Female Film Photographers You Should Know: Ángela Suarez
Ángela is a brilliant Spanish film photographer born in Madrid but lives and works in-between the wonderful cities of Paris, Berlin and Madrid.
Her work focuses on recreating with great detail entire atmospheres that transport you to an idyllic world through her photographs. Ángela’s work is characterised by the impeccable use of composition and colours and by an enigmatic aura behind the main characters that makes you can’t take your eyes off her photographs.
♦ How would you introduce yourself to someone who just met you?
Hi! I’m Angela and I usually give a hand shake. Although, today with the COVID restrictions, not possible anymore.
♦ What is the memory that you most fondly remember from your childhood?
My white Arabian horse Seyid, reading Gerald Durrell and Stevenson, being raised in the countryside and all the memories surrounding that time brings joy to me
♦ Who were the most influential people during your teens and how did they influence you?
My father and my mother, they got divorced during my teens. This changed, influenced and shaped the conception I had of reality until then. I realised things can change dramatically. My lifestyle changed and everything seemed to die and start again. This feeling of not taking reality for granted still with me.
♦ How did you get in the world of analogue photography?
One boyfriend I had gave me a little point and shoot camera for my birthday, a really cheap and basic one, you know, those point and shoot cameras that anyone could use it. and I instantly fell in love with it.
However, it took me very long and many years to consider myself as a photographer, many failed jobs… I had a solid mental barrier I had to overpass. I would say that more than learning about photography was learning about myself, my fears, my insecurities… The first step was building up my own confidence, I needed to think of me as someone capable of doing something by myself, and is the hardest part.
♦How would you describe the photography you do? What is your work focused on?
I like to think of my photography as mental experiences. I always wanted a time/space transportation machine. The closest I got to this dream is photography. I can look at photos from some years ago and really feel I’m back there, travel to the past, or I can recreate dreams for the future.
I do some documentary photography and interiors a lot too and I like when people tell me I take them to places through my images. I’m not specially focused on beauty, I’m very interested in creating atmospheres, like when you’re reading a well written book and you can almost smell the place, I look for recreating this feelings all the time. I’m all about where does your mind travel when you see my photos.
♦ Are you working on any photographic project at the moment?
The last months I’ve been portraying women on their homes, kind of erotic portraits inspired by painters like Balthus and Alice Neel and Pasolini’s movies. (By the way, if you’re a girl/woman living in Berlin, Madrid or Paris and would like to be portrayed, send me an inbox, I’m always looking for diverse profiles.)
I always liked sniffing into other people’s places and intimate spaces, like artists’ studios for example, I also have a few of that. I’ve been to surrealist mexican artist Pedro Friedeberg home and studio, to Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano‘s, Mario García Torres, Lucile Littot, Leila Rahimi or Ariana Papademetropoulos to mention my favorites.
♦ Is there any photographic project that you would like to do but have not done yet?
I want to go to Russia. I have quite an irrational attraction for it since a very young age. Russian aesthetics attracts me in many ways.
♦ Which camera and which film do you use the most in your photography and why?
♦ Who are your biggest influences?
I won’t say they influence what I do, my influences are more about personal experiences. But I really recommend to check the work of Pierre Le Tan, Jim Goldberg, Balthus paintings, Carlos Saura‘s movies, Sei Still‘s music, Val del Omar‘s short movies about Spain, Wim Wenders cinema, Herman Hesse books or Manuel Alvarez Bravo photography to mention some.
♦ What’s the best advice you would give yourself when you started in the world of film photography?
Don’t pay much attention to advice given by others, listen mostly to your inner voice.
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