This week’s interview is with Gonzalo Höhr, a Cadiz-based photographer. When you take a look at his website where you can find many of his photos, you see that he does not focus on one particular theme or setting. There is a great variety of photos, from glamour shots to nature images. In the interview he explains this a little bit.
There are many students here at MIUC with a passion for photography, who will find this interview to be quite interesting. And don’t forget to check out his website www.gonzalohohr.es
- What attracted you to study photography?
Photography attracted me by its ability to tell stories. For the universality of its language and because it helped me to get close to people around the world and learn about their lives. It is a better way to understand the world around us.
- Is going to college to study communications a good entry route into the profession, in your opinion?
Studying communications is a good base for understanding the concepts that serve as reference for any type of communications. I´d say communications studies are the perfect start to become a photographer, but the route is very long, very difficult and sometime is very diffuse too.
- How do you select the subject matter that you shoot? Where do you get the ideas from?
You have to feel it. The most important thing is to generate interest, be curious. In my experience, I found almost every subject to shoot when travelling. It is very important to know people, talk to them and listen to their stories.
- Why specialise in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and the Caucus, what’s going on here?
I usually travel to those parts of the planet, sometimes by an assignment and sometimes on my own way. I have a special interest in all cultures around the Mediterranean Sea. I like history very much and in all those places have found people that share a very important link with their own history. Sometimes their culture, sometimes by a conflict, or just for the daily life, I admit that I feel a special attraction for those places.
- Is your workload predominantly commercial, personal or NGO-related projects?
I try to keep a balance between them. I learn very much in the commercial assignments and it helps me a lot when I have to shoot difficult situations.
- What’s an ordinary day, or week, like for you?
I do not have a very routine life. It depends on the assignment I am working on. I try to combine my professional assignments with the development of my personal projects, planning new travels, retouching my photographic archive and talking with clients. Besides all that, I try to spend time with my family and my pets in Cadiz city where I am based and where I feel at home.
- Do you enjoy giving workshops and seminars, why?
I have spent many years organising photographic workshops with the platform I founded in 2003 with Jessica Murray, called Al-liquindoi. With this programme, we have organised several workshops in the Middle East aimed at local photographers to help them became professional photojournalists. These workshops are taught by internationally renowned photographers and my mission is limited to coordinating them. I really think photographic workshops are the best way to learn photojournalism and create a network of contacts all over the world.
- Why live in Cadiz?
Cadiz is my home town. I’ve lived out of Cadiz for a long time and spend a lot of time of the year travelling. Maybe that’s why I need to feel that there is a place where my base is, my home. Cadiz is a perfect place to come to rest and to prepare future projects.
- Who are your favourite photographers in the world today?
There are a lot of photographers I respect for their great work. There are many, but to name a few, Alex Webb, Yuri Kozirev, Bruce Gilden, Carl de Keyzer, Antonin Kratochvil, Paolo Pellegrini, Martin Parr, Alexandra Boulat, Nina Berman, Francesco Zizola… and some classic photographers like Diane Arbus, Richard Alvedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, William Eggleston…
- Can a picture tell a 1,000 words?
And one million too!
- Does the camera lie?
The camera doesn´t lie. Some photographers do. Although photography is never the absolute truth, since we all interpret reality in a totally personal and unique way. We play with the reality, but try not to lie.