Images on the Web

10 Spanish Photographers That You Should Follow on Instagram

03/16/2020 · By Beatriz Portinari
Photograph Cholets El Alto Arnau Rovira
Photograph of the ‘Cholets en El Alto’ project. © Arnau Rovira

They’re authors of some of the best contemporary photographs that you may have seen on social media, on magazine covers or fashion adverts. Emerging Spanish talent is online. We’re on the trail of these ten creators.

If you know where to look, Instagram can be much more than selfies and hashtags in the world of photography. Some of the best emerging Spanish photographers have found the perfect outlet to promote their work and life through this social platform, because, in this space, everything is mixed together. Fashion, documentary portraits, travel, surrealism... If new generations of instagrammers and professional photographers are known for something, it’s for their nostalgic retrospect, their emotional connection to their work and colours that seems out of this world. These are the ten photography accounts that cannot be missed.

Albert Bonsfills — @albertbonsfills

Albert Bonsfills account reminds us of a shoebox full of photos, connected by his ironic gaze over what he sees. From trips to China, Japan or Vietnam to backstage scenes of Barcelona Fashion Week. “All my work says something about me, about my doubts, my hopes and dreams. It’s a tool that helps me to understand myself and to speak out. I’d highlight the last work I did in Japan for two years, that tells the life story of Sakae Menda, a man sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. Nobody wanted to publish the story, but I think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done”.

Arnau Rovira — @arnauroviravidal

More inclined towards architecture than humans, although right now he’s working on his first project involving people, Arnau Rovira has been researching spaces and objects for years, playing with experimenting and double exposure. “I started playing with double exposure with a compact analog camera and one day, by accident, I discovered that by superimposing certain buildings in a specific way, new shapes emerge. So, I started finding certain buildings and photographing them this way. The result is the series Re-form, which I don’t consider finished yet”. Today, he splits his time between personal projects and editorial work for XL Semanal, Wired or The British Journal of Photography, and is now looking for funding for a photobook and an exhibition which will be called ‘Trilogía de arquitecturas poco comunes’ [Trilogy of uncommon architecture].

Berta Vicente  — @bertavicentesalas

Her portraits are unmistakable and go back to her childhood, when she had her first Polaroid at the age of 8. All her friends were photographed then. At 14, her grandparents gave her a phone with a camera, and that’s how Berta Vicente started creating her photographic gaze. “I’ve always thought that photography is a way of approaching what I’m most interested in, people and their worlds. For this reason, although the boundaries between photography trends are more and more blurred, I like to identify with portrait documentary photography”, explains the photographer, who also recommends following the work of her role models: Mary Ellen Mark, Susan Meiselas, Duane Michals, Maya Goded, Graciela Iturbide and Jack Davison.

José Luis Ollo — @joseluisollo

Between everyday nature and poetry, José Luis Ollo photographs characters and common situations on the streets of Pamplona. His iPhonografía is inspired by great photographers such as Josef Sudek and his series about Prague; Jacques Henri Lartigue, for his melancholic, everyday scenes, or the surrealism of Francesca Woodman and the disconcerting view of Diane Arbus. “I take notice of things that we see every day, but that, nevertheless, I think have poetic value. Also, Pamplona is a relatively small city and it’s easy to get out of the urban area and find peripheral elements (industrial estates, farmland, small villages), which also allow me to go beyond the limits of what is usually understood as “street photography”, explains Ollo.

Martina Matencio — @lalovenenoso

Femininity, creativity and passion turned into visual poetry are Martina Matencio’s signature, known online as Lalovenenoso. Beautiful women that walk between autobiography, fashion and Matencio’s symbolism, inspired and influenced by photographer Frank Horvat, have passed through and posed in her study. “In the end, I always say that each image is part of a map to find myself. I hope that, at the end of the road, I can outline the entire route and find myself completely, but for now I still have many photographs to take”. Together with Alba Ribas, she is author of Tus ojos, mis manos, a photographic reflection on intimacy, love and heartbreak.

Oliver Vegas — @ovunno

When you see Oliver Vegas’ extraordinary landscapes, you ask yourself: Is it possible that this photographer has visited the most beautiful corners of the Earth? He must need someone to carry his bag. This photographer explains that his passion for nature and the photographic gaze emerged very early on, thanks to his parents taking him around Spain’s national parks. Afterwards, he studied Film Directing, taught himself photography and started admiring photographers such as Paul Nicklen, Steve McCurry or Cartier-Bresson. His work in the travel photography sector was consolidated in 2005, when he started sharing his snapshots on social media.

Pablo Curto — @pablocurto

Unbelievable images of the landscapes of Ibiza for LOEWE, fashion shoots for El País Semanal, retro cosmetics adverts for Vogue Portugal… When Pablo Curto decided to leave his job as an engineer in 2013 to work as a photographer, perhaps he didn’t imagine how much his life would change. But it’s a good job he did, and we can follow his work on Instagram. “I read a quote by Alec Soth not long ago that said that the greatest challenge for a professional photographer is to create images that are as emotionally pure as a family album. And it’s true. To date, I love the work of Zoe Ghertner, Theo Wenner, Laura Jane Coulson, Josh Olins or Sam Rock”, asserts Curto.

Pilar Franco — @piluro

This young photographer assures us that her goal today is to continue exploring the world of photography without pigeonholing herself into a specific movement. What she’s interested in is change. The truth is that Pilar Franco goes from landscape to portrait, from architecture to dew on a leaf, between dream and reality. “I admire Chema Madoz’s imagination, the surreal feeling of Cristina de Middel’s images, Prue Stent’s re-appropriation of pink or her interpretation of the female figure, the way Lisa Carletta hides sadness (she’s also a great friend), or Salva López’s simplicity”, she reflects. She’s just published her book Brava, a visual diary from a female perspective, written and photographed with Erea Azurmendi.

Rachel Chicheri — @raquelchichieri

Since she was a child, Raquel Chichieri connected photography to her family environment, like the French PHOTO magazines and photojournalism books that her father showed her, and from whom she inherited a Roll Kodak TX400, which she still uses. She was a finalist at the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards and achieved second place at the Sony National Awards. After a photographic period portraying her partner at windsurf championships, Chichieri is currently exploring artistic and documentary photography based on the everyday lives of her three children. One of her latest projects is Catalina´s World, an analog project featuring her youngest daughter, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s painting, Christina´s World.

Thais Varela — @azulclaritocasiblanco

Thais Varela, best known as Azulclaritocasiblanco, shares cinematographic brush strokes and exquisite portraits that invite the audience to imagine stories about each image on her Instagram page. Cosmopolitan women that look like magical creatures and luminous beings. With this storyline, she develops her work as a creative photographer, a profession she practically taught herself. “I’ve always struggled to define my work, because I’m only sure of one thing, and that’s that I love photographing any kind of situation that moves me. In my images, I like showing the sensibility that seeing a ray of light, the colour of a flower, or the gaze of my partner, awakens in me”, explains Thais Varela, who never leaves home without her camera and has become a master of colour and light.