I have decided to start making monthly blog posts where I write about what I have been up to in terms of creative projects and reflect on things I learned and what is planned for the future. These posts will also include photos I’ve taken that aren’t necessarily part of a body of work. I think it’ll be a great way for me to keep myself accountable, give more insight on my process and organize my ideas.
This past month represents a great breakthrough for me. After facing a bit of creative block over the summer, it feels great to get back to shooting, planning projects and, just be creatively active again. I have always struggled with reaching out to people to offer collaboration opportunities. Despite knowing that it’s an irrational fear, I can’t help myself but think I’m bothering people or that it’s weird to reach out.
Thanks to a great friend of mine I was put it contact with a person interested in modeling and, was quickly able to organize a shoot and take advantage of this opportunity. It was amazing to realize how easy it is to set up situations that let me create work I’m satisfied with. Below you can see photos I took in October with Dani and Cristina. I am especially fond of these as they were both experiments: doing an indoor photoshoot in black and white and trying to use a night film indoors with poor lighting.
I am very happy to be enjoying my passion again and wanted to share this quote that helps define what makes photography such a powerful form of art. “when I try to catch the moment with my camera, the images become flat, uninteresting, and not representative of what I want to show.”(Kristoffer Dahy Ernst in the preface of Rasmus Weng Karlsen’s book; Journey) these words really bring me to the perfect definition of the magic that photography provides: the ability to make something already beautiful to the common eye, enhanced in beauty and capable of being enjoyed for a long time. To even further magnify the beauty of what surrounds us, I am going to start complimenting my pictures with videos taken with an old digital camera. I hope that this will help me add an extra layer to my creations and open the doors to new experiments and techniques.
In November the main goal is to keep exiting my comfort zone by scheduling shoots and incorporating video content into my work. I am currently participating in the creation of something new for me and, related to another one of my passions: food. Additionally, a video and photo project for clothing is in the works and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
Thanks for reading!
In a way, I think I’m grateful for being stuck at home for the greater part of 3 months. While it got tiring and even depressing at times I think the outcome was predominantly positive.
The inability to go outside forced me to take a step back and focus on a few things I really enjoy doing. I can say it marked the turning point where film photography went from hobby to passion for me as I invested in my first proper camera and spent hours designing a photo album that I still need to get around to printing. Had this lock down never happened I don’t think this website would exist at all.
From a photography point of view, the critical question was: what can I take pictures of without going outside? I am extremely fortunate to be living in an apartment that has a balcony and also a shared rooftop terrace and used these luxuries to capture the life of the neighbourhood. Whether it was people passing by or neighbours enjoying their balconies and rooftops I tried to grab moments, exchanges, anything that could be telling of these unusual times.
Below, you can enjoy a selection of my favourite shots, all taken from my balcony or rooftop.
In the past few months, it’s been interesting to witness the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement from local outrage related to the murder of George Floyd to a global movement that sparked protests all over the world. The outcry also took over social media platforms and the whole thing left me with mixed feelings.
On one hand, it was beautiful to witness this sudden peak in global awareness about racism, seeing people in all parts of the world realizing (or at least pretending to do so) that systemic racism is a real issue that needs to be addressed.
The social media side of this whole ordeal however left more of a bitter taste in my mouth. It felt like many people were posting, sharing, commenting with the objective of not feeling left out, of being part of a trend and even sometimes to show that they were more righteous or “woke” than others. I was especially bothered by the entire “silence is violence” slogan. Shouldn’t your fight against racism be more about your actions, the way you treat people, the way you generally live your life? As a black man, I feel like everything I do in my day to day life is part of a fight against xenophobia as, whether I like it or not, my actions reflect an image of the greater Black community.
I also felt like the social media fight against racism was trying to fight a good fight in a bad way. At the end of the day, this push for change should really be about how we treat each other and not about supporting a business because it is black owned or trying to erase the past by taking down statues. Now that I am selling my photos, I would want you to buy them because you enjoy them and, not because you feel like it contributes to the fight against racism. Concerning statues of Christopher Colombus for example, instead of trying to pretend like this past never happened we should accept that it took place in different times and use that to educate. We should let them serve as a reminder of what the past was and what the future should be.
Lastly, I also thought that it was a great shame that the world needed to see the brutal killing of a black man on video to truly take notice of the issue that racism is and always has been. But I believe one must always focus on the positive side and I just hope this awareness lasts and doesn’t just fade away like these movements often do.
In June I attended the second Black Lives Matter protest in Barcelona. Like I mentioned before, I was unsure if I should as I did not feel the need to take any particular action in that direction. I thought that I could however document the event, document people from different backgrounds and cultures united for a common cause. It was a really positive experience and the protest event was entirely surrounded with positive energy. I think I would do it again in the future.
I hope you enjoy this photo set and do get in touch with me if you’re interested in purchasing one of them.