One dancer’s love affair with dance.
If you have ever danced seriously, in any field of dance, you will know the sacrifice & dedication it requires. You will also know the driving force of the passion for the movement & flow within of dance.
This is Claudia Morosini, 23, an Italian living in London working as a Trainee Solicitor. Whilst photographing her, the quiet girl I had met, seemed to evaporate and a fearless and free woman emerged.
“When I dance the whole world disappears and nothing scares me anymore”
Her story is the story that many dancers face and each decision requires immense courage with lifetime ramifications. Claudia started her first dance class at 3 and by the age of 13 she had already been in professional Russian ballet school for 3 years.
Thirteen is the defining age for a ballerina, it is when they have to make the monumental decision whether to continue to become a professional ballerina or not.
In the months she was deliberating, she hurt her ankle and realised the limitations & effect of physical injury. “From that moment on I did not decide with my heart, but with my head”. Fully accepting that her future could hold no education and no professional ballet career based on a serious injury.
There is a period of grief that follows any such life changing decision there was an emotional adjustment and grieving period. However the love for the dance never left her and she still dances and does classes to this day.
“The beauty of dance is that you can do it anywhere.” Claudia Morosini
© Caroline de Bertodano 2016.
Find Caroline de Bertodano on Website | Facebook | Instagram | Eyeem | Google Plus | Steller
What does a whole day in Cagayan de Oro City look like? What if you could see the city in one day?
Excitement growing when I received the news from Renzo Grande (24HourProject Founder) that I will be going to lead a Documentary project around Cagayan de Oro City as the first City Ambassador for the 24HourProject, a global street photography experiment with this year’s theme: Human Condition. It was actually a fellow photographer named Gian James Maagad’s initiative on joining this global photography awareness which he started last 2014.
The idea of the project is simple yet complex in its sense. Starting at 12:01am, registered participants assured themselves to capture as many scenes they want through photographs every hour and share one chosen image on social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It might sound simple yet the project is physically challenging as participants needed to keep themselves awake for the span of 24 Hours, hence the name of the project which includes keeping your mind on constant creativeness for that one decisive photo.
Out of the 107 countries that joined the event with over 718 cities and 2,785 registered participants, 19 photographers from Cagayan de Oro joined the initiative with 1 from Iligan City. For the first time on joining this project, I was tasked in documenting the city as this year’s Ambassador.
March 19, 2016. The clock reads at 12:01am, that fleeting moment when excitement reaches its apex and everyone is ready to start the event. Because I take this event so seriously, it took me a lot of thoughts, and careful consideration with the given time to give them the necessary guidelines and the official itinerary. “Every image uploaded and shared every hour must express Human Condition that somehow reveals the real beauty of the image either happiness, sadness, humor, fulfillment, pain, love; an image that portrays both composition, and story, thus space and time.” I explained. Then, the event officially started.
PLAZA DIVISORIA- This is the assembly place where we started to kick off the event. We walked within the area and examined scenarios that will somehow represent the theme.
GASTON PARK- Another area where we headed our way to the flower shops.
CAPISTRANO STREET- Named after one of the greatest generals in Cagayan de Oro which is considered to be a local hero, the street is still as great as the name implies. Well, not literally about heroism but more on foods. Here you can find one of the local’s best “lugaw” with affordable rates. Check out the Image 4 showing a girl checking and/or preparing the food entitled “KONJI”.
COGON MARKET- After roaming around the street of Capistrano, we headed ourselves to Cogon Market via Velez Street and JR Borja Extension. Cogon Market is actually CDO’s public market, a great spot of documenting the local scenario and its daily activities.
MACABALAN PIER- Cagayan de Oro’s very own Sea Port (Cargos and Passengers). This is good spot of documenting the sunrise.
BULUA WESTBOUND MARKET- Another public market on the west side of the city. If you like documenting fishermen doing transactions with middlemen or business owners, this area is good for you.
DE LARA PARK (MCARTHUR PARK)- Another public recreation site located in the city.
VELEZ STREET- The road connecting to the sea and considered to be one of the oldest roads in the city. Yes, it was called the “Kalye del Mar” during the Spanish period.
Being the City Ambassador is one of the most challenging positions while doing the project. Not to mention that you need to be awake for the span of 24 hours. That’s from midnight to 11:59pm. Taking part in this project is like a marathon. You need to be constant with yourself, with your creativity and your skills while presenting your image results. As my first time on joining this event, the experience is totally amazing and possibly one of the most noteworthy occasions i had for a photowalk.
What something worthy about the event is that documentation is unimpeachable, so does reality in photographs. While in the same manner, we never know the condition, the story, and the moment that we are heading through. Sometimes, we need to learn to listen to the story before we see the truth. It explains the basic nature of the photography- in particular, the connection with reality and time which portrays that sense of narrative.
I may not have completed the entire 24 hour challenge of taking every photo lacking the 2pm and 3pm time schedules nonetheless, I believe I am successful on documenting human condition in Cagayan de Oro City which applies to this event. A total of 22 hours is much interesting than compromising the entire project because your body says “I quit!”
As what Henri Cartier-Bresson once said, “Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that lives forever the precise and transitory instant. We photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make the come back again.” As stated around 1952.
See you on the next 24HourProject!
Check out the official 24hourProject site : http://www.24hourproject.org/ photos i had during this year’s 24HourProject. Click the image for bigger size format or click mouse 2 then click the “open image in new tab”.
About the Author: Clement Dampal from the Philippines is a Hotelier, Writer, Economist, Photographer, Travel Blogger, Numismatist, Adventurer, and Travel Consultant. The first ever City Ambassador in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines for the 24HourProject.
Follow his passion and journey at his Website | Facebook.
About three years ago I created an Instagram account and started taking photos with my mobile phone. This was my first contact with photography, or at least the first time I was exposing my photos to the world. At that time, I thought I would probably get bored soon and look for something different, but when I found myself expressing different emotions and feelings through photography and discovered this new visual language, I knew it was just the start…
When I got my first reflex camera two years ago, I definitely felt in love with photography and my camera became part of me, so I take it with me everywhere I go. You never know what you will find out there! Sometimes I just wait for something special to happen and other times something special finds me. I just want to be ready when that happens.
I consider myself a “soul hunter” who enjoys street photography, street portraits and creative photography. Everything which is spontaneous and dynamic automatically grabs my attention. Something similar happens with street portraits: that moment when you suddenly get your target looking at you and you get a raw emotion is priceless.
