Cayetano González is a Spanish artist currently based in Barcelona where he works as a director, photographer and cinematographer. He’d been studying Film in Spain, focusing on Cinematography and working as a freelance videographer. Subsequently he started studying Fine Arts at the University of Valencia, where he broadened his knowledge in the world of contemporary art. In 2014, Cayetano obtained a postgraduate degree in Cinematography at ESCAC (Catalunya’s Superior Film School).
How did the idea for the series come about?
I’m working on a new project called About Light, shot with analog cameras and using natural light and indoor locations. I only work with female models. Marina and I had worked together in Valencia and I thought she could take a part in my project. I reached out to her, showed her some references and she agreed to do so.
How did your shoot go?
It went great. Marina is currently studying Interior Design, so she helped me out moving and placing things around. If you have a nice place, don’t let me shoot in it! I always move things around: tables, chairs, shelves, books … Afterwards it’s hard to remember where everything used to be! Marina is also a great dancer, so she also made it easy for me during the shooting. There’s almost no posing in my shoots for this project, they’re more like a movie. Models have a few actions and a total freedom to move around, so they never freeze or pose, they try to though, unconsciously … I think it all comes out more natural this way.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
This question is really hard for me to comprehend. Differently in which aspect? With all the variety out there, it’s quite difficult doing something different or new. And powerful, in what sense? Powerful-sexy, powerful-strong …What I understand is that each model has her own features or characteristics. From a technical perspective, the angle you choose, the lens you use and the direction of the light will enhance or hinder certain attributes. From a more artistic perspective, the interior or the natural environment you choose, as well as her pose, will also affect the final result. So the question is, what do you really want to achieve? Is the objective to be as powerful as she can be? If so (and this is what I believe), all the technical and artistic decisions will have to move in that same direction.
What inspires you?
Photographers, film directors, cinematographers, painters, designers, other artists … And in a more profound way: light, music, bodies and women.
How would you define beauty?
Plato said that ‘we find things beautiful when we sense in them qualities we need or are missing in our lives’. That is a really good point. I would define four different aspects: how accessible is it to you? If it’s really easy to reach, it’s perhaps less beautiful. Secondly, is it unique for you? If it’s hard to find, it definitely adds value. Thirdly, do you find harmony in it? You might love its shape, colour, smell, proportions … And lastly, it is trend and culture. That is what looks cool here and now! So I think beauty is everywhere, in every corner of the universe, our own approach to it and our will is what will make it beautiful.
Film or digital?
Nowadays, film is not what it used to be. Photographers today don’t have the variety they had back in the 80’s-90’s. Film rolls are hard to find, most have disappeared from the market, and colour labs have unified and standardised their processes. It’s a tough period for film. On the other hand B&W film is in a great shape, you can still develop yourself, make copies and you have tons of possibilities to forge your own character. For me film is a tool that gets me where I want to go with my project. It’s an important part of my digital process. I don’t consider myself an analog shooter. In my case there’s more time spent in the digital process. I have my own digitising techniques, with different exposures and macro lenses, always with my 5D MIII. So that gives me a more personal approach to film and helps me build my own style. I use film because I like the randomness, I like the grain and find there’s something organic in it. But I also use digital, because I digitalise, I edit and I share my pictures online. My commissioned works are mostly digital, the client can see the final product in that exact moment, and that allows me to know where I’m going. But all of us already know the pros and cons of digital … I hope film and digital will coexist forever!
What makes you happy?
The freedom of being able to choose whatever I want to do in my life. Learning new things. Doing something positive for our world/society. Friends. Love.
What’s next for you?
I work as a photographer, director and cinematographer. I like that, but my next step will be working on a feature film and being able to choose my clients in order to work only on projects that interest me.
photographer: cayetano gonzález