Posted: May 15, 2014 Filed under: Art, Photo, quickies, Sunday artist
He started taking photos about two years ago. He never before imagined that one day he’ll become a photographer, but as it usually happens, you can’t plan for a passion. Because that’s the only way he can describe it now. It all started when he bought his first DSLR ever, a Nikon to be precise. Because usually once you fall for a camera brand you never go back, isn’t it?
Of course, he had to learn everything from scratch but thankfully there were the tutorials on the internet, the photo-walks during the week-ends with other kindled souls – amateur photogrAphers sharing tips, advice but overall the passion. As much as his full-time job allowed him was devoted to photography. Well, being divorced and single he had total control of his free time and now that he has found his passion, his other love of video games has been put aside.
But you see, he discovered that not only he loved taking photos – other people liked his photos as well. Hey, someone even wanted to buy a print of one of his first photos. So his confidence grew and almost naturally the idea of starting his own Facebook fan page to share his photos took life, and lo and behold his photo page has now 18K followers.
Things were getting serious, his friend, the professional photographer took him along to some sessions where he could take photos of professional models. What an excellent opportunity! He befriended some if these models and he started doing his own photoshoots. He used to joke how difficult it was to be a photographer, surrounded by semi-nude women.
Because you see, he has somewhat specialized in artistic nudes. He has never been prudish, quite the contrary, so when people started reporting his photos as inappropriate on Facebook, he got quite mad. It is unbelievable the amount of people who become outraged at the sight of a female nipple.
But trouble not always came from the prudish, no. There was the woman who told him she would like to do a nude photo session with him, but did want her photos to be published on his Facebook page. He assured him that whenever he was hired to do a photo session, privacy and use rights were discussed and respected as agree. “What, are you going to charge me to take photos of me naked?” was her surprised reply.
This was ludicrous! Did she thought she was doing him a favor? Couldn’t she respect his work enough and expect him to do it for free?! He complained to his Facebook friends about the whole mess, making sure that in the meantime any other woman who expected him to take photos of her naked for free would think twice before daring to do so.
His Facebook creative friends reassured him it was a very so common problem: people expecting them to work for free (photo, video, graphic design you name it) without realizing they had bills to pay, a family to feed. Oh, did he feel the pain! Well, sort of felt it because he still had his full-time job but hey, he also had expenses, like the internet and travel costs and hey, if his photos were professional quality, he deserved to be paid as such.
And soon he will have extra costs – he decided it was enough of Facebook censorship. Which was only exacerbated by the pettiness of prudish, hypocrite and jealous people. Even other photographers had the nerve to report him.
He was sure that his 18 thousand plus fans will follow him. No, it was not out of a morbid, voyeuristic trait that he got so many views and likes, neither the fact that he had a big network of Facebook “friends” to whom their photos were “pushed” continuously. He will show them. Hey he even got a deal for an itinerant photo exhibition. And yet he still was grateful for the undeserved attention, he had been in the profession for such a short time only! Passion plus talent are on the side of the amateur photographer, brace yourselves professional photographers! Don’t be haters! Welcome the amateur photographer with wide open arms!
Well, it’s true that his photographs weren’t World Photo Press material. Nor he hasn’t yet got viral worldwide thanks to those blogs the kind of “divorce thirty-something man creates whimsical self-portraits incrusting himself in silent movies stills” or the like. Maybe his composition skills aren’t great yet. Maybe his photos are on the burned-highlights side, but is a matter of personal style, you see? And his willing to defend his style till the end.
Maybe one day you’ll get to know his work, is a matter of months. I could, of course, link to his FB page or give you his name but truth is, I despise the man. His photos are as vulgar as himself. He’s congruent in that matter, you have to hive him that. Alas, the quality of his photos doesn’t justify his delusional self-confidence.
I hate him.
Posted: September 26, 2013 Filed under: Art, Photo | Tags: Manuel Álvarez Bravo, México, photo
Death is born with every new life – Manuel Álvarez bravo
A young pensive MAB
I told one of my dear Twitter friends, Tim Gander, how he reminded me of Manuel Álvarez Bravo and he wrote this excellent post about him. The photo that prompted me to make this comparison was one of a young, pensive Manuel Álvarez Bravo (MAB) that was used as the poster image for his retrospective exhibition in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Mexico City last year.
The Museo de Bellas Artes inherited of his collection, comprising not only his photographic archives but also his art collection that included prehispanic figurines, books, prints, illustrations and photos of contemporary photographers that were personal friends of MAB.
I have not much too add to what he wrote that hasn’t been already said before by more informed and knowledgeable people.
MAB’s “Public thirst” (1934) photo made the cover of the BJP in 1976.
MAB has been in the world photo scene since the beginning of his career – the 20s of last century – but I would like to comment in something Tim picked up in his post: MAB’s obsession with death.
MAB was born in 1902 in Mexico City and while growing up he witnessed the violence and crudeness of the conflicts leading towards and during the Revolution, as well as the union struggles of the 1930s . Those were the same years that saw the birth of the “Catrina” and other skelleton characters of Posada.
Pencil sketch after the famous Posada’s famous Catrina
Death has been a constant companion of Mexicans throughout our history and an important part of our search for a national identity, one that will integrate European and Indigenous roots and was taking shape amidst the conflict.
Another big influences on MAB’s work was the surrealist movement which reminds me of Man Ray’s work. MAB, as Man Ray, also started as a graphic artist but decided to learn and use photography as a medium, not just to portrait reality but to talk about concepts. André Breton said of Mexico that it was the most surreal country in the world, so maybe MAB work’s look surrealist to European eyes while to us Mexicans it’s the illustration of our identity.
An insatiable curiosity