How and why did you get started with street photography?
I am a professional photographer and I’ve always considered street photography to be a perfect training camp. In the city, you get it all – the need to understand light, to capture movement properly, to organize the elements that compose the image. I’ve spent 10 years dedicated to the world of audiovisual production and I’ve always photographed the city during that time.
How would you describe your photographic style?
My style is based on storytelling, and perhaps I would define it as very cinematic for this reason. That’s why my obsession is to work with light as much as possible. I’m very interested in composing a scene that transmits a story. I like to have people appear who commence that story, though they don’t necessarily have to be the protagonist.
I love this image:
You have a way of capturing images that leave the viewer thinking, “what is going on here?” Can you share the story behind this image with us? And how do you get this kind of image – one that leaves viewers with more questions than answers?
Of course! The story behind this photo is actually much more mundane than it would appear. They were just two people speaking to one another passionately and from my position, I could only see the hands of the person on the left. The way he gestured gave the impression that in one moment or another he would probably touch the person you see in the photo, and the rest of the story I shall leave to the spectator. 😉
The key to finding stories is to focus on concepts, mystery, expressions, the movements of people in the city…
In your blog, you mention something important: that to take good street photographs, you have to know yourself, be a little introspective. Can you explain briefly why that is so important and how you can get to know yourself better in relation to your photography?
It’s impossible to be a good photographer without knowing who you are, what you like and why you like it. Good photography works from the inside out, it is an artistic expression of ourselves. We have to photograph without the camera, read a lot, watch plenty of movies, listen to a variety of music, live deceptions, experience joys, feel deeply. I assure you that when you do these things, you will start to see advances in your photography.
What are your workshops like? In your opinion, how can workshops help photographers to progress?
My photography workshops are intense, fun and dynamic. They are based on practice and as I guide the group, I explain each scene we find so that we can take advantage of its maximum potential. Seeing how to work the light, how to use the camera in each situation and how to use competitive language is what helps the attendees the most. Plus, we have a lot of fun and form unforgettable groups.
What is one of the main things you want your participants to learn from your workshops?
One of my main objectives is that the participants understand the light better, identify better scenes with more potential and that they become better able to transmit what they want to transmit with their images.
How did you turn photography into your profession? Do you have any helpful pointers for someone wanting to turn their hobby into their career?
Living off of photography is pretty risky these days. It can be done, but only with a lot of work, study and sacrifice. Every day is like taking an exam and you never stop forming and recycling yourself. The mistake is thinking that professional photography simply knowing how to take a good photo.
What has street photography taught you?
To understand myself.
Editor’s Note: Rober was selected from our Flickr group (Street Photography Magazine), where we regularly choose photographers’ work to be published in our magazine. Join the group and add photos to the pool for a chance to be featured.