I always knew I was going to study photography. On the 7th of March of 1998, my only brother died in an accident, I was 17 years old and I remember the emptiness of feeling that I was not going to be able to generate new memories with him. The memories we shared we don’t have them in photos, and they might erase from my head as time goes by, a very distressing feeling that it´s still with me to this days. My mom had always taken a lot of super 8mm films and photos of us when we were little, but not so much when we grew up and that is what I hated to forget.
I was at school and I asked a friend to teach me how to take photos and how to develope and from that point it was clear to me, I compulsively started taking photos of everything I thought I could lose, my grandpas, my great-aunt, my mother, etc. And when I left school, obviously I went to study photography, it was a natural step for me.
When I graduated, I started to work in an analog wedding photography company with two colleagues. I have no idea why we create that, because at that time weddings were not at all something interesting for me, nor did I even want to get married… I think maybe that’s why the company was such a short-lived project; I didn’t have the energy needed to connect and spend a full Saturday with people I didn’t know, instead of being in a concert with my friends drinking beer.
Shooting with ANALOG is risky, you cannot see if you are exposing well, you cannot know if a photo came out well or if you need to repeat it, there are no certainties, only doubts; but at the same time it makes you think about each shot and makes you take the value of each scene, if it is worth it or not. Understand the rhythm of the moment and if it´s worth to freeze it forever or not. Think before spending one of the few 36 photos you have per roll, so analog makes you definitively think more about what you are doing.
This was the first wedding I shot. At that time, it was not a common thing to photograph the “getting ready” part of a wedding, but I wanted to go to her house and photograph when she dressed up, try to enter into their life and photograph her daily life, like I was part of her family. I think that I have always seek the same from the beginning, to get in others peoples lives, without they even noticed it, I become one of them, part of the whole, and also the need to document the daily stuff, so people can remember the simple moments, which they are later forgotten when you lose one of them. The bride alone nervous eating breakfast, eating scrambled eggs with the curlers on her head, a simple table of a beach house; any time, any day, but that day is her wedding and I’m there with her.
I recently came across these photos, some of them from my cousins’ weddings, others from people we photographed with the company I used to have. What I see is that I keep chasing the same things, and the only change is “the way”; Perhaps I can see that I lost the harshness of photographing or how less contaminated was my head by not having any references on what was done before on weddings, On that times I just photographed what my instincts told me, what I wanted to capture, without any kind of pressure.
Since I didn`t like flash, and still do not like it, I took a construction light and put it in the room, dazzling everything, but why not? Why do we have to be governed by what everyone does? Like MacGyver (the guy from the TV show on the 80`s), I solved problems, I needed light…..I brought the light … and I like it, I like the rawness of that theatrical light that makes everything more dramatic, more cinematographic.
Another thing that I can see I keep doing is that I like to see the passage of time in my photos, for example in the photo above my cousin, Anita was getting married and dressed up in her mother’s house, but years before my cousin Sole got married too, and she also dressed up in the same place, and many years before Ale, my older cousin, got married and there I was shooting those moments, and thus I see how life passes in my photos, the passage of time.
The more you get into the weddings world, the more you becomes intoxicated. The more you see the work that others do, the more you are going to stop being yourself and blend in with what is supposed to be done.
It is good to go back to see these photos and understand what was important to us at that time and why we captured things in that way, much pure and without millions of daily references.
A much more cinematic, but purer. Simply documenting life.
In this picture at the bottom appears my grandma and she passed away like 10 years ago or more, but in this pic, she is alive, she is there, freeze and forever alive.
Let’s see if I can recover the mental cleanliness that I had at that time and I hope all of you have the photos you took when you started and see them again, see how much you have changed since that day.