When I have a scene framed, and measured, and I press the shutter, that sound, that “click” has always hypnotized me ever since I was little.
I love my job and I believe this is the same feeling for any photographer who prides himself to be it. I also admit the benefit of being able to live from something one really likes. I haven’t spent very much time as a professional in this job, only 10 years, but it has been enough to make me realize towards where I wanted to focus my artistic work, and to be able to give it a meaning. I refer to it as artistic work because as a professional I accomplish a lot of different kinds of works that have nothing to do with it.
At the beginning, like everyone else, I was a bit lost. The world was full of images and I would find myself taking a photo of everything. Architecture caught my attention quite a lot and my artistic work in that aspect turned out to be quite interesting. Nudity also took up part of my first works and as a fact I am still practicing both these types of arts.
During this time, I would make shy attempts with portraits but not with much confidence. Even though they caught my attention, I didn’t really know how to face a session. I was able to solve them in a technical way, but at the end of the day I would take home portraits that didn’t really impress me, portraits in which I would not see any show of emotion or intensity.
It took me some time to realize that what really helped me was the proximity with the person being photographed. By this I mean moving closer instead of moving away and using a short lens instead of a zoom lens. There are photographers who prefer to use a long lens so as to not intimidate too much the portrayed. This is shown in plenty of tutorials about portraits. In my case, what works best for me is being very close to the person and the fact that both of us are aware of each other’s presence. I try to achieve complicity and gain enough trust to be able to allow that proximity without making them feel awkward. It’s not easy to have a stranger in front of you, pointing at you with a huge lens and still acting normal. That is my main goal.
This way, many times hidden behind a softbox and short shots, I have gone home with the feeling that I‘d done a good job, sometimes even before seeing the final result on my computer.
There are very direct portraits, and they preserve every last detail of the skin, worked mainly in black and white. Even though it’s true that color reflects reality, besides having shades, for me the black and white effect is like moving to another dimension, a more surreal one, but more suggestive and timeless at the same time. I’m not looking for forced smiles, or poses, or anything that doesn’t belong to the personality of the model. So whenever I can, previously, I try to get them comfortable for a few minutes. For example, sometimes talking while getting some coffee can really help us to get to know each other and get ready for the session.
With time I’ve managed to create a processed black and white that has a lot of strength and has so much detail that sometimes it can turn out to be very impressive. This can be percieved especially when you enlarge the image. I believe the final result is a coherent artistic work. The proof of that is that people are able to identify one of my portraits without needing to check the signature.
A few years ago someone told me that if I wanted to be totally part of the social networks I should create a blog, because it was something much more dynamic than the web page, in which the contents, although organized, are still there. People don’t normally log into your web page once a week. I found it such a great idea that I decided to do it. I started publishing portraits once a week, in which I also included a brief and informal tale about how the session had turned out. This short story always ended with that Click! from the shutter. [Official Website]
I have to admit that the result has become very fulfilling. It has reached a point where I hope be able to make a printed edition of all of it soon. Currently I am creating a campaign with Crowfunding and hoping to be able to see it finished and published in a few months.