The "Lone and only" series featuring: Raquel Isely-Linnane

You travel the world. If you could tell us one place you think everyone should go see, where would it be?

I think that everyone has that one place they really want to go to whether it be one hour away or 8,372 miles away. I recommend they take that leap of faith and they find a way to get there because they will not be disappointed. For me, that place was New Zealand. I had been wanting to go there for at least seven years before I finally made it!  If you get a chance I would say you should definitely go there. The food is some of the best, the people are extremely nice and the scenery is incredible. Although it can be expensive to get to, you can rent a camper van for a decent price and road trip around the entire country! Ireland which is a bit easier and closer to get to is just as if not more spectacular than New Zealand. It has some of the nicest people with a vibrant culture and incredible scenery - don't forget a rain jacket! 

What gets you passionate? 

Passion for me is something that comes naturally and I carry into every aspect of my life whether it be love, art, photography, travel, work, family, etc... I always want to shoot for the moon. My entire life has centered on big dreams and I believe that everyone should strive to jump in head first and chase their biggest aspirations and they too will be able to live every day filled with passion. Of course there are days that I get down or I feel like I may have not succeeded. That is why I like to surround myself my family and people that love me. Because, when I am down and out they are the ones who help to pick my spirits back up and rekindle that fire that has driven me my entire life. 

You take a lot of pictures.. you're known for it really. What is your favorite thing about taking photos?

My favorite thing about taking photos is capturing that memory forever! I consider a photograph as not necessarily a portrait of reality, but about the way we remember a place. Memories fade and become fuzzy, but one glance at a photograph can bring back the laughter that was had that day and so much more. I also think it is fascinating how you can freeze a moment in time forever with just a click of a button. I love sharing them with everyone afterwards. I think it can be a waste to take photos and do nothing with them, that is why I always create a scrapbook --- at least twelve a year. Not to mention they make great gifts! I also view photography as a great form of self expression. Two people could take a picture of the same thing - but no one is going to do it the same way. Finally, as my husband always says, the only photo you will regret is the one you didn't take. 

Do you have any camera or photography tips for people that are just starting out without a lot of money for expensive equipment?

The most important part of your photos is YOU! Tell a great story, take photos of what you are passionate about and people will love them whether they are taken on a disposable or professional grade camera. Most importantly don't forget to take in the what is happening around you and enjoy it. A photograph is a memory that you will cherish forever and there is truly no right or wrong way to take it.

When do you feel most like yourself?

I feel most like myself when I am doing something that I love. Painting, being with family, horse back riding, traveling, adventuring, taking photos, cooking with my husband...

How would you define open mindedness?

For me, open mindedness is the ability to take a walk in someone else's shoes no matter who they are and not be too fast to judge or turn them and their ideas down because you disagree. I do not think that it is something that necessarily comes naturally and has to be practiced on a daily basis. 

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