Ivan Guerrero: “I think people and models have been and still are the most direct influence in my photography”
21 mar, 2014
My name is Ivan Guerrero, I was born in Mexico City but I grew up and currently live in Aguascalientes, a small city (you’ve probably never heard of) located in the center of the country.
Since my early childhood, I have been very interested in illlustration, drawing and painting so I attended drawing classes for many years. Nothing big, just small pastels and pencil drawing courses. I have a major in Communication & Mass Media which I obtained at the local university.
I have never had any formal studies of photography or any visual/ graphic discipline. Just a couple short basic courses, very general and not focused in any specific kind of photography.
My interest in photography was born specifically in fashion photography when I was in my first year of high school back in 1997 when one of my classmates brought to class this glossy magazine that displayed in the back cover, a fragrance campaign featuring a very young Werner Schreyer (check out his interview here (http://www.worldofmodels.org/wernerschreyer)
I was hooked but never really considered doing it until my very last year in university where I was “forced” to attend a fashion photography subject necessary to graduate without any trouble. During all those years I really enjoyed checking out catalogs and visiting the local Guess stores, not for shopping clothes but for checking out the campaign pictures on display, which I found and still find amazing! It is funny that the idea of taking pictures took a lot of time to pop up! Like about a decade I would say!
By that time, I did some test shoots with family members who gladly posed for me but that did not help a lot to convince any potential models to pose for me. I also tried children photography by family request, but that did not work either. haha
After a while I came up with the idea that maybe what I needed was to go back to school and prepare myself in photography, so I thought Milan was the right choice for me but after 4 years or continuous attempts with some big fashion/ photography schools, I failed to even obtain a 10% scholarship! haha. Schools are expensive over there and it was not a good idea to give them all my money in only a one-year tuition! Then I decided to start a blog and became very interested in backstage photography after checking out a Dolce & Gabbana big heavy book that had these hot coverage and review of their men’s fashion shows.
I would define my style as “raw”, simple, not complicated. Just me, my eyes and the subject. The way I see it and how it reaches out to me, unfiltered, straight-forward and discovered by real eyes in a real time and place. Yes, some places are so dark and a few lights are necessary.
I think people and models have been and still are the most direct influence in my photography. Their expression, their faces, their mood, the look in their eyes. etc. But yes, there are many photographers that inspire me and influence my work in a not so direct way, keeping in mind they do a different kind of photography from what I do at the moment. I love the work of Dennis Stock, Annie Leibowitz, Bruce Weber, just to mention some of them.
The digital era making the work easier for photographers
I think that technology has been of great use in terms of quality and of course in execution of the pictures. You can have more control of the images you take and that gives you a lot of advantage to create better looking pictures and present them in several media in a very short time. It makes the work easier for photographers both new and established. Absolutely.
Worlwide economic crisis on fashion photogrpahey
Very competitive! Extremely. More and more photographers with great skills compete each day for opportunities in one of the most complicated and ungrateful industries that have ever existed. In the case of backstage photography, it is pretty much the same. You face people who has been doing it for years and somehow the claim their territory. That makes it more difficult yet. How do I see the market for fashion photography in general for the next years? HIGHLY COMPETITIVE (with capital letters)
Special moments making perfect pics
In my case, the perfect picture comes when a implicit deal between photographer and model(s) has taken place in the backstage scene. It happens when models are relaxed enough to allow themselves being captured by the lenses. You can count on a perfect picture when a model is open enough and willing to give you something for the shot. It is something that goes from an honest gaze to a funny gesture that could result in a great picture.
If they are not comfortable with the scene or the photographer, the result will not be that good. At the backstage, you get to deal with a lot of people and models, and not always everyone is really happy to be surprised by a camera… specially in winter seasons, I think the cold weather of the fashion cities depresses people and you can see it in the pictures. They look more distracted and kind of sad.