When I take a photo I wonder what that person’s life is like; what’s the story behind that scene or behind that look. I like to imagine that whoever looks at my photos thinks about those questions too…
A life through his eyes
From time to time, when I’m not in “hunting mode”, I enjoy exploring the creative side of photography. To me, creative photography is about finding a way of translating an idea or my view about a given concept into a photograph. It is also a good way of keeping inspiration alive and finding new challenges. When you can’t go out there to discover new places and people to take photos to, why not create them yourself? Some of my pictures are taken at home, in a little room which I call my “creative corner”. A reading lamp, a tripod, my camera and imagination is all I need to satiate my photography thirst 🙂
Smell: The perfume
Hearing: Surrendered to the music
Sight: The secret
Breathless : Between the light and the shadow
Photography has certainly changed the way I see the world. As my Instagram’s bio says: “Beauty is in the ordinary things you see every day”. I like challenging myself to get something beautiful from places, people and/or objects around me in my day to day. Trying to find beauty anywhere around me is kind of a romantic exercise that has helped me educate my eyes. However, I must admit that travel photography provides very unique and exotic moments and opportunities to take wonderful photos too, so you will find travel photographs in my gallery too.
From the shadows
When it comes to editing, you’ll see that most of my pictures are black & white. I think black & white helps isolate the subject and get the focus on the right spot, although in the end, it is all about the light. Even though I have a personal preference towards black and white, I try to get out of my comfort zone and post color photographs as well.
As an amateur photographer, I’ve learned all I know so far by experience. I have listened to different conferences around photography but never took any class. I have also had the chance to participate in several group photo exhibitions. A few years ago, if someone would have told me that I would be exhibiting my work, I wouldn’t have believed it. Self-learning is something I really enjoy and I’m looking forward to continuing growing my skills and expressing myself through photography.
You’ll find me on:
Instagram | Twitter | 500px
Welcome to my world! 🙂
Caza almas – por Nagore Tamayo
Hace tres años creé una cuenta de Instagram y comencé a tomar fotografías con mi móvil. Esta fue mi primera toma de contacto con la fotografía, o al menos la primera vez que exponía mis fotos al mundo. Por aquel entonces, pensé que probablemente no tardaría en aburrirme y buscar algo diferente, pero cuando comencé a expresar diferentes emociones y sentimientos a través de la fotografía y descubrí este nuevo lenguaje visual, supe que la fotografía había llegado a mi vida para quedarse…
Con la llegada de mi primera cámara réflex hace un par de años, definitivamente me enamoré de la fotografía y la cámara se convirtió en una extensión de mí. Allá donde fuese, ella venía conmigo, ¡nunca se sabe lo que puedes encontrar ahí fuera! A veces toca ser paciente y esperar a que ocurra algo especial y otras veces ese algo especial te encuentra a ti, así que quiero estar preparada cuando eso ocurre.
Me considero una “cazadora de almas” que disfruta especialmente con la fotografía callejera, los retratos callejeros y la fotografía creativa. Todo lo espontáneo y dinámico atrae automáticamente mi atención. Lo mismo me ocurre con los retratos callejeros: ese momento en el que la persona que quieres fotografiar dirige inesperadamente la mirada a tu objetivo y te permite capturar esa emoción pura y espontánea, no tiene precio.
Cuando tomo una fotografía me pregunto cómo es la vida de esa persona, cuál es la historia que hay detrás de una determinada escena. Me gusta imaginar que quien mira mis fotografías, se hace estas mismas preguntas y se sumerge en esa misma reflexión.
Una vida a través de sus ojos
De vez en cuando, cuando aparco el “modo caza callejera”, me gusta explorar el lado creativo de la fotografía. Para mí, la fotografía creativa es encontrar la manera de plasmar una idea o mi punto de vista sobre un concepto determinado en una fotografía. También es una buena manera de mantener viva la inspiración y encontrar nuevos retos. Cuando, por el motivo que sea, no se tiene la ocasión de salir a descubrir nuevos lugares y gente a la que fotografiar, ¿por qué no crear las fotografías uno mismo? Algunas de mis fotografías están realizadas en casa, en una pequeña habitación a la que yo llamo “mi rincón creativo”. Un flexo de escritorio, un trípode, mi cámara e imaginación es todo lo que necesito para saciar mi sed fotográfica 🙂
Olfato: El perfume
Oído: Rendida a la música
Vista: El secreto
Sin aliento: Entre luz y oscuridad
Definitivamente, la fotografía ha cambiado mi manera de mirar el mundo. Como dice la biografía de mi cuenta de Instagram: “La belleza está en las cosas cotidianas que ves en tu día a día”. Es por esto que me gusta retarme a extraer algo bello de los lugares, gente y/o objetos que me rodean en mi vida diaria. Tratar de encontrar esa belleza en cualquier rincón es un ejercicio romántico que me ha permitido educar mi ojo para la fotografía, moldear mi manera de mirar. Debo admitir que fuera de lo cotidiano, es innegable que la fotografía de viaje ofrece momentos únicos y exóticos para realizar buenas fotografías, así que también encontrareis fotografías de viaje en mi galería:
De las sombras
Hora del colegio
Vida en el mercado
En lo que se refiere a edición, la mayoría de mis fotografías están editadas en blanco y negro. Creo que el blanco y negro ayuda a aislar el sujeto y a centrar el foco en el punto exacto, aunque al final… ¡todo es cuestión de tener una buena luz! Pese a tener una inclinación o debilidad por la fotografía en blanco y negro, intento salir de mi zona de confort publicando también fotografías en color.
Como fotógrafa amateur, todo lo que he aprendido hasta ahora ha sido a base de experimentar. He asistido a diferentes conferencias y charlas sobre fotografía, pero nunca he asistido a cursos específicos. Dentro de mi aún corto recorrido en el mundo de la fotografía, he tenido la ocasión de participar en varias exposiciones colectivas. Si hace unos años alguien me hubiese dicho que hoy estaría exhibiendo mi trabajo, ¡no me lo podría creer! El auto-aprendizaje es algo con lo que disfruto muchísimo y estoy deseando seguir adquiriendo nuevos conocimientos y seguir expresándome a través de la fotografía.
Me encontraréis en:
Instagram | Twitter | 500px
¡Bienvenidos a mi mundo! 🙂
I lived for a couple of weeks in the Cabanyal (El Cabañal), a neighbourhood and old fisherman’s village in the city of Valencia. Although the area is an historically protected neighbourhood, the coast is gradually being cemented over to drive a monstrously wide road through the middle of it. 1651 houses would be demolished. Some amazing buildings destroyed in the midst of political rubble.
Rita’s stripes where once there were houses; the plots have been walled up and painted with bands of brown and fawn.
Estate agents sell 60m2 flats at €25,000-30,000 in the Cabanyal area.
I was overwhelmed by the scenes in which I found myself. It was like a natural movie set. Sometimes I was part of the films talking to strangers in the streets, to the gypsies living in squats often with no running water, to the mother sitting on the side of the street with her child, to the pusher on the other side, to the young Romanians running happily through the streets pulling a bottle of soda around on string.
El Cabanyal has always had its problems, from the devastating fires of 1796 and 1875 to the cholera epidemic in the1860’s; from the Spanish Civil War to the major floods of 1957. I consider the stupidity of destroying the history contained in the neighborhood the worst epidemic that has occurred in the Cabanyal.
/ Mattia Giordano /
You can find Mattia on Instagram (@mattiagiordano) and Facebook.
(He doesn’t use any other social network. All photos were taken by mobile phone.)
