RESEARCHED BY ROBERTA PASTORE
How important is photography for you? Would you have imagined a few years ago that this passion would have played such an important role in your life today?
Photography was important for me since I was a child, when I left school my desire was to be a cinematographic film director, but in the 90s in Peru the economic crisis changed the course and dream of many young people who, like me, changed their profession to help to their families; I studied economics and dedicated myself to it for many years. More than 10 years ago I resigned my position in a management in a banking institution to resume my photographic career, not in cinema, but as a documentary photographer. The economy and photography got together.
Who are the photographers that inspire you or have inspired you in your photographic work?
It is not only the great classic photographers of world documentary photography that have inspired or motivated me. To be honest, inspiration comes from everything that surrounds me, music, literature, photography in all its genres, design, cinema, poetry, my family, traditions, my culture, my country. , my food, etc., all this plays an important role when reproducing an image in your brain, an image full of emotion, feeling, aesthetic and that you always try to reproduce. It would be ungrateful and unfair to mention only some excellent photographers, more and more great artists appear that inspire you in one way or another.
Are you Interested in deepening your passion with readings and studies on culture and photographic language?
Totally, for 5 years I have been developing a photographic project based on the population of the capital of Peru, it is called DOWNTOWN LIMA. The objective of this project is to portray from my point of view the character of my city using different photographic and lighting techniques. Therefore, documenting me is absolutely essential and important.
Taking a shot in the street can sometimes be difficult, dealing with people’s reaction is not always easy. What is your approach with the camera when you find yourself photographing strangers on the street?
The key word to this question is RESPECT, and this value is something that I not only have to say or manifest, but I have to prove it even in a corporal way. The people around us feel when you respect their space and it is at that precise moment that the doors of their world open for you.
In recent years, Street Photography has boomed, what do you think it’s due to? And what evolution has there been?
Definitely this photographic current has increased and the evolution of the internet through networks is one of the sources of this growth. The speed and immediacy of them, from my point of view, are not the best ingredients for an evolution within the aesthetic and language parameters that we are used to. We are enjoying a new language, a new way of showing photography, but like any process this tends to develop, improve and change.
Which subjects, both as people and places, inspire you more and urge you to look for the shot, or do you think better represent this city?
As part of being a documentary photographer, the elaboration of projects where the structure of themes is essential, in the case of my DOWNTOWN LIMA project, the relationship between the place and the subject is what denotes my work and the connotative theme the use of technical lighting and development respectively
What, then, makes a street photo effective? Can you quickly recognize the details that can make a good photo out of a simple shot?
I am convinced that the internalized knowledge of camera management as well as the exposure and photographic composition are the basis for our shooting decision to be correct within what we consider correct. Finding the different, intriguing, strange, interesting, outstanding, etc., are aspects totally foreign to the knowledge or not of the camera and technical management. Experience directly influences our ability to see and look at these aspects.
Is there something unique about street photography that differentiates it from other genres?
Definitely the ability to find control in the chaos is what, personally, I am more and more passionate about street photography.
In a street picture, do you think the contrasts of light are important to tell a story or are just an aesthetic fact?
In Lima, my hometown, I teach personalized photo seminars, about camera management and photographic composition, and also as an introduction to the photographic language. The latter indicates that when one is taking a photo, all the technical and composition related resources, that can help to denote and connote an image, must be used in order to make as rich as possible. So, I believe that it is not only the contrast of lights (very fashionable today in groups and on social networks) that should be used to produce a beautiful image.
Which are the limits of ethics in a street picture, or is it possible to shoot everything?
The ethics of people is a function of the level of values they have. For me, within my values and ethics, I have a limit, which may be different from others. Respect is my main tool that tells me how far I should go.
Your street photography is extremely focused on the portrait. What do you look for in the face of a potential subject, what are the characteristics that move you to take a photo and, in your opinion, which is the characteristic that a good street portrait must have?
My DOWNTOWN LIMA project is based on people and on the relationships and interactions they have with the surrounding environment and the urban space. It is essential for me to focus on the foreground or on the close-up view, with the use of wide-angle lenses for a correct composition of the subject, the environment and the situation experienced by it with naturalness and spontaneity, trying not to interfere too much by capturing it as quickly as possible.
What reaction do your subjects have once photographed? Do you happen to interact with them?
I always interact with my surroundings, in such a way that I become part of them, otherwise it would be very complicated to obtain images with the type of photographic technique that I use.
What kind of camera do you use and which focal point do you prefer for your work and why?
The camera and the focal point are determined by my project, for the case at this stage of DOWNTOWN LIMA, I use my APS-C camera and a 24mm as well as my flash.
Has street photography, as a genre, developed in you the ability to photograph in any light condition and to interpret everyday life situations with an appealing vision?
In my workshops I always mention that street photography is the best method of study for any type of photography. By the way, I take my photography workshops in the street.