Interview #11: Carles Rodrigo
CUS: First of all, the most standard question in the book: how did you get into photography?
Carles Rodrigo: I'm an industrial designer and I’ve always been interested in everything related to art. When I started to do serious research for my projects I discovered a type of photography that I didn't know about and with that a means of conveying very interesting sensations for me. Then I decided to purchase a digital camera to try it out, and about a year has gone by since. I've dedicated much of my free time to photography, with the help of my friends who act as my models, without them I would have never achieved what I have now.
CUS: Tell us a little about where you live.
CR: I live in a village that's very close to Valencia, in the east of Spain. My land has a really nice warm climate that is very close to the ocean. It's almost always sunny, and because of this the land is full of orange fields, and oranges are one of the most cultivated products in Valencia. The people go out in the streets a lot and interact with one another and are very open.
CUS: Do you feel that your mood affects the type of photographs you produce on a particular day?
CR: Since I love photography, it puts me in a good mood; sometimes I use it to free my mind.
CUS: If you could photograph any person (past or present) who would you choose?
CR: Wow, that's a very hard question, I'm pretty interested in fashion photography and I've never actually photographed a professional model. I'm very eager to try that style out so I'd love to photograph model Natalia Vodianova, amongst many others. However I'd be fine with much less, :P.
CUS: What is the thing you like the least about photography? The most?
CR: What I like the least is how people have this idea that it's something easy to make a living off of. There are too many photographs where there is no creativity, sensitivity or taste and all those other things that bring life onto an image. At the same time, my favorite thing is just that. How easy it is for any person who enjoys it to buy a camera and take pictures, like I did.
CUS: What is your favorite photograph that you’ve taken?
CR: I'm a huge perfectionist and very hard on myself, I'm always moving forward, and when I do my favorite photograph changes. I think at this moment in time my favorite one is one I did of my friend Rosa while trying out a theme I wanted to get into, it was kind of spontaneous within what we were doing. But right now the post-process isn't of my liking, it's too dark, I'm more into light than darkness now. This is the image.
CUS: Do you always have preconceived concepts of what you want to shoot?
CR: My mentality at the time of shooting is to always add new sensations to photographs, to make it something else than just a shot. The concepts are normally very varied but probably the themes I utilize the most are sensuality, the unexpected, games on pre-conceived notions and beauty.
CUS: If every photograph should contain one key element, what would it be in your opinion?
CR: Without a doubt I'd say a good concept.
CUS: What’s playing on your iTunes right now?
CUS: Do you have a favorite subject you like to shoot? And why?
CR: Women, I like finding beauty in them and make the most of that aspect.
CUS: What kind of camera do you enjoy using the most?
CR: I have a digital camera and various film cameras; I'm a fan of antique cameras. According to the concept I'm going to represent I choose my medium. The last camera I bought was a Polaroid sx-70, I love taking pictures with it but since the film is so expensive I have to pace myself.
CUS: What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you on a photo shoot?
CR: Well, at the moment I can't remember anything strange that's happened to me on a shoot.
CUS: If you could go anywhere in the world to take photographs where would you go?
CR: I think every place has its beauty, you just have to look for it and make the most of it...I'm very eager to create photographs which include fog, where I live there's never any. I think my favorite place to shoot at the moment would be a forest with lots of vegetation, very foggy.
CUS: How much time do you generally spend on a shoot?
CR: From one to four hours.
CUS: What are your other hobbies besides photography?
CR: Industrial design, besides being my career it’s also a hobby to which I dedicate a great amount of time. Cinema and art.
CUS: What is something that no one knows about you?
CR: I'm an alien :P
CUS: What are 5 things you can’t live without?
CR: My family, my friends, my camera, my computer with internet and my career.
CUS: Do you have a favorite photographer?
CR: Not one but many...I appreciate different things from each of them. Annie Leibovitz, Eugenio Recuenco, Ryan McGinley, Lina Scheynius, Vee Speers, Paolo Roversi, and many more.
CUS: Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Do you think that photography will still be a big part of your life?
CR: I have no idea; I'd rather not make plans and just continue down the path that seems best professionally and the one I like best. I think photography is going to be an important part of my life, now and alway.
CUS: What’s have you always wanted to photograph but have thought was too hard or difficult to execute?
CR: I'd love to be able to completely master artificial lighting, and many technical aspects of photography. Since I'm self-taught I'm lacking in many aspects and a lot of the time I can't do exactly what I want.
CUS: What are some of your favorite films?
CR: Amelie and many more.
CUS: What sort of themes do you try to explore through your photographs? Is there any one in particular in which you try to convey often?
CR: I suppose that a lot of the time I try to relinquish things that society has established; I don't like a lot of those rules. Finding beauty where in theory one can't, etc.
CUS: What is your favorite time of day to shoot?
CR: Lately I've been researching natural light seeping in from windows; they allow a great deal of tampering and can have many different shapes. To me they're beautiful and when they interact with a body the photograph is greatly enriched.
It's happening right now in my house, its 18:33h.
CUS: What advice would you give to your fellow up-and-coming photographers?
CR: I'd rather get it from them. Like I said, I don't have much to teach.
CUS: Our last interviewee Tara Violet Niami wants to know: Are your photographs ever inspired by the music you love?
CR: No, I think I've never been inspired like that by the music I hear, but it does affect my sensitivity.
CUS: Last but not least, what would you like to ask our next Interviewee?
CR: Do you think film photography will disappear and would you like this to happen?
ed. note: images updated 09/13