Small Talk with Allessan

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When you work with people anything can happen. Both good and bad. But it adds dynamism to the day. It is certainly the best of meeting new people. They all bring some interesting and quirky stories that nourish one’s soul.

Your images feel very natural and raw, is it something you look for ?
Absolutely. Today much of what surrounds us is fake. And I want to get away from that feeling. Although it is impossible to do it 100%. Only by the fact of shooting or selecting images later, you are skewing reality and presenting what you want and hiding what you dislike.
It is not a naturalist style like August Sanders’ nor 100% vernacular. I do not pretend to document reality. I am not an anthropologist.
For me it’s an exercise of removing the noise of life. And sometimes even the photographs transmit that literally. I see some pictures and think in the “silence”. Probably the ones where I use the negative space more. I feel that even with the rough texture by the presence of grain.
With closer compositions it’s different. And the truth is my style keeps evolving.
But overall, my goal is to present a “found moment” in the flow of time, as if that worthy of display moment really happened and the photographer was there, bringing order to the composition and creating interesting geometry with the shapes.
The challenge is to do it simple enough but not more.

How would you describe your current life?
You know the saying that the work of a painter is to add while the photographer subtracts. The painter begins with a blank canvas and adds whatever they can imagine. The photographer does the opposite. The beginning is a world full of chaos and by choosing which elements to include in the frame and ordering them they express themselves. Well, it seems as my life is like taking photographs. The life throws me a good dose of chaos and I bring order to it. However, not in a negative way. It’s more entertaining than it might sound.

What do you enjoy about working with people?
The surprise factor. When you work with people anything can happen. Both good and bad. But it adds dynamism to the day. It is certainly the best of meeting new people. They all bring some interesting and quirky stories that nourish one’s soul.

Is there anyone you´d love to shoot?
Absolutely. I could name top-models that I would happily work with. But often the most inspiring work I find comes from unknown models. Probably because we usually see top-models in commercial and not personal or artistic projects.

What do you look for when selecting your models?
Not only the beauty or the ease to convey emotion. As Henri Cartier-Bresson said, all subjects can transmit that. It’s something else. When I’m reviewing their portfolios almost instantly I know whether I’ll work with them or not. It’s something in the eyes. And the attitude.
However, this attitude has to externalize during the shooting in the relationship that is developed with the photographer or the team. The portrait not only tells you about the person but also tells you about that moment. And it depends on that relationship. The amount of trust, respect, admiration, etc. will give you different outcomes. This is more for portraiture than for commercial works where you can fake everything because no one really cares. You see the ad for a couple of seconds and just move on.
Avedon would leave his subjects in the studio for up to 6 hours without a single word or direction. Not even a greeting. The he would move around and occasionally take a photo. That way he aimed to reach moments and emotions that otherwise wouldn’t happen. Perhaps in that space of discomfort. I don’t use that, but I like that way of thinking.
I like when much of the result comes from the model. It’s like okay, you’re not only a model, you’re a person, so tell me something about yourself without words.

Your favorite place to shoot ?
Next to a large window with natural light. That is the best lighting for me. Otherwise the nature inspires me a lot. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. In fact, I prefer the humbleness of nature.

Your most happy moment in life ?
That’s always tomorrow.

Your favorite music?
I mostly hear alternative music. But I listen to everything from electronic and dubstep when I’m running to classical or nu jazz when I chill out. To name a few albums I’m playing a lot lately: James Bay – Chaos and the calm, Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell, Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface.

Tea or Coffee?
I’ve been a tea guy for many years but recently I’m more into coffee.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
With regard to photography now I move especially in Europe. And I would like to extend that to other places. There are many things to see around the world and I don’t want to miss a thing.