Saturday, October 6, 2012

An interview: Miguel Jose Flores, Peruvian photographer.

Miguel Flores started as photojournalist to become then a fashion and advertising fotographer and release all his energy and creativity. Based in Lima he share today with us some of his thoughs and story. Enjoy it.

- Did you go to school to study photography?
I studied Communication at the at the University of Lima without know I would end up photographer.

- What were the steps involved after graduating from university to become a professional photographer?

I the middle of my career I started to lean more towards photography. I had already taken courses in film, television, advertising. So I took classes with Jaime Razuri, a prominent news photographer, editor of the agency France Press, that was when I decided to be photographer forever.

I started working at the newspaper La República, who formed me clearly as a press photographer, and helped me to be fast with the camera to capture unexpected events, as well to be patience while waiting for the better moment to obtain the desired image. Then came the magazine Para ti (For you) where I was fortunate to be part of fashion productions of high caliber. I learned little by little what it is team work for obtaining a single image. That "that picture" wast the effort of several people, each in their professional area, pushing the car so you as a photographer "just" drive them properly for a a good result.

- How long have you been a photographer?
I am photographer since 12 years ago.

- Why the change from journalist to fashion?

Without doubt, work in the magazine Para ti release all my energy I had to photograph models. I used to watch fashion magazines and in the internet  look for the works of Avedon, Newton, Penn, Testino, Vallhonrat, Demarchelier, Weber and more.

- How would you describe your style?
I don't think in styles at the moment of photograph. Some colleagues tell me my photography is like this or like that... I think that one photograph is the results of many factors playing between them and they are not the same all the time. Two photographs cannot be the same. There is always something that change, you cannot repeat yourself even if you look for it or want it. Simply I am not a believer of "styles". One day the photo come out in one way and another day in other.
- What gives you ideas/inspires you to create?
One day a photography teacher told me: " you gave to see, see and see, See everything you can, any publication, see your surroundings, new places, its details, and from there, create! " That's what I do.

- What photographers you like or admire?
For now the photographers already mentioned. In fact I am forgetting some, but the above mentioned are my Axis.

- How important is Photoshop/post production in your final images?
I am not a purist, Photoshop is an important tool in my work, without doubt. And not to denigrate it, because to date, has many detractors. I use it and period. On fashion it is essential. You must have an excellent retoucher who understands your work and known how to use Photoshop to the extent that complements your effort. I do not agree with it's abuse.
- In your work, how much is your idea and how much the client idea/ concept?
The advertising works are the results of many ideas from many people. Whether you have less or more participation in the final idea, at the end, everything ends up being in your hands. This medium is very competitive and you are always looking for the wrongly called "original idea" that the end is the  same that someone else already did but using different ingredients. In the advertising media is impossible that the final idea comes from one person.

- How much freedom you had at beginning of your career and how much now?
At the beginning at had more freedom! ha ha, because my clients were small firms. Now my clients have a series or parameters I must follow but still have a quote of freedom.

- In the Peruvian market, based in your experience what is the percent of freedom?
How do you keep your ideas fresh and originals when working mostly for the Lima market?
Lima and Peru are conservative. But is not about create controversy making a photo that will catch all the attention. I am not worried for that. I am only looking for when working and when I looking at my photos is first to feel  personal satisfaction then the rest, despite that may sound selfish. If that happen I am happy.

- Peru has a diverse geography to exploit as locations, Why do think they are not and why is so centered in Lima?
It is a matter of budget. All is based on that. Advertising in expensive and if you have to add moving a group of people to a remote location it implies more money and logistic. It is done but not so often.

- How important is your team to get the final image? Are they still the same from years ago?
Without them I cannot do nothing. Most of them are the same.

- How big is your team?
Around 12 people.
- Artificial or natural light?
Both. With artificial light I like to work with one light when the concept of the client allow me.

- A photograph that have impacted you?
Javier Vallhonrat.

- Are you satisfied as photographer?
I am satisfied with many photos I have taken. But I have much more to do yet

- Interested in try video due to now the cameras offer that option too?
I have done some shoots as tests  but nothing serious yet.
- Do you have personal work?
That is my big personal debt. I have many ideas in mind but I have not been able to make them due to time factors.

- A website and/or blog you visit often?
Any site of any photographer. Less mine, ha ha ha.