/ www.mattiagiordano.com /
My name is Anuj Arora. I am a Delhi based contemporary photographer. I have been doing it for four years. It is not only a hobby for me; it’s more of a way out or a vent which helps me to connect with my surroundings. It keeps a part of me alive inside, like a new purpose of life. Basically, I try to capture moments through which I can describe a particular action.
Actions like daily people rushing in busy lanes, preparations for festivals or a religious activity; the human element adds more power to the frame. There’s a story in this picture. I waited for someone to come out. I waited for more than 15 minutes then suddenly, as I was leaving with an empty frame and lost hope, I heard “Mummy, going for tuitions!” She jumped and I clicked.
In the Shade
Before photography I was introvert; less open to people around me. But, after getting into photography more seriously, I became more open. Well, I had to because taking portraits without permission is hard for me. I can’t make candid frames. This picture was hard to take as this guy was already feeling irritated because of the saturation of photographers in the area. I had to convince him by cracking jokes and sharing information about each others’ lives.
Making motion frames is what I love doing in this field, like stopping time just for a second, so that a viewer can see and feel that particular moment where I get a moment which can never be re-written.
We are imprisoned in the realm of life; like a sailor on his tiny boat on an infinite ocean. Everyone can have their own opinion about the deep thought that the subject is thinking in this photo.
“Seas shore love” is what I call this one.
Hands of Blacksmith
This was a series I wanted to do for a long time, inspired by a French photographer. It was the harshest environment I’ve ever been in. No oxygen, I was breathing in the chemical air, then I asked this boy who just turned 12 to show me his hands. Then, I thought how this environment would be to them.
Cold Sunrise at Red Fort, Delhi. One of the serene scenes is seen here during winters. It was the warmth that attracted me to this scene and the rays falling from the tomb. I waited for some people to stride by.
I followed this lady for at least 16 minutes in order to align her with the peak of the background. Rajasthan, India is full of color full frames and moody environments – you just need to look for them. Such frames are always lovely to shoot and create an analog mood as though shot straight from film.
It was covert. I look for interesting subjects with unusual features like clothes, eyes and expressions. Most importantly, I wait and look for their gaze. When I get that perfect gaze, the shutter goes down from halfway.
I saw the rays falling on the floor and the contrasting shadows, hiding from metro guards. It was a perfect moment. I was anxiously waiting for a person to move to a more desired position. It was indeed an ecstatic time-lapse.
So far through my journey as a photographer, I have seen a variation in my style. Every time I go to shoot, it gets more complicated because I see similar frames in the city. I try to make new compositions and change the angles of the same frame. That’s what keeps me going; the reason why I keep clicking. One day such a perfect frame will come and it will fulfill my destiny. But I don’t really want that moment to come so that I will still have a reason.
Lately, pursuing commercial work in photography has made me lose my street sense and spirit. I don’t want to do that for much longer, because it cannot be like that. It’s not just me. Everyone should give priority to the personal side of their photography. It can be any genre: street, abstract, portraits. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable and less pressured.
Find Anuj Arora on : Facebook | Instagram
“I should perhaps make it clear that in speaking of love of the past, what I really mean is love of life, for there is so much more of life in the past than in the present. The present is of necessity but a fleeting moment, even when the fullness of that moment makes it seem eternal. When one loves life, one loves the past, because the past is present insofar as it survives in human memory.”
― Marguerite Yourcenar
I have never had any grandparents other than in the first pages of the family album, right before my parents’ wedding photographs. Among the dated portraits from that gallery, there is one I know better than the others. It is the sepia picture of a young lady wearing a black velvet hat: my grandmother, who passed away when my father was 4 years old. He could only keep memories of her, indistinct as shadows, and never talked about the unfillable void her death had left. On my part, as far as I can remember, I have secretly carried inside me what I was fancying as his pain, certainly mixed with my own anxiety of losing my parents. I have questioned time and time again this photograph without a legend. And the album gets heavier and heavier with each time I put it back on the shelf.
It was my first contact with photography. It taught me, what would be for me, the essence of it. That a photograph is a guardian of memory, that it is the fabric on which one can embroider one’s own story, and yet that it is also a kind of lie, as it tells of a present that no more exists.
I have in me an artistic sensibility that was all along thwarted by ten clumsy fingers. Therefore, I worked to develop my artist’s eye by studying the history of art. I learned to recognize what I liked, as I could not create it. I intuitively integrated many compositional rules. But mainly I understood the importance of light; how light can ennoble everything, even the vulgar.
I photograph essentially still lifes and landscapes. Since the birth of my children, I hunt through flea markets looking for a patrimony I did not receive, but would like to pass on to them. I always bring back the same treasures: mildewed mirrors, bottles with the glass turning opaque, moth-eaten cuddly toys, shattered vases glued back together, old drawers. Simple objects with no particular style, that have survived over the years, bearing the signs that they were useful and that they were loved.
I never know in advance what my next photograph will be. I pick objects, a flower languid in a vase, and I nudge them into a relationship. I make them talk to each other. I place them a certain way and then another. I circle around. I wait for the right light. I try to create a tension or a harmony. I am not looking to establish a symbolic meaning, just a visual emotion that moves me and that maybe will touch somebody else as well.
It is the same thing when I photograph landscapes. I am not interested by the picturesque aspects. Most of the time they are familiar places and I have previously charged them with emotion. Excess details that merely distract are often erased by mist, by night, or by speed when taking pictures in the car. I wander and suddenly something calls me, something I can relate to, something I recognize. This is precisely what I try to capture in my photographs. And if that feeling is not present enough when I develop the pictures, I heighten or diminish the light, I play with contrasts, I add dust or scratch here and there, in order to find back my initial vision.
Surely my photographs speak about another time. A time that is not today. A time when one took one’s time. When one valued the sustainability of things. When the world didn’t feel so big.These are nostalgic photographs. Namely they are bearers of memory. Witnesses at the same time of permanence and of fragility.One does not escape one’s own story.
Anne Closuit Eisenhart is @lesfifoles on Instagram
Photographie et Mémoire – par Anne Closuit Eisenhart
“Quand on parle de l’amour du passé, il faut faire attention, c’est de l’amour de la vie qu’il s’agit; la vie est beaucoup plus au passé qu’au présent. Le présent est un moment trop court et cela même quand sa plénitude le fait paraitre éternel. Quand on aime la vie, on aime le passé parce que c’est le présent tel qu’il a survécu dans la mémoire humaine.” – Marguerite Yourcenar
Je n’ai jamais eu de grand-parents ailleurs que dans la première page de l’album familial, juste avant les photographies du mariage de mes parents. Dans cette galerie de portraits démodés, il en est un que je connais mieux que les autres. C’est l’image sépia d’une jeune femme avec un chapeau en velours noir : ma grand-mère, morte quand mon père avait quatre ans. Il n’en gardait comme mémoire que quelques ombres et ne mentionnait jamais le vide qu’elle avait laissé. Moi, d’aussi loin que je m’en souvienne, j’ai porté secrètement ce que je m’imaginais être sa souffrance avec sans doute aussi la peur de perdre mes parents. Cette photographie sans légende, je l’ai questionnée à maintes reprises. Et à chaque fois que je replaçais l’album sur l’étagère, il pesait un peu plus lourd.
