Author Spotlight: Escape Journal

Escape Journal Feature image

Welcome to the new Author Spotlight series, where you’ll get to know talented FilterGrade preset authors. Today’s feature focuses on Escape Journal, the dynamic duo of Kimi and Thomas. This traveling couple chronicles their travels on Instagram and their blog. Escape Journal’s presets are available on FilterGrade.

Introduce yourself, and how you became photographers.

We are Kimi and Thomas, travel photographers from the Philippines. Becoming photographers has always come out of passion, so for college we took it up as a degree and it all went from there. Choosing our niche, which is travel, was easy because we just pursued what brought us the most joy.

escape journal intro image

Where can people find you online?

Our Instagram handles are @kimijuan and @thomascaja, we also have a travel blog at!

Do you have any major trips planned for the rest of the year or 2018? (If so, could you talk about what you’ll photograph while there?)

We love to travel with no plans at all, and this includes not planning where we will go next but we are currently looking at visiting Dubai because of the amazing desert and culture and looking to visit more parts of Asia.

What type of photography are you most passionate about?

Definitely travel photography. Just being able to go around the world, immersing ourselves in culture, seeing the different landscapes and being able to photograph them and share it to the world just makes us feel really happy.

Escape Journal Aerial Photo

If you could only take one lens with you on a trip, what would it be and why?

The lenses we use now are our dream lenses so we always have a 16-35mm and a 35mm, but we also love a good 24-70mm.

When did you start building your own presets, and what made you want to start sharing?

There were a lot of people who were asking us what filters we were using and how we edit our photos and when we noticed that people were really interested we decided to make our own presets to help other aspiring photographers find their style.

Check out Escape Journal’s presets on FilterGrade.

Do you have any general tips for editing in Lightroom?

Taking time to experiment is one of the greatest pieces of advice we were given and ever since then, we never stopped experimenting and trying new things around Lightroom.

What photographers’ style do you look up to or find yourself inspired by?

We love so many photographers on Instagram like Murad Osmann (@muradosmann), Joe Greer(@ioegreer), Sam Tiapale (@eljackson), Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard). They are all amazing and have really inspiring content.

When you’re traveling, how do you get acquainted with a new area quickly and find the best spots to photograph?

Our eyes are always on the lookout for somewhere to shoot, and its really important for us to do our research beforehand, so browse various social platforms to find the best places.

What is your current workflow like?

We always shoot during the day (morning and late afternoon to get the best light) and edit at night. We like to maximize our time shooting as much as we can before we get into our editing and publishing process.

Using presets often gets a bad rap, that they are shortcuts or lazy to use. What do you think about that, and what do you see as the positives of using presets?

To be honest, we love presets because we are able to cut our worktime down. We apply presets but we still do adjustments on each photo. Every photo differs with lighting and even though we have presets, we still work on each photo just as hard.

Do you use any presets in your own workflow?

The presets we’ve created are the ones we use in our photos. Its really important to us that the people who view our work see the possibility of creating a certain style through photo editing but we are fans of the presets of Taylor Cut Films and Sam Taipale.

What’s the one preset you’ve made that everyone should try out?

We love the preset Beach and Forest in our collection. It’s the most versatile ones that people can really experiment with and of course, it describes our lifestyle.

Make sure to check out Thomas and Kimi’s presets on FilterGrade.

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