Juan Rodríguez Morales (b.1980) is an emerging documentary photographer from Madrid, Spain. After studying psychology, Juan decided to study photography at the university and focused his attention to street photography. His photography has ample drama and distinguishing elements to engage his viewers. Images featured here are from his three photo projects, as evident. Few words from Juan on his photography, preferences, and interests:
Please tell me about yourself and your relationship with photography. Why did you decide to study photography after getting a degree in psychology?
I started in the world of photography quite late. I began to study photography some years after I graduated in psychology at the University. Although initially it was for me a hobby soon became something much more important to me.
I remember I was a bit stuck at the moment. I felt my projects did not advance. That workshop with Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb. They changed my vision of photography. Both are wonderful and kind people. Alex Webb has always been my favorite photographer and share my work with him was an honor. Thanks to the workshop I could put my thoughts in order and have more clear what kind of photography I wanted to do.
Street photography is where I find myself more comfortable because you have an infinite world of possibilities. You just go outside and there is everything. It´s the same if you are in you own city or in another continent, in all you find interest scenes to capture with your camera.
When I go out into the street to take pictures always try to keep a plan in my mind of what I want to photograph and areas of the city I want to move. I try to find scenarios that call my attention either by configuration or the possibility that there something interesting will happen. As you can imagine most of the time the final result is quite far from the initial plan. But that’s the beauty of photography.
My latest project ‘Peloteros’ turned up by chance. I went out to take some Street pics and I found an improvised baseball field. Baseball although not very popular in Spain has always caught my attention. I started talking to some players and it seemed a fantastic idea for a new project. From that day I went to watch the games and workouts every week. I had a great time and they helped me a lot also. It was a great experience and I think that can be seen in the pictures.
My photo equipment could not be more simpler. I’m still working with the same SLR camera while studying, a Canon 450. I like work with a 35 mm lens. For the kind of photography I like to do I do not need more. On the software side, I only make small adjustments in Camera Raw.
I think the level of contemporary photography is very high. Access to photography has expanded a lot and both in documentary photography, art, portrait, etc quality of the work is amazing. It´s a very competitive world and t it is not easy to stand out. On the other hand, we are lucky to see good projects every day. I learn a lot.
As I said before, my favorite photographer is Alex Webb. Other photographers who I also like are Lee Friedlander, David Alan Harvey, Martin Parr and Stephen Shore. As for other influences I believe that literature can be a good source of inspiration. Comic authors as Daniel Clowes and Adrian Tomine have influenced my work. In fact, one of my projects is called World Ghost like Daniel Clowes´s comic book and I think both arouse similar feelings.
Something to say to our readers or aspiring photographers:
Take the pics you like.