Ce fut mon premier rapport avec la photographie et j’y ai appris l’essentiel. Qu’une photo est gardienne de mémoire, qu’elle est un tissu sur lequel chacun peut broder sa propre histoire et qu’elle ment aussi un peu car elle dit un présent qui n’existe plus.
J’ai en moi une sensibilité artistique que depuis toujours dix doigts malhabiles s’acharnent à contrarier. Alors je me suis faite un oeil en étudiant l’histoire de l’art. J’ai appris à reconnaître ce que j’aimais à défaut de pouvoir le créer. J’ai emmagasiné intuitivement certaines règles de composition. J’ai surtout compris l’importance de la lumière, comment elle peut tout anoblir, même le vulgaire.
Je photographie essentiellement des natures mortes et des paysages. Depuis la naissance de mes enfants, je parcours les brocantes à la recherche d’un patrimoine que je n’ai pas reçu et que je veux leur transmettre. Je rapporte toujours les mêmes trésors : des miroirs piqués, des bouteilles au verre devenant opaque, des peluches mitées, des vases recollés, de vieux tiroirs. Des objets simples, sans style particulier, qui ont survécu aux années et qui portent sur eux des signes qu’ils ont été utiles et qu’ils ont été aimés.
Je ne sais jamais à l’avance quelle photo je vais prendre. Je choisis un objet, une fleur qui traîne dans un vase et j’instaure entre eux une relation. Je les fait parler. Je les place, les déplace. Je tourne autour. J’attends la bonne lumière. J’essaie de créer une tension ou un accord. Je ne cherche pas à donner une dimension symbolique, juste à créer une émotion visuelle qui me touche et qui va peut-être toucher quelqu’un d’autre.
C’est la même chose quand je photographie des paysages. Le pittoresque ne m’intéresse pas. La plupart du temps ce sont des lieux qui me sont familiers et que j’ai déjà chargés d’émotions. Le surplus de détails qui distraient est souvent gommé par le brouillard ou alors par la vitesse quand je prends des photos en roulant. Je me promène et soudain il y a quelque chose qui m’appelle et fait écho en moi, quelque chose que je reconnais. Et c’est cela que j’essaie de photographier. Ensuite lors du développement, si ce sentiment initial n’est pas assez présent, je pousse certaines lumières, je joue avec les contrastes, j’ajoute quelques taches pour accentuer ma vision initiale.
Sans doute mes photographies parlent-elles d’un autre temps. D’un temps qui n’est pas aujourd’hui. D’un temps, où l’on prenait son temps. Quand on valorisait la durabilité des choses. Quand le monde n’était pas si grand.
Ce sont des photos nostalgiques. C’est à dire porteuses de mémoire. Témoins à la fois de permanence et de vulnérabilité.
On n’échappe pas à sa propre histoire.
U N E A S E
Collaboration between Clara de Bertodano and Caroline de Bertodano
Photography, whether selfies or self portraits on social media, especially Instagram, have become increasingly ‘intimate’ & ‘provocative’. But what is the effect on young children & teenagers between 10 and 19 years old?
By Clara de Bertodano (16yrs old)
“I hate myself, I hate my life and everyone in it. It seems as if I can never please everyone or even anyone, and just need someone to agree with me, approve of me, or just pretend they do. I despise my character and my looks, and my mind, body and soul seem to be united by a sole hatred, my own”
These are the (narrowed down) thoughts I think many teenage girls, such as myself, have to fight against. Each one of us has a different way to deal with them, which might be defined as depressive or just part of life itself, by suppressing them, ignoring them, trying to find solutions if we choose to call them problems or just accepting them and trying to modify them in order to feel well; the latter being the one I hope I apply in life.
Nevertheless, these thoughts can take over your life and even start controlling it. They can lead a person resorting to the Internet, in particular Instagram, just to get approval while hiding behind a screen, an ideal, imagery. They can start obsessing over the amount of followers, likes and comments they have and start basing their success in life on numbers.
Some “instagrammers” start showing their body, parts of it or a bit too much of it, seeking for attention and approval, without evaluating the cost and consequence that this might have on their lives. This could affect them physically because they may start searching for a perfect body that doesn’t exist and getting frustrated over it, and mentally because all they care about is what is shown through pictures, as if they described who they are.
Furthermore, although they might get positive and encouraging comments to pursue this “vocation”, in real life people won’t take them seriously, may consider them sluts or worse, and make their thoughts known. They might even get to an extreme point where they shut down the real world and lock themselves in a room with a screen in front of them, thinking that this will make them happy.
And it all comes down to that – doing what you think will make you happy. If it does then I say keep doing it, but I am absolutely convinced that showing your body to complete strangers and basing your happiness in life on numbers can’t possibly make anyone happy, at least not in the long run. The happiness that matters is the one you can share with your loved ones and cherish throughout your entire life, during the good times and the bad times.
“I feel like there’s so much freedom, that the limit has vanished. They no longer distinguish between defending a woman’s body and looking sexy.” – Camila, 17, Argentina
“I don’t think that the women that post those pictures are insecure, but I do think that they make other girls insecure. They show what a body should look like and make other girls unhappy about their own body because it might not live up to society’s expectations, and that’s where all the illnesses and food disorders come to life.” – Clara G., 16, France/Argentina
“Personally, I wouldn’t post those kind of pictures, but I believe that everyone owns their own body and Instagram account, and they can do whatever they want and post whatever they want. I find it wrong that people call these women “sluts” just because of a picture, because in that picture they don’t show who they actually are. And very often, when a person uploads those kind of pictures it’s because they’re missing things in their lives (love, attention, etc.), and the last thing we should do, is judge them” – Ines, 16, Argentina
“I think they need attention and they use their sexuality to get it, and in some way they want to improve their self esteem, “overpower” or feel superior to everyone else” – Dominga, 17, Chile
“I think everyone should be free to do whatever they feel like doing. Instagram being what it is you don’t have to follow people, if you don’t want to follow someone you just don’t… In my opinion, there’s no difference in a girl showing off her body or a mom showing her child or someone their house decoration, their holiday blablabla” – Camille, 22, France
“I think the amount of sex in media and stuff has spiraled so far out of control that loads of girls are becoming prostitutes to some extent, and what is deemed as appropriate is getting more and more inappropriate. It’s more sickening that girls are hurting themselves to be objects of physical pleasure rather than human beings.” – Louis, 16, UK
By Caroline de Bertodano
Photography on social media, especially Instagram, whether selfies or self portraits, has become more ‘intimate’ and ‘provocative‘. Women either doing repeated coquette player poses or doing full nudity on feeds alongside pictures of their children. Some men are beginning to do similar things. Whether for social reasons or so called art, it is increasing.
