Natalia Garcés is one of the category winners from this year’s iPhone Photography awards. The artists behind winning images have their story to share, so we had a chat with Natalia to find out more about her work, passions and inspiration. In focusing on the details of everyday life, Natalia highlights the beauty of simplicity – a small notion but a very powerful statement caught in a single frame.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your professional background and your hobbies.

I am a graphic and exhibition designer. I love participating in different projects and creating. I am very restless and active and I am always involved in some “mess”. I love cinema, art and enjoy the company of my dog – a boxer named Vito.


Tell us the story of how you decided to participate in iPPAwards. How did you choose your images?

Since I have an iPhone (got it more than 6 years ago) I take pictures with the phone. In fact, almost four years ago, I made an exhibition of mobile photographs about the life of my dog. I loved it. Since that time I also follow this contest and this time around I said, why not? And so it went, I sent 4 pictures and I was lucky that one got selected.


What is the story behind your winning image?

That day I opened my second photography exhibition (Colors). There were many people, friends, and family that were curious. The owner of the shoe in the picture is a very good friend, she has three children and at that time she was saving the skateboard for one of them. I looked at the floor and there was the picture. I took out my cell phone and shoot.


How would you describe your style and approach to photography?

Good question! Well, I think the colors, the geometry, the lines, make up a lot of my photography. I dedicate myself to design and of course, it is inevitable that something will influence the photo. I like to look for different framings, to look for the beauty in color, to enjoy and see the beauty of the simple, of the everyday.


If you had a choice between your iPhone or a DSLR, which would you choose? Are you selective about your tool based on the situation?

Good question, I believe that one team does not exclude the other. You can use both. You always carry your phone with you, you never lose the opportunity to take a picture. A DSLR gives you more quality and allows you to control all the parameters more, more possibilities and more refinement. Let’s say that a mobile phone is faster and the DSLR requires more awareness of what you are doing. What I do believe is that just like you have several lenses, you can have several computers. What is clear is that for great impressions, it’s always better to use a DSLR.


Could you share a bit more about your personal photography projects? What themes and ideas are you currently exploring?

Well, I continue to work with color, combining it with architecture or with everyday objects. I like to decontextualize and that something beautiful emerges from the frame. I am very interested in street photography and work in parallel to the color project, but I like to approach the character, help the one who sees the photo to imagine the story behind it. I’m thinking about another project that talks about the old age of my dog, I’m mainly looking for the point from which to leave. Here, you also see the projects in which I am involved thanks to the Photography Club to which I belong.


What are some things that you’ve noticed that have helped you grow as a photographer?

Take more than 15 years working with artists in their exhibitions. Learning from others helps you to know how to see. And, of course, my family, being passionate about cinema, books, music and photography. I have an uncle who has devoted professionally to it and two others in which his life has developed parallel to photography. And to learn, to want to continue learning and constantly recycling.


Do you think iPhone photography is an art of its own? What are some limitations with your phone, if any?

No I don’t think so. Art is photography and the iPhone is the tool, as is a DSLR, a Leica, a plate camera … There is a common language that anyone who wants to dedicate to it has to know independently the type of camera you use. It is true that the iPhone does not allow you to change the lens (even though you can move), in poor light conditions, it is better to keep the phone in your pocket and although there are applications that allow you to work manually, it is never the same or with the same possibilities. Not till now.


Who were your biggest influences, where do you seek inspiration and what are the 3 things inspiring your work right now?

A key reference is Franco Fontana, whom I met thanks to a photography professor. I love his work. In Germany there are also people doing very good things. I love Technicolor movies and how directors of cinematography use the color in movies. Perhaps you know Pedro Almodovar, I I really love the look for his films.
The three things that inspired me are easy: colors with strength and contrast, geometry and everyday scenes and things.


What are your thoughts on mobile photography in general? Where are things heading?

I believe that now it is in full evolution. I guess it tends to improve the sensor and the possible automations that still lack many, but it is a dangerous tool. It is on a mobile phone and everyone has a mobile phone and everyone is capturing images like crazy but not everyone is a photographer. You have to learn to look, not everything goes.


What did winning in IPPAwards mean to you? What are your thoughts now that you’re part of the history?

Part of the story is saying too much. Well, it has been an important impulse and a responsibility. It encourages me to continue because I think I should not do it badly at all.

Now I have to continue working, research, learn and most importantly, never stop having fun and enjoy taking the pictures.
To see more works by Natalia Garcés, visit her Instagram, Facebook, Twitter of personal website.

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