What first drew you to photography?
I carry the love (obsession?) for photography in my genes, I had no escape, I was born with it. At age of ten my dad gave me an old, very old, camera which then started an insatiable obsession. The more I worked with it the more I wanted to learn and the more I learnt, the more I wanted to work with it! Then, when I went to college and learnt to develop and print my own photographs, a whole new world opened for me. I used to spend endless hours in the dark room experimenting and exploring different techniques.
What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?
The first time I developed and printed my very own photograph in the dark room was one of the happiest days of my life, only comparable to the day I sold my first photograph and then the first time I sold a photograph in my birth city, Barcelona. Still today I get a happy buzz when I have been working with a photograph for few days, which I think is lucky really, I should stop working with photography if I don’t get that excitement anymore.
Who is your favourite photographer, and why?
To ask me to choose a favourite photographer is not an easy task to answer, I like so many for so many different reasons. For one of my essays at college I had to research about Dorothea Lange, the research ended in a massive mountain of books, hand outs and photocopies invading my studio. The way she portrayed the consequences of the American depression in the farmers’ families is, in my opinion, one of the greatest works in the history of Photojournalism. A few years ago I was lucky enough to get an invitation to a private exhibition about Lee Miller’s work in Barcelona. I met her son, the curator of the exhibition, Antony Penrose and it was amazing to hear him talk about his mother’s life. I was so impressed about Miller’s professional trajectory, going from the subject in front of the camera as a model, to a very high profile fashion photographer and then a war correspondent during the Second World War. There’s also the great variety of B&W portraits of Richard Avedon, they are stunning.
What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?
My main problem working with photography is the heavy weight of my SLRs. I also love using my old Mamiya TLR but it weights a ton! So for me the ideal camera would be a very, very light one with all the features of an SLR, plus a little button that could switch between analogue and digital, so that I would have both in one! That is genius isn’t it?? Has anyone ever thought about that, yet? I may be sitting on a golden egg here!
Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.
For me the best thing about my work is that it doesn’t feel like a job. It is never an obligation, nor a struggle to do it, it gives me so much joy and pleasure that I could spend many hours working with it and not even notice the time passing by. I combine photography with art and I create mixed media work, so I am constantly in a creative mood. Some people are inspired by tranquil picturesque landscape; but I get inspired from a completely different one, the big unstoppable buzz and craziness of the city. To me the urban landscape is an endless source of inspiration; architecture, contrast of patterns and colours, people, anything!
Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?
In my case bursts of creativity are linked with the state of mind and environment, the busiest I am the more creative I become. Especially when I have so much work to do at home or at University, but that is called procrastination, isn’t it? And again, I have produced some of my best work while procrastinating!
What are the most important elements of a successful photo?
I don’t have the magic answer and I believe we all have very different concepts and approaches when it comes to appreciating photography or art in general. For me it is important that the piece of work is transmitting something, it can be a feeling, a message or simply some interesting colour/pattern composition. I strongly believe you should stay true with your own style. Do get inspired by other artists but DO NOT try to copy them just because they are successful!
Tell us about your favourite photograph, either your own or someone else’s, and please send us a copy/link from their website if you have can!
One of my favourite photographs is Migrant Mother, 1936 by Dorothea Lange.
I could stare at that image for ages; there is so much we could write about it even if we didn’t know the historical context behind it. That is what impresses me the most in a photograph, all the stories that it can tell you without words.
How do you spend a creative day?
Creativity can catch me anywhere and anytime! But I feel very comfortable working from a busy coffee shop surrounded by lots of chatty people and of course lots and lots of good coffee!! If I am working on a big mixed media piece, I will get quite messy and of course I will work from my studio. Then the hours will fly by and I will forget about everything else in the world! I must be one of the luckiest people in the world being able to love my job that much – I am so thankful for it!