“My photographic language can be best described as austere. And my creative process is very methodical.” Santiago Porter
Santiago Porter. Born in 1971 in Buenos Aires, Santiago Porter is contemporary photographer currently based in the metropolitan area of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. He learned about photography assisting several workshops in Argentina and New York.
Santiago Porter, what was your first photographic experience?
My first camera was an old Voigtlander, that I inherited from an uncle of my father. And my first photographic experience was rather a coincidence. A friend of mine from school got the equipment for a laboratory to develop black and white film and to make copies. So we sat everything up in the attic of his house and started experimenting with the photographs that we took in the neighbourhood with my Voigtlander. I must have been 15 years old at that time.
Why did you become a photographer?
As I learned more and more about photography, I became more and more obsessed with it. I started to make a living on photography at a very young age. Later I was lucky to get access to the tools I needed to work on my different projects. Up to the day.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s like a language to me.
Which famous photographer inspired you most?
There’s many I could mention. At the beginning I admired Robert Frank a lot. Nowadays I like the work Lewis Baltz a lot.
Which is your favourite photograph?
That’s a tough question to answer.
But when I come to think of it the pictures from Josef Koudelka’s book “Black Triangle” or the series about industrial constructions from Bernd and Hilla Becher come to my mind.
How would you describe your photographic style?
My photographic language can be best described as austere. And my creative process is very methodical.
How do you develop an own photographic language and how did you achieve it?
Most likely, even though I don’t know if it’s absolutely necessary, the personal style develops over time. It can also result into a double-edged weapon, like a safe place you feel comfortable in and that you are afraid of to leave. Like a corset.
What qualities does a great image need in your eyes?
That’s very hard to define. Maybe it has to do with ideas: What you see and what the pictures evokes in you looking at it.
Santiago Porter, where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
Generally speaking I work with very few concepts and ideas. Sometimes these ideas have to do with history, and others with the present or with art in general.
How do you stay up to date about the latest developments in photography?
Even though I don’t pretend to be aware of all the latest trends in photography, I enjoy visiting exhibitions and looking at publications from other artists: reading, listening and looking – that sums it up.
What do you consider to be more important: Perfect control of the camera or creativity and a good photographic concept?
Neither one in particular, I suppose. But both tools may contribute to result in a significant image.
Do you prefer digital or analog?
It’s the same to me. Whatever suits me best for a specific project I’m working on.
What kind of photographic equipment do you use?
That depends entirely on the project. But mostly a field camera Toyo “4 x 5”, with 150 to 90 mm lenses.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
More information about contemporary photographer Santiago Porter
Official homepage from Santiago Porter.
Publications from Santiago Porter.