World Press Photo in LA

To be a witness of how American people is raising awareness through excellent photojournalism is a privilege.

Here’s some of my work for World Press Photo in collaboration with Theo Kingma current President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which co-produces the Golden Globes. Enjoy!

 

Mobile World Madness

Yesterday was the first of 4 days Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and I was filming the making of about the photo shooting of 36 dreamers. They were selected by the Imagine Creative Center (San Francisco – Barcelona) to create different mobile apps and present them at the MWC16, so was a very exciting day and a big opportunity for some of them, who succeeded in the process of creating a useful app, to show it to the world.

Photographic Social Vision Foundation, with whom I am currently collaborating, created the photo shooting in the final stretch of the intense process for the dreamers to transmit the image of a future generation of creative, tech, prepared and ambitious youth to be exhibited with the making of as a part of the documentary photography Festival Docfield. Which, with the theme “Europe: Lost in Translation”, pretends to answer the question who we are. The first chapter of this big Festival is the European Human being and will take place with an exhibition of very classical 36 portraits of the dreamers along with the making of, among other events.

Frame while filming the making of

Frame while filming the making of

The photographic project was presented by Xavier Verdaguer at the Mobile World Congress yesterday afternoon with this image I took as a part of a time lapse for the final piece.

The photographic project was announced by Xavier Verdaguer at the Mobile World Congress yesterday afternoon with this image I took as a part of a time lapse for the final piece.

Finish what you started

 

These days feel like a new circle is opening. Old things in life are knocking on my door again. But I am a picky one and I just let the worthy ones coming back to me.

One of them is a work in progress project started a while ago in Nepal called “DHARMA”.  It explains the dialog existent between two distant realities that seek each other organically. On the one hand, the daily life of children monks in the Monastery of Khawalung in Kapaa area of Kathmandu. On the other hand, the reality of the children in the rural areas of the Himalayas, who have to work and often miss school, (if they have one) thus increasing the children labor rates of the country. Following the Buddhist value of the universal order, Dharma, those kids who have grown in the Monasteries, privileged ones for having received education and protection, go back to their native villages with the aim of building new schools based in modern education. So the new generation won’t have to leave their families seeking for a better future and will be able to improve their quality of life in the mountains. A right that they never had before. Here’s the Teaser:

I am the Producer of the Documentary with a very talented team formed by a Cameraman, a Sound Engineer and an Assistant Producer. The four of us are living so many adventures together thanks to this project, since designing the very start of the creative process and writing the script, to be hiking and story hunting for weeks in Kathmandu Valley, also conducting interviews, meeting local people, meditating with the monks, editing video and audio…  We also experimented a crisis moment while planning how to create a successful crowdfunding campaign in order to give the Buddhist Foundation more visibility and if possible, some funds. One of the reasons why we had to face such a tough moment  was because we are involved in this project as volunteers so all of us had other urgent projects to work on at the same time. If one was in Cuba filming a movie, the other one was in New York working for a Dence Company and when they came back I left to Mexico and Los Angeles working for other photo Organisations. This kind of logistic dynamics put in danger the life and development of our project (timing is the key in Project Management and even love!). Therefore, our initiative could have become a cost instead of a help for the Foundation, which we wouldn’t accept to be. Lack of planning, sources or experience could have been some of the causes of it. But we have the most important variables to succeed, will and tools. We genuinely wanted to help from the beginning, so we are doing it now. Not for us, not to impress anybody, not even to gain some professional background, but because we owe them, we gave our word, they need us and we are nice people.

As Producer and responsible of the DHARMA I started a round of contacts to organize a big Crowdfunding weekend (23-24 of April) in Catalonia to remember the earthquake tragedy of last 4/25/2015. With the motto: “One year later, still with Nepal.” All the beach volleyball nets “Pay & Play” on the 5 beaches of Barcelona will be full of people playing, competing and having fun for Nepal, including Treasure Hunt games for kids. Homemade food and beverages will be served. Meditation marathons and Yoga retreats all over Catalonia will be part of the event. Even triathlons! Also, postcards and bookmarks with my photos of Nepal will be informative flyers in bookstores and an improvised Photocall to take portraits for lovers will be available on the streets of Barcelona for St. Jordi’s Day (4/23) and hopefully subscriptions to pujas (monks meditations) recorded by us at the Monastery will be for sale too.

It is beautiful to see how easy everything comes out when you are surrounded by the correct people. The connection, empathy, “egoless” thinking, authenticity of souls bonitas. I can’t wait for you to see the resume and results of that weekend in a post-Crowdfounding Campaign throught the Network! Stay tuned!

04/25/2016
It was awesome!!group photo

And the finalists:

at the finals

The 11th World Press Photo Barcelona on 11/11

Here few photos of the inauguration. Was my pleasure to collaborate with Photographic Social Vision Foundation:

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Mads Nissen, World Press Photo of the Year,  talks about Jon and Alex, a gay couple, share an intimate moment at Alex’s home, a small apartment in St Petersburg, Russia. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from conservative religious and nationalistic groups.

