We are incredibly proud to present the next instalment of The Handsome Project. The Handsome Project features young photographers who blow our mind, shoot our stuff and are all together fantastic. Read on to see the rest of Jimenaâ€™s WAH photoshoot and interview!
How did you get to here? (Whatâ€™s your photographer history?)
My fatherâ€™s old Pentax K1000 was the first camera I owned, it started then, Iâ€™ve been living in Mexico for the last 5 years and recently moved back to NZ, which has been so refreshing.
Are you a self-taught photographer or did you have a mentor/teacher that showed you the ropes?
No formal training, I assisted some great photographers and wrote down everything I learnt, kept every book since day 1. The real lessons come when you start shooting your own jobs though.
How did you come up with the concept behind your Handsome Project shoot?
I love the black sand and rugged landscape of the west coast beaches itâ€™s so different from your typical idea of a beach. Everything feels monochromatic out there so I thought it would be great to have the colours of WAH as a contrast.
What keeps you enthused in the photography industry?
Every shoot is so different, bringing with it both challenges and opportunities. Itâ€™s great when the results exceed your expectations. Iâ€™m also inspired by working with other creative people.
Describe your approach in three words.
Plan, enjoy and always be honest.
Black & white or colour?
Do you prefer film or digital? Why?
Film. You had to think carefully about what you were doing for each frame and the anticipation of seeing the result is something the digital world loses. Itâ€™s a completely different craft
Canon 5D for work, my faithful Leica for happy snapping. Always on the lookout for something new though
Describe your photographic approach.
Nice light, beautiful skin, thorough prep and the right team â€“ you canâ€™t go wrong
There are so manyâ€¦. Tina Modotti and Edward Weston for their depiction of Mexico. Lately – Helmut Newton, Guy Aroch, Amanda Marsalis
Portraits and nudes
What turns you on?
What turns you off?
How do you decide on locations & subjects for your shoots?
I think of elements Iâ€™d like to include, whether it is colour or texture, close intimate spaces or vast landscapes and then piece it together. Itâ€™s the relationship of all the elements that make a great shot.
If you could take your photography in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new things would you try?
I would take an endless budget and shoot and exhibit personal work, around the world- travel enriches your life so much and personal work could be a bit daunting to explore but so rewarding. Iâ€™d explore old fashioned techniques and how they can be linked to more modern (ie. Digital) day shooting.
Best advice youâ€™ve ever received.
What is the one quality you think is needed for a photographer to be great?
Where to next?
Africa for a holiday! I lived out of a suitcase last year going back and forth MX â€“ NZ so keen to stick to NZ for a while.
We Are Handsome would like to send major kudos Jimena’s way for creating this beautiful beachside photoshoot!