With a background in Architecture, Andres views his surroundings quite differently than others. Luckily, we’re able to get a taste of what he sees as he also happens to be a talented photographer. Check out his story and stunning work below.
Say hello to Andres:
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I was born in Colombia, South America but moved to the States when I was nine. I lived in California, Virginia, Florida (where I spent most of my years), Michigan, and I currently live in Chicago. Through school, I was able to travel to a few amazing locations including Italy and China. Currently planning a trip to Europe for the spring of next year – very excited about that!
What’s your favorite place in the world?
Like the saying goes, “home is where the heart is,” and my current favorite place is Chicago. Being surrounded by such amazing architecture is one of the main reasons I moved here. A close second has to be Cinque Terre in Italy, which I visited last year – a simply breathtaking collection of five small villages along the Italian coast, each with its own unique characteristics.
How would you describe your visual style?
My visual style is constantly changing – I feel like sometimes I struggle to define a particular style for my work. I mostly like to photograph cityscapes and some street photography here are there, but always changing nonetheless.
Your background is in architecture – tell us more about that aspect of your career.
I mentioned before that one of the reasons I moved to Chicago was because of its architecture. I have a background in Architecture and I feel like this sometimes allows me see the city in a different way than most. Architecture, to me, is about creating spaces that have an impact on people through the use of different mediums like symmetry, light, translucency, materiality, textures, etc. As such, I always try to portray these concepts through my work. Whether I’m successful at it or not, that’s up to you as the viewer to decide.
Have you dabbled in other types of photography? If not, do you intend to do so in the future?
I do mostly shoot architecture – I like the fact that my subject doesn’t move and it gives me time to think about my shot. I’ve dabbled with portraits here and there and would like to keep practicing and improving upon them. I would love to get into aerial photography – the use of drones has become so popular and I see so many amazing shots being captured. I’m saving up to get one.
How did you get into photography?
I don’t recall a specific time, but I remember I got a camera so that I could take photos of my scale models during school as documentation of our work was very important. I think that having the opportunity to travel through school helped spark my interest in photography, as I was able to capture and share the world I perceived and experienced.
What has been your biggest setback as a photographer?
My biggest setback is trying to define a style. I feel like my work sometimes is all over the place, but at the same time, I enjoy experimenting with different editing techniques, color versus black and white, etc. I see this setback as a good thing for me as I’m able to constantly evolve my work.
Of the photos you’ve taken – what are your three favorites?
This is a tough question, but here are three of my favorites so far:
What’s the best advice you can think of for someone just starting in photography?
I would say just focus on what you like and don’t let anyone else decide for you. A lot of times, we fall into the “likes” trap where we take photos just to try to get a lot of likes, and quickly realize that you’re not taking photos because you like it, but simply doing it to try to please others. It doesn’t matter what type of camera you have, just go and explore your surroundings, try to take at least one photo everyday, and practice, practice, practice.
If you could photograph anything in the world, what would it be?
I would love to photograph exotic cars on some amazing European backroads. I’ve always had a thing for cars – I love their designs, sounds, details, etc. If given the opportunity, this would be an incredible experience.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to being a great photographer?
Do photography because you enjoy it – do it for you, no one else. If people like your work, they will let you know. Also, don’t let criticism bring you down – use it to your advantage and learn from it.
What’s the most inspiring photo you’ve ever seen?
This is hard to tell – I recently saw an exhibit for the Red Bull Illume competition and was simply blown away by the incredible photographs that so many talented artists are able to capture.
What are 3 tips you have for aspiring photographers?
Practice, practice, practice
What’s one post-processing tip you’d like to share with other photographers?
When it comes to post-processing, you can go a million different routes. Sometimes, I know even before I take a shot what kind of post-processing work I want to do with the image. Other times, I edit a photograph based on how I feel about it. Whether you like very saturated and punchy colors or you prefer a more monochromatic look, my biggest tip would be to not be afraid to try different things.
Do you have any projects you’d like to show off?
I have a series on my Instagram titled What If, where I make composites that begin to alter our surroundings by introducing elements that you wouldn’t normally think would exist. I would like to see what people think of these photos.
What has photography done for you as a person? How has it changed you?
It allows me to look at my surroundings in a different way. I’m constantly looking around for different types of lighting, reflections, symmetry, etc. Once it clicks, you can’t stop but observing and capturing the world around you.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?
Drive across Europe.
For anyone who wants to get in touch with Andres, here’s some contact information:
Andres, thanks for taking the time to interview with us! 🙂 Excited to see photos from your European adventure!
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.