Our next featured 10 x 10 age fotostock photographer manages to open doors to some of the most inaccessible places for his photo productions. Javier Larrea regularly shoots photos of both models and also “real people” within hospitals, laboratories, research & investigation centers, specialized clinics and important industry/manufacturing centers. Watch science, technology and more being discovered in his photos and read on to learn how he does it. You can see more of Larrea’s work at www.jlarrea.com or at his age fotostock Profile

Q: Choose 3 words that describe you.

A: Obsessive, persistent, hard-working.

Q: Was becoming a photographer an easy decision to make?

A: It was an easy decision, although it was slow to mature. I was afraid that the passion might die out and become just another job.

Q: What’s your favorite lens and why?

A: I've always liked having a lot of lenses and it’s one of the most important elements for creating variety in your work, especially for stock photography. The one I like the best is the Canon 85mm, F/1.2, ideal for portraits.

Q: How do you plan/prepare for a photo production?

A: I've always been obsessed with good organization. You must know the location well, observe its light, then study the images you would like to make and consider a good order and timing. And most importantly, get it all down on paper! But all of this without ideas is worthless, of course.

Q: What is the most interesting place you have photographed?

A: There are many interesting places, and I think the diversity of this work is what makes it really interesting. Some places amaze you with their magnificent light and others with their content. If I had to choose one place in particular, the white room* of a laboratory for research on stem cells made a strong impression on me.

* White room - a room that is virtually free of dust or bacteria; used in laboratory work and in assembly or repair of precision equipment.

Q: How do you get access to photograph inside places like laboratories, hospitals and industrial sites?

A: It is a combination of contacts, experience and of course, persistence. And keep in mind; it’s unlikely that anyone will open the doors of these places to you unless you are offering them something of value.

Q: Why did you choose age fotostock to represent your photography?

A: There are several reasons; first, because they listened to me, then they taught me, and finally they supported me and enabled me to achieve my dream of living from photography. Throughout these 22 years of collaboration, the people at age fotostock have demonstrated their ability and skill in this market. In hard times, they have been able to adapt to new scenarios, resize the business, maintain a standard of reliability and remain committed to the photographers.

I also would like to take a moment to address my fellow photographers and share my disagreement with the methods and prices of microstock. I think that all of us, when starting in this world of photography, needed some recognition for our work, even if only unpaid publications. But if we want to keep producing, paying off our computers and eating every day, I don’t think microstock is the right way.

Q: Do you promote yourself through social networks? (facebook, twitter, blog, etc)? Is it helpful?

A: A website is good for showing your work and for showing examples when applying for permits, access, etc. I think social networks are quite attractive for distributors, but I myself am interested in producing images, not promoting them.

Q: What is the best or worst photographic advice that you have ever received?

A: The best: "The important thing is the idea, not the hardware.”

Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?

A: I've always enjoyed the world of advertising, but I spent 40 years dreaming of becoming a professional photographer, and now that I've made it, I can not think of doing anything else.


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Photographers are an important part of any stock photography agency and while this is an obvious truth it seems when looking from inside the industry that there have always been “two sides”. Photographers on one side and the stock agencies on the other. The question is: Has this been healthy? Apparently not. When we see how stock photography is struggling today and suffering from a wave of “selling cheap” it is clear this is affecting the “two sides” sides of the entire industry. So is a solution for this?

age fotostock has the theory that no matter how tragic the present and the future might seem to be, most players in this industry want to stay in the business, even if they have to change their traditional business model to a technology driven way of working and relating to clients.  Therefore, in these changing times, interrelated communication between the artificially created “two sides” of the industry becomes essential. This is why age fotostock has introduced an "age photographers Social Network," aiming to boost intercommunication between photographers, along with increased participation by age fotostock staff, including Alfonso Gutiérrez, the CEO of the company that maintains there an active presence.

Unlike other forums, blogs and public social networks that require registration, photographers are not allowed to hide behind pseudonyms in the age fotostock Photographers Social Network. age fotostock invites photographers that have been active in the last two years by sending them an e-mail. All of the participant’s real names are used in the Social Network by the members. If anyone wants to suggest improvements or complain about something, they are free to say what they think. age fotostock will respond, but unlike a public blog, in the photographers Social Network, everyone can say things relevant to members of the network and not to the entire world.

The Social Network has been operative for the past two months and has surprised age fotostock; Alfonso Gutierrez says “I have been surprised by the activity that has developed and we have learned about areas that we can improve that were simply oblivious to us. If we can openly chat regularly on the little matters, about our needs (of both photographer and agency), about the ways to compete in a variable business model, and if we can supply more information constantly and when asked, at least we will either be jumping for joy together... or at least, crying as one community.”


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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