From Devon, studied in London, moved to Mexico? Genoveva is a skilled photographer specializing in portraits. Her photos have been published in magazines, exhibited at galleries and more. I caught up with her to ask about her journey and where 2015 will take her.
How did you get into photography?
My dad used to be a musician but studied animation when I was very young. I guess I started to be interested in photography at the age of 11 when my Dad shot his own animations, I would be his helper.
What do pictures mean to you?
In a world based on visuals they mean everything to me. A language I can understand the most.
You exhibited at Portrait Salon ’14, tell us about that. What was it like exhibiting your work?
I had never entered any competitions until the Taylor Wessing. This is one of the biggest internationally renowned competitions so I understood I was trying my luck. Someone mentioned the portrait salon when I had not got through so I thought why not! You could enter as many photos as you wanted but I thought this one would do. When I heard I had been selected I was surprised but very happy to show my work with many photographers I look up too. Only graduating this year I guess it was a affirming sign I was on the right path.
In this age of digital cameras, instagram filters and smart phones, people often underrate the hard work of professional photographers. What do you think about this?
Yes but you have to work with what you have got. I feel it gives me a bigger push to prove my self and only upload images with care. I guess that is what a lot of the photos on Facebook,instagram etc are missing.
Funny thing people have said?
I am pretty new to instagram getting it at the beginning of the year. When I told a friend of a friend that I studied photography she asked, as I am a photographer, if I had many followers on instagram and what filter do I use….. When I said I did not have instagram the conversation went a little sour. I guess how many followers constitutes a good photographer? Hmm I would have to argue that.
What’s it like travelling all over taking photos?
It is a big excuse for me to run away. Never travelling with much money (spending it all of film and camera equipment) I guess it is my memory and gift to my self when I come back. I am currently writing this in the Mexican countryside, so it definitely has its perks. Without analyzing my work too much, I am always trying to make a connection with my subject… on my website I have an on going project called ‘there are no foreign lands’. I want to find something in every country that speaks with all viewers.
Do I have a favorite location to shoot?
Anything with natural light … I like to make my own studio setups normally with a linen bed sheet or something similar.
Do you have a favorite photo?
My favorite photos change all the time. I recently went to the Viviane Sassen exhibition at the Photographers gallery. It showed 300 images of hers. I am pretty sure I liked all of them. I definitely have fallen back in love with her.
I’ve seen your work exhibited to magazines, sites and galleries. What was the 1st step to attaining this?
My first step to attaining publication was…. wait for it….. to actually submit my work !! Sounds crazy right? I think I am fairly private with my work and it takes a while before I am happy with anyone viewing it. Once you are happy with the world looking at your images then get in contact with magazines, sites, etc. But know your audience, know how your images fit and how you want them to be interpreted by the viewer otherwise you maybe showing your work completely out of context.
I crossed paths with you backstage at London Fashion Week for Vin and Omi’s SS15 show. There was a lot going on, models getting fitted, candy nails being made, runway practice. How does it feel working in these fast paced scenarios?
Its not how I normally work but its fun, a lot of adrenaline and quick thinking. Shooting with a load of other photographers’ means you need to remember your own style and what kind of story you would like to tell.
What are you aspirations for 2015?
After graduating I finally want to learn things for myself. Learning Spanish being one, having my own personal projects underway, collaborating… as well as working close with established photographers is another. So I have up and left for Mexico to tell stories of my own and get to know my family here. Once my Spanish is underway me and my Abuelo will have a lot to talk about. It may not be the easiest route with many of my friends moving to London and starting off there but I am always up for a challenge.
Do you have any work horror stories?
The only stories I have are when models don’t turn up or any other part of the team cancels last minute. A lot of hard work goes into that one day and everyone is key to making it happen. That’s definitely is one nightmare that I have and had to experience.
To you what does it mean to be successful?
Ohhhh hard one. The most important thing is for me to be happy with my images. After this if people appreciate and understand my work this too is success. Eventually if I am able to live exhibiting and publishing my own work not just commercial and comfortable I would be happy. I wouldn’t say success comes with how many ‘followers’ or how many ‘likes’ you have but what your audience get from your images.
What’s your motivation?
I am not the best writer or artist or musician but I have a lot to express, interpret & understand. Right now photography seems the best way for me to do this as a medium.
You can follow Genoveva’s journey on:
Instagram – http://instagram.com/genovevaar
Twitter – http://twitter.com/g_arteaga_rynn
Website – http://genovevaarteagarynn.co.uk
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