There is a lot of talk amongst kids between the ages of 12-25 years old about this. With a view that it is out of control on social media, especially Instagram, giving rise to anxiety, inadequacy and feeling pressurized. Many young children, especially girls, have started copying these poses and feeling the need to remove clothes in order to fit in.
It is now commonplace to see people walking around looking at their mobile phones. Many on social media. Every photo uploaded is viewed by countless strangers. Likes & comments have become approval ratings. It is a fake world that has been accepted as a transient reality.
However, these images are labelled by adults; children have not yet learned to categorize them accordingly. The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) and the Children’s Commissioner commissioned a report on how pornography impacted on children between the ages of 11-16. Full report available www.nscpcc.org.uk “I wasnt sure it was normal to watch it” 2016.
In summary, explicit images are desensitizing young people. Most have been exposed to some by their early teenage years, many girls feeling under pressure to expose themselves and many boys treating the girls like the images or films that they see. Many young people themselves concerned.
“I feel like pictures can sometimes be exposing and girls can get a bad reputation, and girls are judged by what they post. Generally, if someone of any gender uploads something exposing I judge them, but it’s only when they have a bf or gf when I see it as wrong.” – Josh, 16, UK
“I think they’re ridiculous in thinking that those pictures make them prettier and get them actual real attention from other people”. – Gaston, 13, Argentina
“They should do whatever they want, it’s their life, if they want to expose themselves in that manner and it makes them happy, then it’s fine. Nevertheless, I pity them a bit because if they upload those pictures, they do it for everyone to see, even people that don’t know them and will therefore only see them as objects or bodies, and not as an actual person. The problem would appear, if they didn’t realize people saw them in that way.” – Tamara, 16, Argentina
“It’s porn” – Rhea, 17, Lebanon
“To be honest, I feel like it’s as if they didn’t have a personality of their own and needed to get attention. It’s a matter of insecurity” – Catalina, 15, Argentina
“I think everyone has the right to show whatever they want of their body, and there’s no reason to make someone feel bad about themselves for it. Then there’s the subject as to why they do it. If they’re looking to compete with other people, are insecure or need someone to tell them they’re pretty, then that might not be the best solution for the problems they’re having. But because that’s each person’s issue, I’m not going to judge anyone for posting a picture on Instagram.” – Antonia, 16, USA
Clara & I did our own small survey to find out for ourselves how opinions varied. Not a single person, both in images and quotes, turned down the opportunity to affect change on this subject. I am all for free will and an advocate of artistic license but I personally would hate to be the cause of young girls’ descent into dark emotions & behaviour. The question remains, is it for the individual or social media to take responsibility & offer some protection for the vulnerable? All identities have been protected.
© Caroline de Bertodano 2016 2 CdeB’s © Clara de Bertodano 2016
Find Caroline de Bertodano on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Eyeem | Google Plus | Steller
My arrival in Kolkata, India was badly planned. Being dropped off at this huge intersection of highways, in the middle of rush hour, where no taxis or buses were stopping (as I had been told by the person who dropped me here) wasn’t part of the plan… Or was it?
It all started in the Maîtree-express: the train going from Dhaka (Bangladesh) to Kolkata (India). I had to leave Bangladesh on a visa run. The idea of travelling to India seemed like a good one, especially since I wouldn’t have to fly and India was an unknown country…a good excuse for new adventures!
So I was sitting on the train, riding along the fields and across the rivers on a 7 hour journey. The excitement was growing as much as the fear. There weren’t many white faces on the train; only five Europeans on board, and the rest were Indians and Bengalese, traveling for business or medical reasons.
I had noticed earlier a man, sitting a few seats behind me, who seemed to be from the French Caribbean Islands. I spotted him in the queue waiting to get stamped at the immigration crossing point. We engaged in a conversation that ended later in Kolkata. His name was Loïc, and he told me he was going to be picked up by a driver. His visit to India was related to his studies and he was to interview people in different places for a French Bengalese man who had offered him a little cash and places to stay in exchange.
The full story wasn’t very clear.
As for me, well, I had no plans other than to get a new visa and explore the area. While still in Dhaka I got advice from different people who had been to India on where to stay and what to do.…
Despite the advice I was given, I did not book a hotel, I did not even look at a map of Kolkata and I had no idea where or how far the centre was from the train station I had arrived in. Loïc kindly offered me a ride to the city and explained the situation to the driver, who said it wasn’t a problem.
We set off, travelling through the streets of Kolkata in a classic yellow ambassador cab, looking through the window, watching the street nightlife. We soon realised there had been a misunderstanding with the driver because we didn’t seem to be getting any closer to the city centre. When we queried it with the driver, his English suddenly became very bad and he didn’t seem to understand what we were saying.
What could we do?
Well, we started laughing about it for a bit, when the driver pulled over to the side of this multi-lane road that was intersected by four others; a huge junction with quite a bit of traffic.
So as I watched Loïc and the car driving away, I tried to figure out where I was and how to get a bus or a cab to reach the centre. The side of a huge highway intersection wasn’t the best place for that so I crossed over and started listening to what destination the guys in the buses were screaming, while at the same time waving at every cab. Thirty minutess passed, during which time I hadn’t figured out which buses were going where, and no cabs had stopped.
I was screwed! I had tried my best but nothing happened. I couldn’t even find someone who spoke English.
I was staring at the total emptiness in front of me, lost in my thoughts, restructuring all my plans, when a guy passed by on a scooter. My eyes rolling from right to left, I was looking at him riding his bike and he was looking at me. I think the expression on my face made him stop. The truth is he stopped partly for this but he was also picking up his wife. He came to me and asked if I needed any help. He kindly helped me to try to stop a cab but his efforts were helpless.
He asked me if I could wait a little longer there, explaining he would take his wife and child back home and come back to give me a lift to the city.
Of course I said yes. I was not going to refuse an offer like that in my situation. So I waited, hoping that in the middle of the unbelievable situation something good would happen.
But was he really going to come back?
Well, twenty five minutes later he finally showed up. I hopped on and off we went, riding toward the city, introducing ourselves, talking to each other about many different things; where I was coming from and what was I doing in India, to the gay marriage situation in India. He also asked me where I would be staying in Kolkata. I told him I hadn’t booked a hotel and asked him to drop me in Sudder Street (the only advice I could recall) which I understood was the tourist street with many hotels offering reasonable prices. He looked at me and said it was a nasty place; most of the hotels were dirty and the people staying in them were even dirtier. He said he knew some better places. As we reached our final destination, he took me to a church/chapel where I could stay for a reasonable price.
I wasn’t very confident about staying in God’s house. Nothing against religion – I respect people believing in something. I just believe in karma; and myself. Being here made me feel a little misplaced.
Anyway, I explained to Vishnu there was no Internet and I needed it for work. He kindly took me to another place, which was again a sort of chapel, but this time Internet was available.
Since it was getting late, I decided to check in and figure things out the next day. I dropped my bags and asked Vishnu if he could give me a ride to Sudder Street so I could see the place for myself. That was it, I was finally making it to this Sudder Street that everyone had been telling me about, whether good or bad!
