AP: Tell us some words about yourslef.
AG: Mmmm… I have some issues talking about myself; I always think people are going to get bored 🙂 I’m a better listener than speaker.
My biography? Well, I’ve always been attracted to any sort of creativity. I think creativity and art are the best medicines for souls. But it has not been an easy thing for me to believe in my creativity. In fact, there’s still a long path to go… 🙂
I’m a passionate person and I put passion in what I do, what I see, what I taste… The words you would hear more often from me are “I love this, I love that…” I’m a “I love” person :), that’s why I named myself “The Cheerful Photographer” 🙂
And the official biography data: I’m 34, I’m originally from Cádiz (Andalusia) but I live in Barcelona.
AP: Your first works. What did they look like?
AG: Like most photographers, I started taking pictures when I was pretty young. I can’t remember anything more exciting than waiting for the film to be developed. As it’s told in my web-profile, I would get my friends tired of posing and performing in front of my old-fashioned analogical camera, which I inherited from my mother.
Later on, when I started taking photography seriously I think I followed the common steps: I was excited with every new thing I learned or found out. But soon after, when I learned something new, I would get horrified with what I had just done before.
I just cannot see almost anything of my former photography, it all look awful to me nowadays 🙂 And I’m pretty sure that’s what will happen years from now with my current work!
AP: Do you have any formal education in your sphere or were you self-taught?
AG: I actually studied Literature at University 🙂 Although afterwards I studied TV and Film Production because cinema is my platonic love. So I got education about the language of the image and about filming and editing.
But I’m mainly a self-taught photographer. And I have to say it’s been many-many hours of dedication… And there’s still so very-very much to learn… How did I learn creativity? I’m just not sure if that is something you can learn or teach. In my case, I just released my inner creativity (and I’m still in the process). I had stored it and covered with fear and prejudices.
I have to mention photographer Fer Juaristi, he definitely has a lot to do with my “creativity release” 🙂
After attending one of his workshops I suddenly realized I could do what I felt, what I wanted, and trust that there will be people appreciating that in the same way. I learned that it was not a crazy thing to do, but an honest one.
AP: What genre are your works?
AG: I mostly do wedding photography and portraits. I love both. I just love photographing people and the challenge of getting their brighter side. I also love photojournalism and really need to get back into it and make new personal projects.
AP: How would you describe your works?
AG: Sorry to say I’m still stuck in the describing my style thing 🙁 I really need help in this! The closest term I’ve found myself comfortable with is Portrait Journalism. I try to do something beautiful and in good taste with resources from around. Try not to use artificial light, try to get the most of the space I am in and from that reality create a beautiful image. An example: a beautiful bride portrait that people would think is a studio portrait and never suspect it was actually taken in the men’s room 🙂
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use?
AG: My cameras and my lenses, Canon, not because I think they’re the best brand but because my first digital camera was a present, so I started to build up my equipment with Canon.
A 26 inches monitor which no one can approach to much without a dangerous look of mine (the screen is so sensitive and can’t be touched!! )
And Photoshop, of course. (I’d like to take advantage of the opportunity to express that I’m against the use of Photoshop with commercial purposes: cosmetic advertising for instance.)
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in this sphere?
AG: I work as a professional; I pay taxes as a professional… 🙂 But I feel far behind of being an expert. The more I learn, the more I realize I still have to learn… Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating…
AP: What is your success formula?
AG: Hard work I suppose. I believe it takes me a lot more hours to work on my pictures than what I wished. I simply cannot do it quickly to go with the next one… But I still don’t know if this is a good thing to confess 🙂 One important thing is to believe in yourself and in what you do. Yeah, it sounds pretty typical, but it’s so true. I did not get much respect until I really began to believe it myself.
I think I’m not ambitious. I just need people to appreciate the amount of passion and dedication I put in my work and to make a living out of it. Success for me is to receive an e-mail from the bride’s mom telling me she has cried over my pictures 🙂 On the achievements side, I’m very happy cause I got three Fearless Awards this week 🙂 I’m so honored. I absolutely love the work of the fellow award winning photographers and I just can’t believe that my name now appears alongside theirs.
I have to say I’m somehow insecure and this kind of recognition helps me a lot to actually trust I’m doing ok (just ok ;)) and also motivates me to keep working this way.
AP: Is there someone who helps you in your creativity?
AG: I have to say I haven’t had much support. Photography is something anyone could do nowadays and it’s taken me some time till family and friends actually started to take me seriously.
Here in Spain, photographers are not really hold in high regard. Even worse if you are a wedding photographer! You know, many people think photography is just clicking… Luckily, things are changing little by little. So, the feedback I mostly got at the beginning – I hardly got them to see my work – was not very encouraging. You know, they would think or even tell me I should get a ‘real’ job.
It’s been just a few friends and acquaintances who have been supportive in this. It has been mostly personal work to believe in what I do and to find the motivation to keep working to improve my skills.
And a great group of fellow photographers who have been very supportive and I’m very thankful to. I’ve mainly met really good and generous fellows in this profession.
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