Gustavo, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. (How old are you, Where were you born and where do you live now, What is your profession and do you have other besides photography?
Hi Helmut, thank you for this opportunity and appreciation of my work. I'm a 33 year old uruguayan. I've been living in Barcelona for 10 years. Besides photography I'm also a musician and teach guitar. I used to work in bars etc., but I found it too stressful and, when I was finally home, I was dead, not able to create anything. So now I'm poor, but happier.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
As I said earlier I'm also a musician. I've been playing guitar for well over ten years.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
Thank you :) Well, to be honest I'm not sure. I guess I like things to be geometrically "perfect", I need them to have harmony (this is where you can see my musical aspect translated in photography) and to have some sort of emotion or meaning behind it. Most of the stuff I improvise...
Could you share with us how you first became interested in photography?
I became interested after buying a p&s initially intended for recording myself playing guitar. I went out, shot some landscapes, hacked it to have the raw files, started playing around in Lightroom with them and the rest is history I guess ha ha.
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started? what is your favorite lens?
Nikon d5100, Samyang 85 f/1.4 and 35 f/1.4. That's all I ever had since I started. Well, I actually got the 35mm one year later. These days I'm using both the same amount, I don't have a favourite. I'm, craving for a d750, but it's impossible for financial reasons.
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point you first step onto the street until you showcase the developed picture?
I usually shot in A mode and auto iso, so I just have to check, whether I'm in matrix or spot metering. I go around and when I see good light, I stay there until something interesting happens, then I just take out the camera and shoot. Then I go home, use one of the many lightroom presets, that I have, go to photoshop, retouch skin, colours, contrast, sharpen and that's it.
Do you see a particular influence, be it a photographer or school on your work? Any subject that attracts you?
I enjoy the work of Sean Archer, Anita Wasik, Jean Noir, Nicholas Jahved, Marat Safin, Noell Oswald, Paul Apalkin, Paul Capra, TJ Drysdale, Kareva Margo, Svetlana Belyaeva, and soooo many others... But what really influences me are my subjetcts. The more I know them the more they influence me.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other photographers?
It's something you can't see. I think I achieve quite good results with the most humble equipment. At least that's what everybody tells me.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from shooting on the streets?
I've learned the importance of natural reflectors and open shade. Now I look for that everywhere.
That's impossible... In two years my shutter count is like 80,000, so imagine picking just one of those pictures.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward photography story.
I've started exercise and diet a few weeks ago, and I take pictures of myself in underwear reguarly to see progress. One time I used my dslr and I forgot to delete the pictures, and the day after while scrolling through them with a new client those came up. I felt so embarrased haha.
Don't worry so much on technique or equipment, focus on create something that is alive and meaningful to you.
Thank you very much Gustavo for this interview.