Okay, so this was the headquarters for the drunk and the ones who came for any spiritual voyage making them forget the invention of the shower and the importance of being careful (especially in India with malaria and other silly diseases). Needless to say, if I’d checked in to random hotel, I’d probably be sleeping in a shared room with one of these nasty friends.
The chapel did not seem like a bad idea – it was clean, they had a garden and it wasn’t that far away from most of the cool places. And of course, buses, trams and auto rickshaws were stopping by the chapel. I spent a week in this place, where I met interesting and weird people. How do you define weirdness? And who really is weird?
It spent a nice and interesting shared time with others, but I had trouble applying for a new visa in Kolkata. I got some information advising it was much easier to get it from Delhi.
I couldn’t spend more time hanging out in Kolkata knowing this wasn’t the place to get a visa for Bangladesh, so I booked a train for New Delhi and was on a 17 hour journey across North-Eastern India. The train was quite nice but the price of the travel including the food and water was a joke. You wouldn’t even get 2 meals in a European restaurant for the same price.
The plan was to spend the night on the train and arrive in New Delhi in the morning… next thing I know, I woke up on the train, supposedly thirty minutes away from our arrival, and the first thing I could hear was someone speaking in English saying we had been delayed. Nothing serious, only ten hours!
It’s India; you have to be very relaxed. I mean if a cow has decided to sleep on the rails, no one is going to touch it since it’s a holy animal. You just have to wait for the animal to move on!
This time, the good news was… I had booked a hotel in advance.
When I reached New Delhi I quickly understood the city had been wrongly named. It should have been called Scam-city since everyone seemed to be trying to rip you off. Despite this problem, the city is quite nice and I met some really interesting people; exploring the old Delhi was very nice. I applied for my new visa and during the processing time I decided to visit the Taj Mahal. Very touristy. It was interesting going on a cheap tourist bus (the one for tourists from India, not Europeans). Again, I was the only white person. I found it quite fun this way… just exploring, getting lost without marks.
When I got back to Delhi, I got to the embassy of Bangladesh to collect my passport. Denied of my multiple entry 6 months visa, I asked politely for a 2 single entry 2 months visa so I could go and get the stuff I left back in Bangladesh and visit the places I hadn’t been to yet.
A week and half later, I was back on board the Maîtree-express, departing from Kolkata to Dhaka. My bag was filled with 3 litres of Old Monk Rum hidden in two 1.5 litres coke bottles, ready to re enter Bangladesh. The Muslim country I left a few weeks ago where alcohol is not really permitted except at the duty free airport and the UN shop reserved only for the diplomats… I was ready for some new adventures, riding the bumpy road of a fun life full of memories.
All pictures were taken using a mobile phone and all edited using Snapseed. A professional tool to slide in your pocket with your camera and take it everywhere with you.
The best part of it… it’s free!
See more of Vince’s work on : Website | Facebook | Twitter | Behance
My name is Emily Chen. I live and work in Sydney, Australia.
I document Sydney through my commute & here is my story.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a camera of some sort. My first attempt at street photography was the year Instagram was launched… I started to document my journey to work, sharing photos on Instagram, connecting with other street togs; and later, on various other platforms.
When I first started to document my commute, it was all about the commuters on the bus or the train. Close up shots with an aim to capture their emotions. Candid photography is so fascinating to me, even today. I’ve rarely been “seen” shooting during my commute. The commuters are in their own zones. More often than not, completely oblivious of what’s around them.
Thoughtful lady – black and white
Later on, I ventured onto the streets to find interesting light & shadows…and explore the streets I walk through everyday during my commute. And noticed the light spots, shapes of office buildings and reflecting of light off the glass windows. I started to learn the minor details by visiting the same grounds, and wait for the subjects to walk across my frame.
Piano Steps – Black and white
Commuting is my favourite part of the day. And to me, the morning and late afternoon light are so glorious. I chase light, as I chase my bus & train: not because my alarm clock didn’t go off, but because I too often stop to capture the everyday sublime & time slips by!
One Third Rule – Colour
It’s a rich source of inspiration and a precious time. Finding moments in the morning and evening lights that tell stories, images with shadow play, to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Visiting the same places, quite often the same faces, the light at the same time each morning and in the evening – finding that special moment to tell the stories of the Sydney commuters.
People of Tomorrow’s Sydney
Circles of life – Black and white
Rainy Morning – Black and White
A learning journey
Chasing light, stretching the under exposure and leveraging the familiarity of the surrounding. Light is the most important element. I study the light and memorize how and where it falls, just about every morning and evening during my commute. I experiment with both colour as well as black & white and am learning that both are as challenging as each other. I cannot imagine ever getting bored of this and will continue to shoot and look for those details to document my city.
You can see more of Emily’s work on Instagram, EyeEm, and Flickr.
The HongKongers Part II by Nicolas Petit
Photos by Nicolas Petit / Words by Gabriella Zanzanaini
The first part of the Hongkongers series can be found here.
It’s quiet in the late hours of the night, the early moments of the morning. The fluorescent lighting tubes go to bed as drunk zebras make their way home, imbued with cheap alcohol and Rugby Sevens frenzy. Fishermen untangle their nets and bring in their catch. The city’s markets wake up with a start, the dark night replaced by red lamps shining on pink meat and grey fish. Eggs are beaten into a bucket, cigarette ashes dangling just above, held together by moist flame. The breakfast crowd arrives through the thick damp air for their eggs over easy and their white bread toasted a minute no more. The hot sun pushes through the tight alleys and catches the sweat on the workmen’s bellies, taught hairless skin and mini salted pearls.
In the humid tropics, the basketball courts are full with old and young, some bouncing with their hands, others kicking with their feet. There is no time for nostalgia, only for rapid play.
With the evening the white light is back, illuminating subway compartments, braided hairdos and horse-betting odds. The race track comes to life and Happy Valley shines like a massive ship in the night. As the horses run in their colourful numbers, and bets are placed, the city’s people are ready to gamble once again, to gamble away the chance that nowhere is better than here.
There is a name for those who have chosen this place as home. The Hong Kongers.
My name is Nicolas Petit and I am a freelance photographer currently based in Hong Kong. The above text was written by Gabriella Zanzanaini.
The HongKongers Project aims to go beyond Hong Kong’s skyline and tells a contemporary tale of the city through its people. All photos here were shot between October 2015 and June 2016.
Find out more : Instagram / Facebook / Website.
My name is Tiphaine and I invite you to cross the Atlantic to Europa and travel with me in Brittany, on the west coast of France, where I live. In Saint-Malo, there is a very long beach of 3 kilometers. At high tide as much as low tide, the journey is always wonderful.
I love wandering on the beach.
To feel the wind and sea. To hear the sound of waves. To watch people who are walking, like me.
Seascapes bring beauty, poetry, feelings to the moment. They also run through our memories; they prompt an emotion, they imprint an atmosphere, and this is perhaps why I try to pass them on by taking photos.
