ICA Success Story: Gary Bugeja

By June 26, 2017Our Blog

1. Could you give us a bit of background about yourself, your work and education?

I am 24 years old and I have always worked in the media industry as a video-editor. After secondary school I decided to study at the Institute of Creative Arts and that’s where I shaped my character and focused more photography.

2.How did you get started as a photographer?


My father used to carry a camera with him all the time and he used to take photos of my sister and I when we were little. I then grew up to own my own camera and started experimenting when I was thirteen. I always knew that I wanted to photograph people more than anything else.

3. How has your work evolved throughout the years?

I started as a young person who was still unsure what style he has, what messages he wants to deliver and all was very experimental. Throughout the years I got the opportunity to grow both as a person and as a photographer and I put everything I learnt into practice.

4.What is the one mistake you kept repeating in your work when you first started out?



When I started out I used to be insecure and wasn’t fully able to communicate with the models I used to work with. So I would say, that a mistake that I kept repeating was, not voicing my direction and later regretting that I could have achieved better results.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In 5 years time I would like to see myself travelling the world and experiencing different cultures and working with as many people as I can.

6. Which creative medium would you love to explore but haven’t yet?

I have always wanted to work with film.

7. What was the most memorable project you have worked on so far?


The most memorable would be my first solo exhibition, ‘TMIEM’. It was a very honest and personal exhibition and the feedback that I’m still getting overwhelms till this day.

8. Where do you feel the most inspired to work?

I am easily inspired by everything that’s around me, so it could be literally anywhere!! But I love being at coffee shops, I’m not sure why but being in a cosy place sipping coffee makes me super productive.

9. If you were given the opportunity to collaborate with a creative of your choice, who would it be?

There’s an endless list of international artists that really inspire me – but if i had to choose someone local, I would love to collaborate with Kris Micallef, he has always been my main source of inspiration when it came to local artists.

10. Describe your work in 3 words

Meaningful, Honest and Artistic.

11. Could you briefly describe your creative process from the first ideas, to coming up with concepts, to the end product of your work?



My creative process depends on what project I’m working on. If I’m working on something personal and more conceptual, It would involve a lot of research, drawing the ideas and pitching them to my closest friends. If on the other hand, I’m working on an editorial for a client, I would work on moodboards and work closely with the stylist and then present the idea to the client for approval. Once approved, the hunt for the perfect model begins, location scouting and obviously post production afterwards.

12. How was your experience as a student at ICA?

In my opinion, what’s great about my experience at the ICA is that I was free to be myself. I wasn’t afraid to take risks and experiment. We used to have the opportunity to mix different mediums and challenge ourselves to ‘think outside the box’. So that has definitely helped me to become the person who I am today.

13. What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone who is interested in becoming a Photographer

VALENTINA. #photography #fashion #model #malta #sea

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First of all, photography in Malta isn’t easy. There’s a lot of competition and you need to be ready to face the reality of having clients choose someone else over you. However, my advice would simply be to stick to who you are and focus on bringing out your true self in every project you do.

14. You were recently nominated for Best Fashion Photographer at Malta Fashion Week. We could imagine that that would be a great honour. How does it feel to be recognized in your field??

It is by far one of the best experiences you could ask for as a photographer. Seeing yourself out there amongst other talented individuals really makes all the hard work you put every year pay off.

15. Besides photography, you also have experience with directing videos. Recently, you directed the video “Really not Real” video which had incredible visuals! Could you walk us through the story behind it?

‘Really not Real’ is Nathan Micallef’s latest campaign. The story follows a girl who’s pure and innocent and we deliberately see the change in her when she’s had enough of being the ‘it’ girl. The girl wants to be herself, she wants to express her own ideas but people expect her to behave in a specific way, wear her makeup in a specific way – think in a specific way. All these feelings are bubbling inside her and she tries to break free but she soon realises that freedom lies beneath reality.

16. You recently photographed Ben Camille who was featured in “Clean Magazine”. That must have been a great accomplishment in terms of your career. What was it like collaborating with such local artists for an international magazine? How do you prepare for a shoot of this scale?



Ben came up to me and Malcolm to create something different for him. That was really challenging for us as we had to find the right balance between giving him a total different look yet keeping his personality showing. It was fun obviously to work with Ben and to see how people were going to react to this side of Ben that they had never seen before. We then submitted the images to an international gay magazine since Ben is an advocate for equality rights.

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