Our next featured age fotostock photographer, Enrique Algarra, is involved in photography at different levels. As a professor, he is directly involved in the formation of the young, aspiring photographers of tomorrow. As a photographer, his images show a curious, playful, unconstrained and at times almost obsessive vision of the world. Algarra comments that he started taking photos at the age of 7. You can still feel the spirit of that 7 year old in his images that spy on strangely human mannequins, the moving legs of blurred passersby’s, and the odd places that can be found just around the corner…if you’re looking. You can see more of his images here at age fotostock or in either of these personal blogs, www.enriquealgarra.blogspot.com or www.paquetesdefotos.blogspot.com.
Q: What 3 words best describe you?
A: I think Enrique, Algarra, and Photographer.
Q: What artistic influences are in your work?
A: I'm interested in film and photography and they give me ideas, according to my mood. Life is full of things and places to find inspiration.
Q: What is your favorite lens? Why?
A: In the seventies, I was a fan of the 20 mm because I really liked Pete Turner. Now I still enjoy the wide angles, but I’m just as likely to grab a fisheye as the 600 mm, it all depends on the day and my mood.
Q: What’s the Image that you are still hoping to make?
A: I’m not a photojournalist and I’m not trying to become a legend, so I have nothing planned. I’d just like to make at least one photo a day that makes me feel good.
Q: Why did you choose age fotostock to represent your photography?
A: I chose age fotostock for the proximity, and by that I don’t just mean that Valencia is close to Barcelona. I like to put faces on the names of the people who are on the other side of my computer screen working with me. Age fotostock has always treated me very well, and I appreciate that.
Q: Based on your experience as a photography professor, what future changes await us in photography?
A: The changes have already come, and are here to stay. Professionally, the world has been digital for some time now, but even as files and cameras improve, the most important thing is to improve how we think, our ideas. Photography schools must rethink their focus and develop different educational content.
Q: Are your current students the same as your students from the past or do you see changes?
A: The students are not at all the same. They grew up in the digital world, and some things that have been very difficult for older photographers to learn are completely natural for them.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best way to learn photography?
A: At this point, I think you can learn digital technology quickly; it’s a much simpler process than classic photography, which is an advantage. However, everything that isn’t technique is as difficult to learn as before. It’s a matter of bringing your own vision to the world through your images, digital or not, and developing a mature vision is not easy. You must try to understand the things around you in order to photograph them. Photography schools should not only teach color profiles and how to master the needed software, they must also prepare future photographers to be able to express their ideas to the world with their images.
Q: What is the best photographic advice that you have ever received?
A: My first teacher once told me that photography is like a puppy, if you take care of it, it will never abandon you. I took his advice, I don’t have a dog, but I've been taking pictures since I was seven, and the truth is that photography has been a good companion. That’s in part thanks to you guys.
Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
A: I would like to be anything that would free me from depending on the latest software, firmware or operating system and all those things that sometimes make you feel like a slave. I think if I became a writer I would happily use just a pencil and paper and I would be a little more free. But that must await for a different incarnation ...
Bonus Question: I've heard your students talk about the so-called "Algarratype." Can you explain what that is?
A: In the past, when a student took a photo that was too “inspired” in my photos, the other students would tell him that he had made an "Algarratype.” But luckily, that doesn’t happen anymore, now I am copying them (ha ha).