The funny backstages´ moments
There have been plenty! Mostly fun, all of them. I remember once in a Frankie Morello’s backstage in Milano, a model put his underwear over his head! That was a fun shot! The people who are backstage ironing clothes, I find them very curious and fun! I don’t know why! I always come up with many of them and it is definitely a shot I don’t want to miss!!haha
Top 5 cool places for a shooting and why
Well, I would say that my favorite locations to shoot backstage have not arrived yet, for example I would love to go backstage at the Metropol in Milan for the Dolce & Gabbana Men’s Show, at least once! I would also love to do the Via Gesú location for the Versace’s Men’s Show.
For the ones I have already been in, I enjoyed Parke & Ronen, Ermanno Scervino and Corneliani for example. But I would say that Marlon Gobel’s show in NYC has been the most pleasant backstage experience so far. Great models, very relaxing atmosphere, total respect for photographers (you don’t get to see a lot of that lately, specially when it comes to backstage) and Marlon is a great guy! Definitely, Marlon Gobel wins. Looking forward to shooting again with him in the future!
Ivan and the models: helping them building a cool portfolio
Well, If I have helped a number of models with their careers that is definitely something I am not aware of. If that happens, I’m definitely the last to know,haha. But well, yeah I would be excited to be able to help the models if that was the case. I am very open to work with all models and if that could help them to develop experience I think I win too. I am happy for their victories, since modeling is also a very difficult and competitive career.
IMAGE worth a THOUSAND WORDS?
Yes, I would say so. Images are power and within this power there is an implicit quality of summarizing a whole concept, intention, feeling or mood with just one hit. Besides, keep in mind we people tend to be “visual creatures”, we like to see and what we see, concerns us.
Therefore, words have their own power too, and we should never underestimate their reach or importance, not even in front of images. Words can also make wonders when used properly, or throw an intention or idea to the trash when not chosen wisely.
The Projects and some unforgettable moments
At the moment I have shot backstage stories in Milan, Paris, Florence and New York City for The Male Model Music Project, the blog I started in 2010. This season I also shot exclusively a story for Fucking Young’s website on Diesel Black Gold’s Men’s Backstage during Pitti Uomo 85 in Florence.
As I told you before I enjoy the backstage very much, because it is one of the moments where you can really see the creation of fashion. The work of stylists, designers, hair and make-up artists, models, staff, the clothes, the textures, the stress, the music. I find it truly inspiring because a fashion show (in this case the backstage) is where you get to see the people in full action!
Some models I have been in touch lately backstage include: Alexandre Cunha (Alex is Alex!), Clément Chabernaud, Ton Heukels, Vladimir Ivanov, Edward Wilding, Yannick Boetzkes, André Bona, Ryan Taylor, Matt Woodhouse, Alexander Ferrario, Sergio Cazzaniga and many more. All of them great.
I would like to attend and shoot at men’s fashion week in Milan and Paris, next season, maybe for a magazine/ newspaper this time or with a proper and established coverage assignment. I am also interested in going to London to the men’s collections. I have never been there and it would be awesome! This is just a plan, but I’ll make sure I keep you posted with any news.
I also would like to try editorial , you know with a model that would pose exclusively for me with a stylist and all that, without the pressure of a show to start in 5 minutes haha. Photography requires a lot in terms of skills, that goes from technical to “human” I would say. You never stop learning photography and with each show, shoot or model, a new challenge pops up.
I think that the most special moment as a photographer so far, happens after a show , a shoot or a season. You go back home with the satisfaction of achieving a goal and doing a good job no matter what, taking advantage of an opportunity of growing as a photographer, The idea of “this is what I wanted” “I suffered it but also enjoyed it” “It was a challenge but I did it right and took all my chances”. Somehow you take with you all the faces and people you get meet and looking forward to meeting them again and again!
And when you´ll come to my world?
Looking forward to visiting Brazil. That’s one of the places where I would love to shoot! and yes I would have a real good time under the brazilian tropical sun.
Thank you very much for having me.
“You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.”
Email for contact, inquiries, requests, etc
My blog is The Male Model Music Project
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