 

“It’s very important for me that you can trust the work I do. Even though you disagree, there is no finger you can point at, even with the homophobes that I met, people who are attacking the gays. I want to understand what they are thinking, their background and to me, that’s empathy.”

 

source: worldpressphoto.org

And the evening couldn’t end up better:)

 

Next stops Mexico, at Pedro Meyer’s Foundation Master Class and my loved LA, which is the WPP’s 1st exhibition in the US. Destiny is whimsical sometimes.

 

 

 

Changes

These weeks I have been living a thrilling process in my personal and professional life. This  second one consists in my new paid position as a Co-producer at World Press Photo. Reporting to the Senior Editor Online at the Communication Department, concretely in the Academy Partnership Programs. I collaborate to create multimedia content for publication on a website with around three million annual visitors and social media channels with an organically grown audience of more than a quarter of a million fans all over the world.  My main functions are:

  • Coordinate agendas, troubleshooting and decision-making at the online meetings
  • Design and conduct interviews
  • Co-write scripts
  • Travel
  • Shoot video / photo of workshop participants
  • Video edition and post production

world press photo

I am so grateful for having the privilege to choose the last opportunities in my career as a Producer and Visual Journalist. I chose the Agency Noor images before, and WPP Organisation now. I do it by inner resonance. Criteria that goes far beyond the logical thinking.The difference between both methods is that the first one requires to be in extreme coherence with your true self, while the second one only requires the mind. I believe is important to experience this identification with the self in your work. Is when it becomes your vocation, so you can enjoy the most of it. Like an obsessive maniac.

I couldn’t be prouder of being part of a team that defends this statement, also my living mantra:

“We inspire understanding of the world through quality photojournalism”

This philosophy is what makes possible to raise empathy all over the world. Empathy is the main force to create social consciousness. Without empathy, you are alone or you just can pretend you are not, through others. But at the end, the result will always be isolation.

And this brings me to the main value of photojournalism, the truth. Because empathy is a simple and intuitive way to share the truth.  I heard somewhere a while ago, that “the truth is what cuts us, and puts us back up, and separates the things that look the same.” The ones who choose to pretend and the ones who choose to face it. Photojournalism, which should show the truth itself, is like the genuine love, you can’t fight it off, you just can’t.

Changes are a necessary condition for new opportunities. They create unexpected situations sometimes. Have you ever felt the fear for a situation to arrive and, once the moment of facing it becomes an inevitable choice, it results to be the best thing it could ever happen? (That’s the personal part of the thrilling process) The result, deep satisfaction.

Resilience.

It implies a new perspective. A new level of consciousness. With the change, one is able to see from a place that couldn’t before. Et voilà! All those amazing blind opportunities from before, appear clearly right in front of you.

And then, as Socrates said:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.”

Fail matters

This month I have applied for two grants in Catalonia. The reason is that, even I love to live in other countries, I would like to conjugate my passion and profession as a visual journalist with the experience of living in my country. Come back home for a big opportunity, at least for a time. But wasn’t possible. One of the grants was the Fellowship with one of the most important press in Spain, La Vanguardia, organized by La Caixa, the Youth Department of Generalitat de Catalunya and the Photography Department of La Vanguardia press. The grant consists in 5,000€ and an Internship working part time at La Vanguardia for a year.

 

 

la-vanguardia

 

The application process is a regular one, consists in filling the application form, a project of 5 photos with its statement, the curriculum vitae and wait. The email saying that I was between the 5 finalists arrived, like the last year. In that case, though, the jury decided the winner directly and four more finalists, I was the first of them. This year the jury presented the 5 finalists who had to pass an interview round first to decide who was the winner. This process involved a punctuation system up to 120 points. The first 100 ones were calculated from the project and the rest 20 were punctuated after the interview, which was made by six people, two from each organization that participates in the grant. My mark was 110 out of 120 (95 from the project and 15 from the interview), the winner mark was 113. So my position wasn’t the winner by the whisker. Again. I think that the criteria that affected more to the jury was to have some previous experience in the edition world and the edition of the two secondary projects we had to show at the interview. Honestly, I think that the 5 points that I didn’t make in the project rating were because of the subject I chose. Monk kids in Nepal, a recurrent issue. Nevertheless, the jury considered that the composition and quality of my photos and my profile worth a chance. In regards to the interview (15 out of 20 points) I believe that the edition failed, the projects showed the reality of Rroma community in Romania and the homelessness situation in Colorado (US). I haven’t shot much in Barcelona recently so I couldn’t show any local issue, maybe that could help? Also, my lack of detail about the experience at Noor didn’t make shine my editing skills. And maybe Journalist has more chances than a Sociologist in this case.

