Juan Moyano is a Fotolia stock photographer from Spain, one of our dedicated contributors who says he couldn’t live without a camera by his side.
We spoke to him about the development of mobile photography and how the images an artist makes reflect their life…
Fotolia: Hola, Juan! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and what you do for a living?
Juan Moyano: I’m originally from Barcelona, Spain, but now I’m living near it, in Tarragona, another Mediterranean city which, when the summer comes, is visited by many tourists looking for its beaches, its gastronomy and its Roman remains (there is an amphitheater, an aqueduct, a Roman circus… all very well preserved).
The weather is great and this is the reason why the city was known to the ancient Romans as the City of Eternal Spring; so if you want to visit Tarragona bring your swimsuit and towel!
On the other hand, I’m a professional photographer, and for a few years now I’ve worked exclusively in stock photography. I started trying with some pictures and when I saw that it worked for me and allowed me to be the owner of my own time, I made the decision to work in it full-time.
Fo: What, in your opinion, are the ingredients needed for a fantastic photograph?
JM: I don’t think there are any magical ingredients to get a fantastic picture. The truth is that we must start with a good technique and be able to look, be very observant, and shoot at the right time.
But I also have to say that I have seen many photos with impeccable technique and lighting, but without any soul; and, on the other hand, pictures with a very average technique but with so much soul that they instantly catch your eye.
The funny thing – and also sometimes the frustrating thing – is trying to capture what you see, complete with all its nuances. One thing I’ve come to understand is that inspiration comes from work.
Fo: What is your favorite theme to photograph and why? Have you always enjoyed photography as a hobby?
JM: Sometimes I don’t know if I can distinguish the professional photography from the hobby photography, because it is my job and it is my hobby at the same time. I think I couldn’t live without a camera.
With the advent of the mobile phones to our lives, everything is faster, more convenient… It is no longer about focusing, measuring light, but the spontaneity, the speediness…and I welcome the digital age which allows us to be more spontaneous!
I don’t have a favorite theme, I take pictures of the things I like, from my feet in the shower in the morning, to landscapes, my meals, my friends, my family, my travels, my neighborhood, my city, and even silliest things that come to my mind.
The advantage of having the mobile phone always with you, and being able to delete pictures you don’t like, is it allows you to be much bolder and freer in shooting.
Fo: How did you discover the Fotolia Instant App and how have you found it so far?
JM: I discovered the app simply through an email from Fotolia. I was immediately very comfortable with it – it’s very intuitive and easy to use.
JM: I guess everyone has trouble choosing a photo among all the photos done. There aesthetic reasons and the story behind the picture which only you know.
Anyhow, my favorite today (tomorrow will probably be another one) is this one, shot in Rome Termini train station. I think I have a little obsession for photos of suitcases; a curiosity about what they contain, where they go, who they belong to, how many stories they carry within.
It’s not a perfect picture, but it takes me back to Rome.
Fo: Your Instant profile has a wide variety of locations in the subjects – where was your most inspirational place to photograph?
JM: My mobile pictures reflect my life, and therefore my travels, especially around Europe. Inspiration can come at any time – I don’t have to go to distant countries to take good pictures (although, of course, you can go if you want to!)
A good photo can be one of your street, of your neighbor, or the sunset from your window. I have always believed that to start taking good photos, you have to start with what is closest, because that is what you know best. It’s good training, starting with your neighborhood, and then continuing through the rest of the world. A good travel photographer always discovers his or her own city first.
Fo: What recommendations can you give to someone looking to start using the Fotolia Instant App?
JM: My recommendation is simply to try it, because it is very easy; and if you like mobile photos it’s a good way to get a return.
Fo: Can you give us a little bit of detail about this image – where you were and how you managed to take such a fabulous shot?
JM: I took this picture last summer in Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, an archipelago in Africa which is part of Spain.
After a day’s photography we stopped the car in the dunes to watch the sunset and there were my partner’s feet beautifully back-lit; so I got my mobile phone and click! I immortalized his feet forever. I edited it in black and white and voila!
These coincidences are very important – even more so for mobile photos.
Fo: Have you noticed some images selling better than others? Has this had any influence on what photos you upload?
JM: As a professional stock photographer, by definition I’m always checking which photos have sold and which have not, and I try to understand why this is so because it really does influence the pictures I upload.
Concerning mobile pictures, I don’t yet know exactly which are the best-sellers.
Fo: You are a Gold contributor on Fotolia; how does your professional experience affect your Instant Collection contributions?
JM: The pictures I make for the stock industry are more elaborate in terms of technique, lighting. They’re very different from the mobile pictures, which are much more spontaneous.
They are different but complementary concepts.
Fo: Juan, thanks so much for your time!