“Photography gave me the opportunity to express me in a way I couldn’t with my electric guitar.”
Ignacio Evangelista (born in 1965 in Valencia) is a Spanish photographer, who first started out with a university degree in psychology. After that he worked as an assistant for a photographer in Valencia and finally decided to become one himself. Ignacio Evangelista does commercial work as well as personal projects.
Currently, Ignacio Evangelista is working on a project called “After Schengen”:
“The “After Schengen” project shows old border crossing points between different states in the European Union. After the Schengen agreement, most of these old checkpoints remain abandoned and out of service, allowing us to gaze into the past from the present.” Ignacio Evangelista
Interview with Ignacio Evangelista
Ignacio, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
A Fujica SLR of the 1970s, which my grandfather gave to me who himself was very fond of taking pictures. The first experiments as a photographer were taking pictures of my brother and my girlfriend at that time. They had to have a lot of patience with me…
Why did you become a photographer?
Because photography gave me the opportunity to express me in a way I couldn’t with my electric guitar.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s my way to express myself without words and in a more permanent way over time. And, of course, it’s my way of making a living (some months better than others).
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
In the beginning all the classics, mainly portraitist (Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe and August Sander), and years later “The Dusseldorf School of Photography” with artists like Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky, or Axel Hütte was a discovery of how to do things differently.
“My photographs don’t go below the surface. They don’t go below anything. They’re readings of the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues. But whenever I become absorbed in the beauty of a face, in the excellence of a single feature, I feel I’ve lost what’s really there – been seduced by someone else’s standard of beauty or by the sitter’s own idea of the best in him. That’s not usually the best. So each sitting becomes a contest.”
What’s your favorite photography quote?
“Wet your lips”
(a joke about a photographer and a model)
How would you describe your photographic style and way of working? How do you realize a shooting or assignment?
Objective and distanced – without noticing much the photographer’s hand. I tackle my personal projects in the most dispassionate way possible, which is not always easy, especially when a series is at its beginning.
On the other hand there’s my work for clients. When I’m realizing an assignment, I work with every trick a photographer has at his disposal to meet the clients need: unusual perspectives, different lenses, light effects etc.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
With time and personal maturity. And trying not to get carried away by the latest trends.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
Patience and perseverance. And a good dose of luck.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
I can not rationalize it. Maybe what French philosopher Roland Barthes called “punctum” in his book “Camera Lucida – Reflections on Photography”.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
I do not know, ideas come and go in a whimsical way.
How do you keep up to date with new developments in photography, to keep on learning new things?
Doing research on the internet and attending exhibitions.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
It depends on the type of work. In general, for professional works I prefer digital cameras, and analog ones for personal projects.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?