“My motivation is to understand reality and how it behaves in society”. Antonio Garcia Andres, Barcelona
Antonio, please introduce yourself briefly
I was born in Orihuela (a small city in south Spain) and currently living in Barcelona for 5 years. I work in an architecture studio doing 3D for future projects.
My first contact with photography was during high school, with my friends. We did several short films in Super 8. From those days I began to be interested in cinema, art, etc. and everything related with the photography. About 15 years ago I bought my first analog camera, a Nikon F70, shot my first photos and learned the basics of photography. It was 3 years ago that I began to study photography seriously, analyzing the great masters of photography and going out into the streets with the camera.
What is your motivation to shoot on the streets?
I think my motivation is to understand reality and how it behaves in society. When we go out, we spend a lot of time walking, looking around us and seeing how people behave, looking for those moments that we can capture. We spend a lot of time watching people and how they act. Street photography has a documentary character, transmitting a way of life and habits that change over the years. This allows us to understand the world, and the photography is a way. We are voyeurs of the street and everything that happens in it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The inspiration comes from great photographers: Martin Parr, Trent Parke, Richard Kalvar, Alex Webb, etc. Every time I buy a book I usually spend a lot of time with it, looking at a couple of photos a day and analyzing them deeply. Through a deep study I try to get into the head of the photographer and to better understand his photography. I can be with a book for several months.
But I also think that inspiration does not only come from photography. Literature, cinema, architecture, comics, music, etc. They are full of ideas that can be used to take photos. I’m interested in art in general, from which we can learn a lot.
Please tell us about your approach to find those unique, lucky moments!
When I go out to take photos, I don’t usually go out with any initial ideas. I only have a notebook with diagrams of possible situations that could happen on the street, as a starting point.
I usually walk around the most touristic areas of Barcelona, continuously looking around me and trying to find something to build a good photo from. When I find something interesting, I start taking photos and can even follow what has caught my attention. In those seconds or minutes, I try to get the best possible photo.
An example: in one occasion in Plaza Sant Jaume in Barcelona, there was a wedding and the attendees threw confetti on the ground. When I saw the confetti, my brain automatically started to think of possible photos. The first thing that came to mind was a person in a dotted skirt. After 15 minutes in the square looking for possible photos… a dalmatian appeared. I think I took about 10 photos in the few seconds that this situation lasted.
What do you do if your not out on the streets?
I usually dedicate 10 hours a week to photography. I always carry my camera with me when I go to and when commuting. In the weekends, I usually go outside for a couple of hours to take photos. The rest of the time I am working and resting at home (reading, watching movies, etc.). Currently, photography is a hobby for me and I have no intention of engaging in it professionally. I think that living from street photography is so difficult.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to take more and more photos and learn everything I can. I’ve been only taking photos for 3 years and I think I need to take more great photos. Many times I ask myself what the purpose of my photography is, but for the moment it is to enjoy it. I have thought sometimes to self-publish a fanzine, but maybe in the future. There is a lot of time ahead.
Anything else you want to talk about?
Perhaps a tip for people who are just starting out in photography. I believe that it is very important that they see a lot of photography by great photographers and that they look at other areas of art where they can also learn a lot. I would also tell them to be demanding with their own photos, analyzing them thoroughly and asking questions about them.