk through a park to see the details that are often taken for granted. After she passed, photography became an outlet for me. I want to show everyone the beauty in the world, from the vast landscapes to the little details.
Jason: Just being in nature. I think because of our fast paced life with our full times jobs and being so busy every day, photography allows me to slow down and enjoy nature; watching a sunrise or sunset and having the opportunity to just view the world from a different perspective.

Angela, What do you enjoy about going out shooting together with Jason?
I enjoy watching Jason get out of the busy “let’s get things done” mode to being relaxed, enjoying nature, and showing his creative side. Then it is fun to view each other’s photos to see how we captured it differently.

Jason, What do you enjoy about going out shooting together with Angela?
I love watching Angela, seeing her excitement and creative side. I just love watching her passion and it spills over into my shooting. Like a muse.

What do you do to get inspired if you feel stuck?
: I try to coax Jason into a drive to explore the city or just somewhere we don’t usually photograph. A change of scenery usually does it for me.
Jason: We try to nudge [each] other when we feel like we’re getting stuck or in a rut. I’ll say to her, “all we do is shoot barns, it’s getting old.” Angela will tell me to grab my camera. Once we get going, I start to get inspired again because as soon as her eye catches something she likes, she hops out of the truck and literally goes running through fields to get the shot she wants. It’s her passion of photography that gets me back inspired to shoot again.

POV x 2

Jason Mocniak photo of a Horse in a field
Jason: I saw this beautiful horse trotting around the pasture. I had enough time to get the camera up to snap a few photos from the car before the horse spooked. I loved the barn in the background with it, along with the luscious green grass, it really was a picture perfect scene.
Angela Mocniak photo of a horse in the snow
Angela: We were driving through backroads during a snow storm. I’m a sucker for farm animals. The conditions were just perfect to get the portrait capturing this horse’s curious eyes behind the snowy fur giving it a bit of a dramatic look.

What is your favorite subject?
: Sunrise. I love to start the day catching a sunrise whethe. It’s just that peaceful time of day where life is just waking up, and taking in the beauty of that is my favorite subject.
Jason: I love photographing lighthouses, rural barns, waterfalls and of course my beautiful wife. We live in the great lakes region where there’s plenty of water, barns and lighthouses within a couple hours’ drive.

You both seem to use leading lines a lot in your compositions, what other compositional techniques do you enjoy employing in your work?
: I also enjoy finding natural framing for a subject. Its fun finding a different view of a subject. Minimalism too. I love the lonely tree in the middle of a field or hanging off a cliff. Sometimes simple shots are the best.
Jason: I really like getting low to the ground. It’s crazy to think how different things appear from a totally different level. Seeing it from that vantage point, it can make some interesting compositions. I like to try to create images with objects close in the foreground and beautiful scenery in the background, making the image clear from top to bottom.

What is your favorite lens?
: The NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S. It is a very versatile everyday lens. The S glass is very sharp and picks up great detail. If I could only take one lens on a hike with me, this would be the one. It is compact, lightweight and perfect for the landscapes I shoot.
Jason: By far my favorite lens is my NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S. It is a great all-around, go to lens for almost any situation. Whether its climbing up the side of a mountain to get a picturesque sunset looking vastly into the mountains, visiting the shorelines and looking for lighthouses or driftwood, or chasing the northern lights, this lens can capture it all.

A marriage of styles

Jason Mocniak photo at sunset of a dock
Jason: I love symmetry and lines. For this shot I tried to line the building up just in the middle to get equal parts. It made a pleasing photo with the colorful sky. I waited patiently for the walkers to clear out trying to make it a clean photograph. I believe someone still snuck in on the right side of the frame.
Angela Mocniak photo of a trail in Crosswinds Marsh
Angela: I’m intrigued by paths drawing you into a photo. It was chilly and moody with breaks in the sky making it more interesting and I wanted people to feel like they were there walking the path on a chilly moody day.

Angela: I enjoy photography and the way it opens your eyes to the beauty of the world. My hope is that people see our photographs and it makes them start to look at the beauty around them too.

Jason: I’m still learning and growing as a photographer. I’m always looking for new ideas. I’d love to try shooting different subjects, portraiture interests me. I’m constantly learning how to improve camera settings to get different looks and editing techniques.

What advice would you give other landscape photographers?
: Always keep an open mind. Don’t worry about following the “rules” too much. Photograph what makes you happy. Never stop learning.
Jason: Try stepping out of your boundaries of what you think makes a great photo. Angela and I sit down to edit our photos together, reviewing each other’s photos first. Sometimes I find myself not liking a photo that she really likes and vice versa. Everyone sees things a little differently.

Angela & Jason: Be mindful of your shooting partner and their frame, communication is key. You don’t want to walk right through the scene they’re trying to capture. Don’t be afraid to share knowledge and listen to your partner’s advice.

Angela Mocniak photo of a road in the fall
Jason gets the low to the road profile shots and I wanted to get the perspective as if you were driving the road.
Jason Mocniak photo of a road in light snow and autumn leaves
Jason: I found the lines in the road along with the snow-covered trees with contrasting colors to be captivating.

Angela & Jason Mocniak

Angela and Jason, married 16 years with 3 children, are landscape photographers from Southeastern Michigan. Angela has had a love for photography which blossomed after Jason purchased her first DSLR camera in 2009 as a gift. After upgrading to the D500, Jason took her old camera and quickly got the bug as well. Ever since they’ve enjoyed sharing their love of photography with each other, learning and growing together. Now both shooting with the Z 7, they love to travel Michigan and beyond when life lets them, capturing beautiful landscapes, lighthouses, and really anything that catches their eyes. It is always fun to compare photos after a trip to see what caught the eye of the other and see it in a whole different perspective.

See Angela’s imagery on Instagram

See Jason’s imagery on Instagram.