You were born in Colombia and your mother's roots are in Cuba. While experiencing the Colombian lifestyle, you also have a cultural background from being the son of a Cuban mother. How does this cultural riches affect your art and personality?
My family and Latin heritage is always a very big influence in my life. When I'm working, I am living too. So, to me, it is very natural that the whole concept of the story or a very small detail is related with a color of my mom's house, a detail of one of my grandfather’s stories about Cuba, or a flashback of my grandmother and all the time I spent with her as a kid.
You studied marketing and advertising at the university. What inspired and affected you most for being a photographer?
Desire of being a photographer first came to my mind at the last year of university in Colombia, when I was studying advertising. I realized that I don't have an idea yet.
I just felt that is my responsibility to turn my ideas into actual images and if the image is good, it means that I have a good idea.
After moving to United States for making the American dream come true, you were accepted by Atalanta Art Institute and then, Jim Fiscus hired you as a freelance assistant. How do you define Mr. Fiscus in terms of artistic skills and personality?
Jim Fiscus is responsible for a large part of my career as a photographer. He is a gentleman both on and off the set. During the time at his studio, I learn a lot about technical aspects of photography as well as how to handle the business part.
You worked for world famous advertising agencies like Leo Burnett, Lowe, McCann Eriksson and Young & Rubicam. Which of your advertisement photo shoots do you find most creative until now?
I believe that I haven't had the chance to be very creative in an advertising job yet. I mostly said that the editorials have been the most creative photoshoots I have done, because when I have to transmit a message, there are a thousand different ways to do it. In advertising, we are always going for a preconceived image. However this can also be very ecxiting because there are a thousand different ways to arrive at this image as well.
If you had a limitless budget, what kind of personal photography project would you create?
To tell the truth, unlimited budget would be a bit intimidating. Besides, that kind of thing would never really happen so I would rather not think about it!
Which models or celebrities would you like most to work with?
When I work with models or celebrities, the style of working is very different and the rhythm of the shot changes. When I work with models, the goal is to present them in an attractive and unique way. Generally I tell them to personify someone or I tell the beginning of a story and I let them interpret it. Celebrities are different and they need a lot of preparation. I usually do researches to really know who they are and what they do. I believe it is indispensable to have respect for those people as humanbeings. My goal while working with celebrities, is to present them in an interesting way but not far from who they really are. My team and I try to be as efficient as we can. And we are very respectful to their time so the photoshoot ends before the time they know.
What kind of equipments do you mostly use? Are you still using negatives or is your only choice digital technology?
7: I shoot both film and digital. It depends on the style of the project and the budget.
How do you evaluate the future of the world when you consider the politics, the terror and the global warming?
I prefer not commenting on politics especially because I am not an expert on the subject. I live in a country in which I was not born and I don’t feel that I have the right to comment on what takes place in the political arena. I sometimes feel as if I am a guest, one that has been hosted very well. Therefore I should not express opinions on that subject.
Theme of the 9th issue of Bak Magazine is "Night". What does this word mean to you?
To me, night time is the half of everybody's life. Some people use it for rest and some don't. But the common reality of this period of time is the lack of light.
"To me, night time is the half of everybody's life. Some people use it for rest and some don't. But the common reality of this period of time is the lack of light."
- Alberto Oviedo / Bak 09