Three women, Three perspectives

Photography is currently an element that influences us and our daily lives, so the fact that more women are behind the lens represents a vision and sensitivity about ourselves that we have never seen before.

We interview three female photographers every month and always ask them the same ten questions, we want to know what they think, what unites us and what makes us different. Here you have the best answers:

Interview by Laura Sodano for Naive Magazine

Rocío Ramos

@rociorramos

Three adjectives that define you as a photographer:

Strong, sensual, sensitive.

How many years have you been working in fashion photography?

© Rocío Ramos: Air France Madame / Conde Nast.

In total 10 years.

Who were your referents that prompted you to start in photography? Who are your referents today?

When I was studying fine arts, I was introduced to Helmut Newton. I found his work incredible. Those women who, despite being mannequins, were strong and imposing, were not simply sexual objects, they were photographs loaded with irony. Then little by little I got rich with other current photographers. I really like female photographers, nowadays they are doing wonderful jobs.

What does fashion mean to you? What result do you look for when you start shooting in a session?

Fashion is art, another way of telling stories with fabrics, volumes and shapes. Each look is a sculpture, a construction made by an architect.

It is clear that sometimes photos are more yours and sometimes less. It depends a lot on whether it is your job or a commercial job. I aim to represent myself through my work, and how I personally envision things. Leave something of me in each photography.

Do you consider yourself a feminist within the industry? How do you try to reflect this in your work?

I have never considered myself a feminist, or perhaps I did not give a name to being aware of the reality of being a woman in a predominantly masculine world.
I consider that I fight for my work to be recognized, but I guess like a man would do. I do not intend any of this to be reflected in my work, since I do not want anyone to see a photograph of me and without looking at my name, think: “oh yes, this was shot by a woman, it is clear.” This is the last thing I want.

How do you feel about being a woman photographer working in an industry dominated mainly by male photographers?

Feeling is a very emotional verb, not that I have felt, it is that I have experienced a great difference in treatment and looking at my work. There is a lot of fear of letting us photograph another woman. Fear that we may not be able to capture the sensuality or sexuality of another woman, when perhaps we are the ones who understand ourselves the best.

As for the role of the model, for decades she has been associated with exhibiting fashion designs, beauty products or art. Nevertheless, as a woman, do you consider that the role she plays goes beyond a product?

Evidently. Women are not pretty coat hooks where to hang clothes. We also think, design, sculpt, paint, photograph… Models today are not mannequins that we articulate to our likeness, they transmit and are participants in the concept, they have creative power.

Do you think photography has the power to change the archaic social models in the industry?

I think we have the power to make this happen or not. Photography is just the tool.

Lala Serrano

@lala.serrano

Three adjectives that define you as a photographer:

Analog, elegant, observer.

How many years have you been working in fashion photography?

I started working as a photographer in 2014.

© Lala Serrano

Do you consider photography as one more kind of expression, as a language?

Absolutely. Just as the word itself, when you are photographing, you try to take “the photo”. The one that speaks for itself. You know perfectly what to say in each photo and keep a speech. Every photographer reflects a speech in their photography. Then there is the style of how you do it, of how your photographies speak. Both, in fashion and in my most documentary photography, my speech today is to photograph the beauty of form, texture, and light. Even all at once. Show the extraordinary beauty of everyday life.

How do you feel about being a woman photographer working in an industry dominated mainly by male photographers?

In my experience, I have lived both extremes: I have felt highly supported, encouraged and respected by men, both professionally and personally, but more questioned and twice as demanding as the rest of my male colleagues. I have also seen how women in positions of responsibility have separated and relegated other women. But fortunately, I also see and live day by day the support, encouragement and help of many women, friends and colleagues, it is wonderful. By this I mean that the barriers that we can find, I think they come from a lack of maturity and education on the part of people, and not necessarily because of being a woman.

Do you consider yourself a feminist within the industry? How do you try to reflect this in your work?

I staunchly defend gender equality. I think it is very important to encourage and inspire women who are not lucky to defend their individual rights, defending the equality of people and their rights, regardless of their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

My work is not limited to projects exclusively for women or only with women, not at all. I think that art and the artist should be free and should not have any distinction between genders.

Nowadays, exist many brands trying to break the barrier that divides the standards and the social reality. Do yo think there is any campaign or brand, in some way, leading a change vision in the industry?

Oysho does not touch the stretch marks or cellulite of their models, Dove shows real women. Clothing brands such as Zara or Mango include “curvy” models or those outside the famous 90-60- 90s. Now, naturalness is advocated and is a reality. It is important to make society understand that what is established is changing. That is why, among other things, I like to work in analogue the most, since it does not have any type of modification and retouching of the body. On the other hand, we are also seeing in fashion a lower concentration of gender with the famous “agenda”. A clear example is Palomo Spain that, although in the parades most of the models are male, there is no doubt that both men and women can wear their clothes.

Do you think photography has the power to change the archaic social models in the industry?

Photography as art reflects and is faithful to a moment in history, captures and shows it. If we photograph the “pulse” of what happens, society sees it, it remains on its retina and little by little it assimilates these new images, with new gestures, new fees, new records. I believe that the mission that the industry has at this stage will be to help make sense of this transition, give importance to certain images and not others, always from sophistication and visual beauty.

Josefina Andrés

@josefinaandres

Three adjectives that define you as a photographer:

Enthusiastic, mental, energetic.

How many years have you been working in fashion photography?

As a photographer in general about 13 years, as a fashion photographer about 7.

© Josefina Andrés

Who were your referents that prompted you to start in photography? Who are your referents today?

My father was the one who gave me my first camera and the one who inspired me to start taking photos. Photography is his greatest hobby and he instilled in me his love for it. At home there were always art and photography books because my mother also loves to paint. The first photographer that caught my attention was Mappletore. I was fascinated by his series and his study of movement, he was almost like a mental photographer, which I suppose is the type of photography with which I feel more affinity. Stephen Shore, Eggleston, Francesca Woodman, are some of my references.

Do you consider photography as one more kind of expression, as a language? What does fashion mean to you?

I believe in photography as a form of communication. And as for the term language, I associate it more with how each photographer communicates than with a way of communicating itself.

For me, fashion is a symptom of a particular social and historical moment. Also a tool to send a message. Just as photography has a meaning, fashion also has it and it is useful to send messages to your environment with it.

Nowadays, exist many brands trying to break the barrier that divides the standards and the social reality. Do yo think there is any campaign or brand, in some way, leading a change vision in the industry?

I really like how Eckhaus Latta approaches from campaign to casting. Also Cowgirl NYC and in general the whole wave of new American fashion. They are brands that I try to consume because they represent things that I believe in. Margiela was also revolutionary at the time and other more mainstream brands such as Gucci or Dries Van Noten are also betting on more plurality.

Do you think photography has the power to change the archaic social models in the industry?

Photography has the ability to change models in the industry, but it is the power of the industry that has to decide whether to use it or not. Photography is a media of communication. What we see is what we imitate, what we offer is what we desire. If something is not in a photo, it does not exist.

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Three women, Three perspectives