 

This is the selection showed to the jury:

Project applied:

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Secondary projects presnted at the interview:

Portrait serie:

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Anyways and despite the intrinsic frustration of second positions, I am glad to have tried it. To have the self-demanding and self-confidence to believe in what I do, and that it can be recognized out there. The main conclusion extracted from this year’s experiences so far (2nd in two categories in Clic Grant, photo and fellowship) is that my name appears everywhere I apply for, as one of the best works presented. It just needs to be pushed a liiiittle harder, another twist.
This recognition gives me force to keep trying with perseverance and more intensity than ever, in and out of Catalonia, to end up working as a visual journalist for a living. A quality and independent journalism. With passion, strategy, vision and all my heart. To see this as an excuse to think even bigger and work harder to have the chance to be published all over the world and to accept the challenge to keep trusting myself and to produce, shoot, edit and make public stories about unknown heroes which need telling.

 

_CATALÀ_

Fallar importa
Finalista Beca a La Vanguardia

 

Aquest mes m’he presentat a dos premis a Catalunya. El motiu és que m’agradaria poder conjugar la meva professió com a periodista visual amb el fet de viure al meu país. Tornar a casa per una bona oportunitat, com a mínim per un temps. Però no ha pogut ser. Un d’ells era La Beca Connecta’t a la Fotografia de La Caixa, Departament de Joventut de la Generalitat i La Vanguardia. Aquest consisteix en 5,000 € i un any treballant mitja jornada a la redacció del diari La Vanguardia (sense sou). Potser si li comentes això a un americà et dirà que no és un premi que és un sou extremadament baix per un període massa extens de temps treballant en pobres condicions. Aquí a Catalunya ho veiem com la gran oportunitat de formar part d’un dels grans.

 

El procés d’aplicació és l’habitual, consisteix en omplenar una aplicació, un projecte a exposar (5 fotografies) juntament amb la sinòpsis, enviar el currículum i esperar. El email que havia quedat entre les 5 finalistes va arribar, com l’any passat. En aquell cas però, van decidir guanyador directament i 4 finalistes més, jo n’era la primera. Enguany van presentar els 5 finalistes i feien ronda d’entrevistes per decidir el guanyador/a. Consitia en una escala de puntuació de 120 punts. Els primers 100 es decidien segons el treball presentat i la resta de 20 punts a l’entrevista. Aquesta es va realitzar als 5 participants durant dos matins. Un grup de 6 persones et reben, 2 del departament d’Edició de La Vanguardia, 2 del Departament de Joventut i 2 de la Caixa. La meva puntuació va ser de 110 punts (95 del treball entregat i 15 de l’entrevista). La puntuació guanyadora va ser de 113.
Axí doncs, el resultat ha estat per pèls de nou. Penso que els criteris que van infuenciar més vàren ser el fet de experiència professional en el món de l’edició anteriorment i l’edició dels projectes secundaris que calia presentar a l’entrevista. Honestament crec que els 5 punts que em van faltar en l’entrega del projecte vàren ser deguts a la temàtica escollida nens monjos a Nepal, prou recurrent enguany. No obstant, el jurat va considear que la composició i qualitat de les mves fotos i el meu perfil professional mereixien una oportunitat. Pel que fa a l’entrevista (15 de 20 punts), crec que l’edició va tornar a fallar, els projectes presentats parlaven sobre la comunitat gitana a Romania i les persones sense sostre a Denver. En cap cas podia presentar feina disparada a Barcelona, potser quelcom que s’hagués valorat, potser no. També la manca de detall sobre la meva experiencia amb Noor no va fer brillar prou les meva experiència previa com a editora. També crec que unaPeriodista té mes possibilitats que una Sociòloga en aquest cas.

 

De totes maneres i malgrat la frustració intrínsica de les segones posicions, me n’alegro d’haver-ho intentat. D’haver-me exigit fer-ho i de tenir la confiança suficient per creure que el que faig pot ser reconegut. La lectura que faig del resultat d’aquesta beca i d’altres com el Clic és que apareixo a tot arreu on em presento, el meu nom és allà, i és reconegut. Em falta uuuuuuuna mica més una volta més. El seguir disparant temàtiques que responguin els criteris adequats, amb coherencia i valor en el missatge. Amb una edició més acurada, probablement demanant ajuda a col·legues que em donin una segona opinió, una visió fresca de la meva feina. El reconeixement em dona ànims per seguir endavant amb perseverància i més intensitat que mai, en aquest país i fora, per acabar dedicant-me professionalment i de cor al que és la meva passió, el periodisme visual d’alta qualitat i independent.
I potser, aprofitar l’avinentesa per pensar en més gran encara, i treballar dur la possibilitat d’ésser publicada en revistes i premsa arreu del món i acceptar el repte de seguir confiant en mi i seguir produint, disparant, editant i fent públiques històries d’herois desconeguts, que valen la pena ser explicades.

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