It’s possible, I guess, to have different view of the seascape just like street photography. Walkers, fishermen, dogs, seagulls, kite surfers, boats… in all weather: sunny days, cloudy days, rainy days; there are many subjects to photograph if you take the time. The sea gives rise to a very strong imagination, you just have to sit and to contemplate it while your thoughts float away.
Lovers, Saint-Malo, Brittany
At high tide, alone, entwined, these two lovers enjoyed a quiet moment and the beautiful view of the horizon. By the sea, solo, as a couple, in family or just among friends, we look and allow our mind to wander.
Three Pirates, Saint-Malo, Brittany
I was sitting on the beach when three children appeared. These three little conquerors reminded me of my childhood, stories of adventures and trips we imagined, on the rocks with my cousins and my sibling.
“Walk in the Moonlight”, Dinard, Brittany
This couple takes the romantic stroll, a “walk in the moonlight”. I liked these two figures who were walking side by side, at a leisurely pace, dressed in raincoats of the same color. Together, happy, blended in with the landscape, out of time.
The umbrella, Saint-Malo, Brittany
That day, the wind was blowing hard on the beach and moving sand clouds. The sky was lowering with rain. This young woman suddenly opened her umbrella to brave the elements. An umbrella on the beach in Brittany; this is anecdotal. A funny and graceful time.
Contemplation, Saint-Briac, Brittany
Facing the immensity of sea, it suddenly plunges us into great daydreams, as with this man. These are precious moments.
A man on the way, Saint-Malo, Brittany
By the sea, street photography is a topic not broached enough. Life by the sea is not only landscapes, there are also people who are as interesting as in the big cities like New York or Paris.
The trio on the beach, Saint-Malo, Brittany
On the beach, you can also have a look that is inspired by street photography. Here, these walkers and their dogs have made a triangle pointed at the horizon, amazing!
The lady and her dogs, Saint-Malo, Brittany
I meet lots of dogs and owners on the beach. I found this trio amusing, legs and feet at the same pace: the perfect match!
The couple on the beach, Saint-Malo, Brittany
This elderly couple, hand in hand, were walking together to the sea, to the same horizon. A single moment of great beauty and complicity.
« La Hoguette », Saint-Malo, Brittany
When I was a child, I used this passage very carefully. I sat on the rock and I spent many hours to contemplate the sea, watching the horizon, to dream. The poetry of the sea.
I warmly thank Grryo for letting me share some of my Brittany here with you. Thank you for this great adventure!
Bretagne, balade en bord de mer par Tiphaine Diadel
Je m’appelle Tiphaine et je vous invite à traverser l’Atlantique et à voyager en Europe, sur la côte ouest de la France, en Bretagne, où je vis. À Saint-Malo, il y a une longue plage de 3 kilomètres. À marée haute et à marée basse, la balade est toujours merveilleuse, le regard porte loin, et les sujets à photographier sont nombreux. J’adore marcher sur la plage. Sentir le vent et la mer. Écouter la musique de la mer, le son des vagues. Observer les gens qui se baladent comme moi. Les paysages marins apportent leur beauté, leur poésie, sensations à l’instant. Ils imprègnent aussi nos souvenirs, ils provoquent une émotion, ils impriment une ambiance et c’est peut-être cela que j’essaie de transmettre en prenant des photographies. La mer donne naissance à un imaginaire très fort, il suffit de s’asseoir et de la contempler pour que les pensées s’échappent.
1. Les amoureux, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. À marée haute, seuls, enlacés face à l’horizon, ces deux amoureux profitaient d’un instant paisible et de la vue magnifique sur l’horizon. En bord de mer, seul, en couple, en famille, entre amis, on regarde et on laisse son imagination voguer vers tous les horizons.
2. Trois corsaires, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. J’étais assise sur la plage quand ces trois enfants sont apparus. Ces trois petits corsaires conquérants m’ont rappelé mon enfance, les histoires d’aventures et de voyages que nous imaginions sur les rochers avec mes cousins, ma sœur et mon frère.
3. Promenade au Clair de Lune, Dinard, Bretagne. Ce couple emprunte une promenade au nom très romantique « Promenade au Clair de Lune ». J’ai aimé ces deux silhouettes marchant côte à côte, s’éloignant d’un pas tranquille, vêtus d’imperméables de la même couleur. Ensemble, heureux, se fondant dans ce paysage hors du temps.
4. Le parapluie sur la plage, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. Ce jour-là, le vent soufflait fort sur la plage et déplacait des nuages de sable, le ciel était chargé de pluie. Cette jeune femme a soudain ouvert son parapluie pour braver les intempéries. Un parapluie sur la plage en Bretagne, c’est anecdotique. Un moment amusant et gracieux.
5. Contemplation, Saint-Briac, Bretagne. Face à l’immensité de la mer, on plonge soudainement dans une grande rêverie, comme cet homme seul. Ce sont des instants précieux.
6. Un homme en chemin, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. En bord de mer, l’esprit streetphotography est un thème qui n’est pas assez abordé. La mer, le littoral maritime, ce ne sont pas que des paysages à photographier, les gens qui y vivent sont tout aussi intéressants que dans les grandes villes. Il suffit de les regarder.
7. Le trio sur la plage, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. Sur la plage, on peut tenter aussi de s’inspirer de la streetphotography. Ici, ces promeneurs et leurs chiens ont composé un triangle pointé sur l’horizon, étonnant.
8. La dame et ses chiens, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. Je croise beaucoup de chiens et leurs maîtres en promenade sur la plage. Ce trio m’a beaucoup amusé, jambes et pattes au même rythme : l’accord parfait !
9. Le couple sur la plage, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. Ce couple âgé, silencieux, main dans la main, marchait d’un pas égal vers la mer, vers le même horizon. Un instant simple d’une grande complicité et beauté.
10 La Hoguette, Saint-Malo, Bretagne. Quand j’étais enfant, j’empruntais ce passage avec beaucoup de précaution, le vide de chaque côté semblait immense. Je m’asseyais sur le rocher tout au bout et je passais de longues heures à contempler la mer, regarder l’horizon, rêver. Contempler, c’est toute la poésie du bord de mer.
Un immense merci à toute l’équipe de Grryo de m’accueillir sur ce très beau site dédié à la photo et aux histoires en photos !
Sur Instagram, je suis @tiphdiadel, à bientôt !
Nei Cruz is not only a talented photographer: when talking of Nei it is impossible to leave out his generosity in supporting the community of Instagram photographers. Nei is a rare case, quite possibly unique on the web, where his generous qualities are probably more known than his photographic skills.
We have asked him to talk a bit of himself with us.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m not good at talking about myself, so here’s a profile written about me by my friend Ruth Efrati Epstein for Shootermag:
“Nei Cruz has a passion for style and beauty in both his career and personal life. He brings this style to his mobile photography. Nei was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He graduated with a degree in Art Direction from the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Desiring to perfect his craft, Nei moved to the United States 30 years ago. He has worked with several world-renowned photographers and his work has been featured and published in a wide range of editorial magazines, including Vogue, Allure, W, WWD, Elle, L’Uomo Vogue, Cosmo Girl, Lucky, Surface and Essence.
