The title of this article I have borrowed by Ferran Adriá. In 2015 I visited a groundbreaking and innovative exhibition in Madrid at the Fundación Telefónica, “Auditing the creative process” by the Catalan master chef.
It was an immersive and provocative experience and when I got out of there, I understood that I had understood many things that floated in my head that did not find a place in a concept.
Make versus Do
In my opinion, there is a parallel between the act of creating and the act of loving, because both do experiment the sensation of getting out of oneself in an attempt to recognize oneself; an ecstasy in which a person loses oneself and then finds oneself again; both are the product of our emotions and at the same time an attempt to satisfy them; both are a selfishly altruistic act.
Creativity and inspiration are concepts that are fueled by ever-alert eyes and a mind open to doubt, play, curiosity, exploration, travel, discovery, dreaming, living both pleasure and pain. At the same time, creativity has to believe in what it does; it needs discipline, order, but also orderly chaos; time to reflect, to materialize the thought (time to create), not to be afraid of making mistakes, to make.
There is a big difference between making and doing! “Making” always means doing under a concept, a project or at least an idea, an intuition. “Doing” many times entails the non-existence of a reason: “I do a lot but I do nothing”; “I get lost in streams without strength that simply drain my energy.” It’s the same difference between studying and doing homework; programming and coding; make photos and take photos. To distinguish whether we are making or we are doing, we have to claim calm, reflection, thought; praise seemingly useless knowledge; knowing how to enjoy silence and nature; open ourselves to interdisciplinarity, connect what we feel with what we live… as Ferran Adriá said in one of his notebooks: “when you listen to silence, ideas sound”!
The Holy Grail
When we create through photography, we need light. Using the broad brush, without light, there is no photo. Many times, we become obsessed with this and we transform our photo shoots in the search for the Holy Grail. Other times we suffer psychological bumps because our equipment is not up to date or because we lack a particular filter, the best lens, a reflector. All of the above is true, it has its weight. The technique, the tools are important elements that can make a difference, just as the appropriate light can take a “normal” photo to a higher dimension. Sometimes, I think we should ask ourselves and ask ourselves again if taking a picture is just the above. Of course not! And we know it, and we practice it, but we also forget it more often than we think.
Our photography reflects our lives, our lived, our being, our passions, our education, our values, our dreams, our fears, our prejudices, our aspirations. If not, why did we decide to photograph one thing and not another? Why did we decide to frame one way and not another? Why did we decide to include or exclude specific elements? Why did we reveal with light specific areas and not another? Why did we choose to develop a certain project? Why do we match two photos and not two others, when we put together a photobook ? Why do we associate a certain music to our audiovisual? In all these “micro decisions” is our being, our taste, our idea, our vision.
Running a business for your own
We live in a world full of official speeches, press conferences without the possibility of asking questions, common places, institutional practices; we are conditioned by always having to be politically correct; we function through a succession of moments that we want to always be of maximum intensity. We seek success or at least recognition from others; likes, followers, hits, points, appreciations, awards. We are not really looking for happiness or at least we are wrong to consider all this as the basis of happiness.
Today, “photographers” we are all. Anyone who has the basic concepts of marketing knows very well that there is a market law that explains that the more accessible a market is (without barriers to entry, or economic, or media or skills), the more difficult it is to penetrate and emerge. This means an excessive competition that can become a drama for those who have to make a living from photography.
I do not dare to enter this topic, especially after having read this summer the beautiful book by Tino Soriano “Ayudame a mirar.” I simply quote a paragraph taken from a page of the book cited above: “… as a professional, you must raise enough money for the equipment and to face the first year or so with serenity… You should face fixed expenses, attend to cost problems, calculate commercial margins, consider amortization, equipment renewal. You would have to scramble to get clients, haggle over the price of the job, convince them that the photos you have taken are just what they wanted or need, fight with them so that they pay you on time … “. Does all this play in favor of creativity and happiness? Those who succeed are true heroes!
Photography without transgression
Excluding photojournalism and commercial photography from my considerations, if we stopped for a moment to analyze our attitudes, we would make sure that we all use similar equipment; we all process our images in a similar way; we all share the same knowledge bases; we are all influenced by everyone; we all know the work of the same key-authors. Where then is the transgression? Do we dare to dare? We have to leave the comfort of the herd and venture down lonely paths. I am not referring to ways in which form, aesthetics, superficiality prevail; if not to paths marked by feeling, by living, by the weight of content. It is along these paths that it is easier to find happiness because when living and feeling are aligned, it does not matter we are doing something that others have already done; it does not matter if we are not able to adequately promote our works. We are doing something that makes us noble towards ourselves.
What I just said seems like a small thing or it sounds like a cheesy melody, but it is not at all! It means that the life we live would become “our life.” If we are able to invent it for ourselves, it would mean owning ourselves, having control of our lives. This would allow us more easily to discover who we are and to be able to realize what springs from ourselves. If we are able to do this, the result will always be much more sharable with others.
To achieve this, it is very important to get used to attention, knowing how to look to recognize opportunities, to seek your own style together with the awareness that not everything will be possible … a long exercise, daily work and a lot of resilience. Create, live with Art, express yourself, transform the personal to generate a universal emotion in others. Seek happiness by doing all that. That is what helps us to be masters of our lives, this should be the true meaning of what we try to do by taking photos, composing music, writing a poem, editing a book, doing any other activity that can be defined as artistic.
I am a curious of life with idealistic tendencies and a fighter. I am a passionate photographer who had to develop a strong degree of resilience to keep my passion against the current of life. I believe that shadows are the necessary contrast to enhance the light. I am a lover of nature, silence and landscapes (rural and urban). My photographic history is quite silent publicly but very rich personally, studded with some great satisfactions such as: published photographer in 1X; honorable mention in Pollux Award 2019; commended in IGPOTY 2019 B&W section; highly commended in IGPOTY 2018 Abstract section; selected in 2014 for Descubrimientos PhotoEspaña and in VIPHOTO. Group exhibitions in: Atlántica Colectivas FotoNoviembre 2015 and 2013; selected for the Popular Participation section GetxoPhoto 2020 and 2015; ”PhotoVernissage (San Petersburgo) 2012; DeARTE 2012 y 2013. A set of my images belongs to the funds of Tecnalia company in Bilbao, to the collection of the "Isla de Tenerife" Photography Center and to the EspacioRAW collection in Madrid. [Website]