Conchi Martínez was born in Soria (Spain), but shortly after, her family moved to Barcelona, where she’s lived since then.
Transforming reality into art: an exclusive interview with photographer Conchi Martínez
You can find Conchi Martínez here:
- Website: conchimartinez.com
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: twitter.com/Conchi_Martinez
- Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/conchi-martínez-jiménez
- Facebook: facebook.com/conchi.martinezjimenez
Conchi Martínez studied math at the university and worked as a secondary school teacher until she decided to quit and become a full-time photographer, specializing mainly in the editorial field as a contributor to the Anaya Publishing House and to stock photography, and developing her personal projects.
She’s also published several photographic reportages and portfolios in different magazines and catalogs and in the book collection Viatge a la Conca de Barberà.
Her artistic training comes from diverse photography schools in Barcelona and from workshops given by the MOMA or artists like Fontcuberta, Esclusa, Caujolle, Parr, Sluban, Webb, etc.
She enjoys taking photos if she has a clear reason to do it or an idea to develop. Her work is systematic and methodical, maybe due to her scientific background.
Since 2004, she’s exhibited in galleries and Spanish festivals like Fotonoviembre, Olot Biennial, FineArt, Mirades, Outono Fotográfico, Revela-T, and Photogenic, as well as in Istanbul, Portland, Washington State, the Rencontres d’Arles, the Berlin Biennial, the Photolux Festival in Lucca, and the Kaunas Photo Festival.
In 2007, she received her first important artistic recognition, a MUSAC scholarship for her work Interiors.
After that, Hortus Botanicus, Diagonal-Cornellà, Landscapes of My Memory, Barcepoly, and Mediterráneo received respectively the Emergent Festival (2008), Passanant Foto (2011), Julia Margaret Cameron (2015), Young Curator Photolux Contest (2017), and Eurostars Photography (2017) awards, and she was invited to do an artist residency in Kaunas in 2018.
Hi Conchi, how long have you been working as a photographer now?
Hi Jernej! It’s nice to meet you.
I always say I started taking photography seriously in 2000. At that time, I attended my first important course in a photo school while I was teaching math in a secondary school, but it was not until 2004 that I made my first exhibition.
What inspired you to become a photographer? What were your first steps?
I’ve always loved images. I started watching all kinds of movies when I was a child, and I keep doing it. Of course I’m interested in the plot, but also in their soundtracks and photography. I became a compulsive postcard collector when I was a teenager. I enjoyed looking at the images and transporting myself to the places that appeared in the photographs. One day I decided I had to try doing it by myself, and I took a brief photo course about the developing process. The magic I discovered there hasn’t abandoned me yet.
Are you a professional or an amateur photographer?
I’ve been professional since 2013.
What is your favorite subject to photograph?
I’m interested in daily matters, identity, the trace of time, and trips. I like to photograph my day-to-day life and the things that surround me.
What kit do you shoot with?
I have always used a Canon camera, both analog when I began with photography and digital some years ago. My current kit consists of a Canon 5D Mark III with several lenses (my favorites are a 24mm, a 50mm, and a 90mm macro) and a mirrorless Fuji X-t100 to travel lighter.
How would you define your photographic style?
I work mainly in the editorial field, especially in travel photography, but I also enjoy developing my personal projects about different subjects and experimenting with old and alternative processes to emphasize the ideas I want to transmit.
Which editing software do you usually use?
I always use Photoshop.
John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
I don’t usually advertise myself; I contact the clients I’m interested in directly.
How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working? What do you do in your free time?
I usually work 5 days per week, spending lots of hours in front of the computer (normally around 8 each day) when I’m not taking photos, which is most of the time. Take into consideration that I mainly work in stock photography. When I’m not working, I love spending my time with my family and friends, traveling, and, of course, going to the cinema or visiting some interesting exhibitions.
What would you do differently if you would start again?
I’m quite satisfied with my current life and the decisions I’ve made. I think I’d not change anything.
A professional photographer is also an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have many things in common. They read a lot. What about you? What are your favorite books?
I’m not an enthusiastic book reader; I prefer to read articles or take a look at interesting photo books. I personally recommend you read an excellent book about photography: La Vision Fotográfica by Eduardo Momee. The problem is that it’s in Spanish, and I don’t know if its English translation also exists.
What was the best advice you have ever received as a photographer? Do you have any advice for other photographers?
We have to be patient. Don’t be in a hurry to arrive wherever you want to. Photography is a long-distance race.
Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
I don’t have a smartphone!
Top 3 websites?
I enjoyed a lot having a look at these:
Your last vacation?
It was a marvelous road trip through the Midwest of the USA.
For several months, I took photographs of the journey from home to work and from work to home, which I always did by metro in Barcelona. The main objective of the work was to return prominence to the anonymous characters with whom we share trips every day but who go so unnoticed that, when we arrive at our destination, we can hardly remember an insignificant detail related to their appearance To do this, I came back to photography’s origins and the magic of the unpredictable results that a pinhole camera provides.
I have always been interested in human behavior. I thought photographing ordinary drawers without manipulating them was a good way to come closer to the daily life of the owner.
Interiors is a work about identity that gives free rein to the voyeuristic instinct that everybody carries inside themselves and satisfies our human curiosity about others through the physical description of the drawers’ content and the owner’s behavior by means of the objects he has and the way he arranges them.
In nature, we find lines that we unconsciously relate to the ones that we find in our bodies. Melting together the body lines with the ones suggested by the branches and trunks of the trees, our mind tries to look for continuity, imagining a real unity in each of the images created for this imaginative vegetal universe called Hortus botanicus.
LANDSCAPES OF MY MEMORY
Intimate approach to some of the most emblematic places in Soria, my hometown. It’s universally known that our mind modifies memories without our consent. It’s sometimes a self-defense mechanism that helps us partially forget what hurts us, or simply an effect caused by the passing of time. Memory is subject to disruptions and amnesias that lead to information gaps. This makes us lose a part of our vital experience, but it also enriches it, making it unique and personal.