Conceptual and fine-art self-portrait photography of Melania Brescia is very captivating, intimate, and sometimes haunting, too. The display of raw emotions is brought out brilliantly when she combines them with her amazing concepts executed in a very inspiring and artistic manner. Melania is a real photographic talent and it pays well waiting for each her fresh upload. A beautiful Spanish photographer she is, her self-portraits awaken senses. She’s one of our favorite amateur photographers on Flickr and we feel every newcomer into conceptual photography should look her work closely to gather ideas and inspirations.
I was born and I currently live in Malaga, Spain. I started studying art when I was 15 because I was really into drawing. A school of arts has many people and many branches and this is how I started getting interested in photography. I think I was 16 or 17 when my father bought me my first camera, because I decided I wanted to study photography after school, so I spent the next few years practising by myself, but I didn’t really start seriously until I was 18/19 years old, when I started having better ideas, my style was more defined, I thought about projects and series and even started using models.
All this time I used to take pictures every single day of my life, and I think that’s why I improved so fast, but now I need to have a very good idea to take a picture or start a project, so I can take one or two photos per month. By the time I got in the course I already knew what I liked, needed and what I wanted, so it was pretty much useless to me.
Honestly, the only thing I learnt was that I don’t think I would ever work as a photographer. Obligations, orders and pressure make my work go down to a very low level. It makes me feel bad and the result is never what I’d expected. Therefore, I decided to work for myself, and for what I started in the first moment to do… photography, to express myself.
I was a very depressed teenager, so when I got into art school when I was 15 it was actually the first time I was interacting with people other than my family. I still was a very sad person so it was very difficult to me to create relationships, let people know me or realize that I should care about knowing them too. That first year was difficult even though it was a huge improvement as I got to make friends and had fun with people! It was a different story at home though.
My being close to people was always making them uncomfortable and worried, because I really never learnt how to communicate, how to say how I was feeling, or why did I even have to say how I was feeling, and of course, I didn’t know how to treat people either. So obviously, I needed a way to express myself or I would never change.
This is what photography is to me, is my way to express myself, to communicate, to tell my stories, photography helped me talk and find my voice. It doesn’t matter if no one gets what I am saying; I just need to say it.
Now, it feels wonderful when people get to feel whatever they want when they see my work, I think doing a personal work makes people seeing it from their point of view, they relate them to their own experiences and that is beautiful. So what is the point of so much explaining and description and sad stories? As I always say, art is not about understanding, it’s about feeling.
Tell us about your area of interest and camera/lenses you primarily use:
I do some travel and landscape when I actually travel, which you can see in my website, but I think my only area is portraits, mostly self-portraits.
I’m currently using a 5D Mark II; I have a beautiful 85mm 1.2 that I absolutely love and a 24-70mm 2.8. This is the one I use the most, because I use to work indoors so I need a wider lens. I never ever use any kind of artificial light, I have some equipment but my only source of light is natural.
Tell us about the creative challenges you face while shooting:
Well, the story as I explained, is always something I have to say, when I feel down, or a memory, a statement, something I feel first hand that I need to say. The light is always natural; I usually do it inside at home, so I know perfectly how the light hits every little corner of the rooms, in winter and in summer. The management is pretty easy, I guess because I am alone and I get to feel free and without pressure.
When I have an idea I just do it, prepare it and do it the same day, I decide which light is better, background, clothing, but mostly what I want to express. As they are self-portraits I do many shots, when I find the pose or the place that’s better then I actually start shooting, but I do spend more time in the post-processing.
We ask all our photographers to share their ideas on the issues of originality and style. What’s your take on that? What do you think about your own work?
I’m going to be honest here. I think in every decade, in every style and every branch, there’s always repetitive and no original work. That’s how it is and how it’s always going to be, in every decade there would be someone saying “everything it’s already done” or someone saying “everything is a copy of a copy of a copy”, and at some point you would totally believe it. But there are always a few extraordinary ones, every time, only a few, that’s why when you think of a style or a time, not just in photography obviously, you usually think of one single artist.
I won’t lie, I don’t know what makes my work different, or if it’s different at all, I really don’t think about those things. I’ve always focused on why I do what I do and why I need it so bad. But if I had to say something about me and my work, I’d say average. I can always do better.
What are you going to do next? Do you have any favorite photographers or a quote on photography or art?
I really don’t have a plan as I explained before. I don’t even know if I have found my vocation yet.
My favorite photographers are Jan Scholz, Gregory Crewdson, Sarah Faust or Elina Brotherus. I think my favorite quote is by Victor Hugo “to love beauty is to see light”. I usually keep myself motivated by listening to music, its lyrics, reading some book or just a moment or a light. That’s actually what makes me stand up and take my camera.
Say something to new photographers, your fans, and readers of the post:
My advice would be to not follow rules or ideas that some people think are right, because you are the author you should choose what to do and how. Art is feeling, getting people to see your work and make them feel something! Is not about being famous, exhibitions or money. You need to get someone says your work is beautiful not just because it looks nice but because they feel something inside, than even if it’s the ugliest thing in the world, they would say “this is beautiful”.