It wasn’t until Nei got his first iPhone that he began to experiment with mobile photography. The arrival of Instagram turned his dabbling with iPhone photography into a passion.
He is as committed to the mobile-photography communities as he is to his photography. Nei is an extremely passionate supporter of many photographers. Many lasting relationships among mobile photographers have begun with an introduction from Nei.
In 2014, Nei became the Editor At Large for Shooter Magazine.
Nei resides in Manhattan, New York City, and continues to work in the fashion industry.”
By Ruth Efrati Epstein @80degrees
Did you study photography at college?
No. I studied Art Direction. However, I’ve worked with amazing photographers all my life.
What inspired you to start shooting and when?
I’ve always loved photography, but I always stayed in the background, art directing, until I got my first iPhone.
When did you decide to use just the iPhone for your photography?
Right after I got my very first iPhone. It was when the iPhone came out. To be able to catch a moment and edit the image all in one device was such a genius idea. I specially started taking more pictures when I joined Instagram.
When did you join Instagram and what does the community mean to you?
I joined Instagram during September, 2010.
I used to delete images as I uploaded new ones. It was completely different than what it is today. There was a wonderful sense of community and you could talk and like images with no limits. No blocking. I miss that time, but I understand that all things change, and we must adapt. It’s a business now. Ever since these changes have been implemented, I lose followers with each post I make, no matter how good an image is, or how good the content is of what’s being posted. But I keep coming back, because of the community. I have made so many wonderful friends. They’re so loyal, encouraging and supportive. Some, I’ve even been able to meet in person. It’s all about the people. It’s also my way of escaping reality. The best thing is to see the world, people and things through someone else’s eyes.
Which camera apps do you use to take photos on the iPhone?
I mostly use the native camera and native tools. I keep it simple.
Which apps do you prefer for editing?
I avoid over editing. If I use a filter, it’s mostly VSCO at the lowest percentage.
I also use Snapseed selective adjusting and sometimes FilterStorm. Again, I try to keep it simple.
Is editing a long process for you?
Not really. It depends on the image, feel and mood I want to create. Besides, I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), and no patience to spend too much time on an image.
However, I do spend a lot of time on cropping and aligning. If the image will work, I know it right away. And I usually take one single shot per subject.
I was very surprised to read you use only iPhone even when you work. I’m thinking about a few gorgeous images on your Instagram account taken for a fashion editorial. How was the staff and the model’s reaction when you started shooting with a mobile rather than a professional DLSR ?
At first they are surprised and skeptical. But when I show the image after post production, which I do on my own iPhone, they’re happy and impressed.
In more than one occasion you have mentioned both on your Instagram and Facebook account, of your depression: it seems to be an issue you have been fighting for a long time. Nevertheless, there isn’t any sign of melancholy or sadness in your images, and this condition apparently does not affect your photography, as your images are so full of life and in bright colours.. Has photography been of some help in coping with your depression ?
Absolutely! It’s a wonderful way to get my mind out of that dark feeling. A form to “escape.” I think subconsciously, I try to compensate my depression with “happy images”, for lack of a better word. Depression is a serious illness. I’ve learned over the years how to cope with it. I wish there wasn’t such a negative stigma attached to it. Millions of people suffer alone with this illness. That’s a shame. By talking about it, so many people have reached out and shared that they too suffer from it and they feel connected. The reactions are mostly positive, but sometimes heartbreaking.
Scrolling your gallery on Instagram we see an elegant mix of shots of gorgeous models, street photography, and architecture.
Can you tell us more about these three chosen/preferred kind of photographs?
Honestly, I like all genres of photography. Maybe it is because I’m an art director and have worked with so many brilliant photographers, each with their unique style. I have a special place for portraits. It’s a shame that this genre doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Street photography is really hard for me, but I love the genre. I’m just not good at it, for lack of concentration.
I also love architecture. I tend to prefer clean and well cropped images for that.
What captures your attention when you are around with your iPhone and you are not shooting for work?
Anything. Art in all forms, a moment, a feeling, a person, the environment, movement and even music. Whatever catches my attention.
What and why do you look for when shooting: emotive aspects, reality, or just beauty?
It’s always a mix of all things. A moment, a place, a face, a feeling… I never know what will catch my eye. I “stumble” onto my images. I rarely prepare.
What is beauty, according to you?
Ah! The million dollar question! I don’t think you can define beauty. The cliché says that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It’s true. It’s so personal! There’s beauty everywhere. Even in something others might consider “ugly”, “unattractive”, or mundane. It’s so hard to explain. I’m not good with words. There’s beauty even in tragic moments.
Photography is an opportunity to let us speak of ourselves in a visual way. What do you want to tell us about you with your images?
I have no specific “message.” Sometimes I publish an image I love, and no one gets it. But if I had a message, it would be for people to think, reflect and feel something. Isn’t that what art is for? To provoke thoughts and feelings?
What does photography mean in your life?
Again, this is a complex question to answer. Like any form of art, it’s my way to express myself. Without art and artists, this world would be a sad and lonely place.
Is there one image in your gallery you love most? And if yes, could you tell us why?
There are several. Mostly they evoke a feeling I had at a specific time and they remind me of that specific time. Also there are some images I love because of a certain “aesthetic.” It’s hard to explain. So personal.
Talking of photography, which are according to you, the most common mistakes a beginner makes?
I’d say images that are not aligned, not thought out, or composed. It drives me crazy to see a horizon that’s not perfectly aligned, for example. But that’s really just my thing.
Do you have any suggestions to give about photography?
Have fun and don’t be afraid of experimenting! Shoot what you like and what intrigues you!
Let me know more about your role in Shootermag.
Shootermag is the first photo magazine published in the world dedicated to mobile photography. I manage and select photographers for the features after carefully looking at their body of work. Shootermag USA was the first country-specific edition, published with only photographers from the USA.
Ruth wrote this about me:
“He is as committed to the mobile-photography communities as he is to his photography. Nei is a passionate supporter of so many photographers and he never fails to add a kind, empathic or supportive word. Through his deep commitment to mobile photography and the sense of community he has found, Nei became in 2014 the USA Editor At Large for Shooter Magazine.”
When talking of Nei Cruz, most of us as former AMPt members, or owners of an account on social sites like Instagram and Facebook, think not only about a talented photographer but also of a generous person supporting other peoples’ work. I think your encouragement has been and is for many of us, very important. What or who made you such a warm person, so communicative and outgoing ?
I’m not sure. I didn’t have a happy childhood. I wasn’t encouraged or accepted for who I was. I know how that feels, so maybe that makes me care about what people feel. Everyone deserves love, respect and encouragement. Maybe it’s just my nature and I was born with a caring personality. I don’t know.
Where can we see your work?
Instagram | Facebook | Twenty20 | VSCO