Hi there, shot Collective (Gustavo Rosas Lòpez and Gonzalo Gòmez Gaggero)! We are happy to have you today attending our interview. Let’s start simple: tell us who you are and how come you started with this project in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Gustavo & Gonzalo: Hello Daniele and Superluna. Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to have the interview.
Gustavo: I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on May 15, 1985. In the year 2006 I began to study graphic design at the School of Social Communication (UTU). In 2008 I took the introductory photography course at the Uruguayan School of Photography and Video (EUF) and in 2017 I completed my degree in Visual and Plastic Arts at the National School of Fine Arts (IENBA). I am currently working as a photographer and freelance graphic designer.
Gonzalo: I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 17, 1979. In 2007 I graduated as a graphic designer at the UTU School of Social Communication. I won prizes in contests of logos and posters, many of them related to social issues, and in parallel I began to carry out assignments of visual communication. At the end of 2010 I bought my first camera, and from there I didn't stop taking photos. I am currently working as a freelance graphic designer and photographer, and also in a hotel for cats.
Gonzalo: With Gustavo we met in the year 2006 in the graphic design career. In 2010 we were doing design work for a client when Gustavo showed me some pictures he had taken in the coastal area of Montevideo. I found his vision of life on the streets of our city very interesting, and coincidentally I was also taking pictures in the street. Having that motivation, at the end of 2012 we began to walk through the downtown areas of Montevideo seeking moments that excited us. Then, in 2015 we realized that we had reached an original and diverse photo production, so we decided to give the series an identity. Then we came up with the name “Shot”
As we understood, the collective is the work of just the two of you, who are both colleague and friends. How does this close connection affects the collective shooting experience and projects? Is it also way to improve your own individual style, composition and storytelling by means of constructive competition, critics and opinion sharing?
Gustavo: We believe that the fact that we are friends and colleagues is positive for the project. We both share the same vision about photography, and this is inevitably reflected in the work. When exchanging opinions and criticisms, we do it in order to improve the work and make it more solid. Naturally, being a shared experience there is always a learning and personal satisfaction.
We can see some influence from the master of photography (Meyerowitz, Parr, Eggleston) in your Project “Seasons”, with a plentiful use of colors that effectively depict the latin lively side of the World. Tell us about what/who influenced your work and the reason to use colors vs black and white.
Gonzalo: The seasons are a way to classify the photographs that we are taking year after year. Montevideo is a very calm city, which means a challenge to find peculiar moments to photograph in its streets. Maybe that's why we are interested in the use of color, to reinforce the intriguing scenes that may appear. Some of our references are: Garry Winogrand, Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Vivian Maier, Alex Webb, Bruce Gilden, Cristina García Rodero, Jeff Mermelstein, Matt Stuart, Pau Buscató, Graciela Magnoni and Gustavo Minas.
Let’s now switch on practical by describing the way you shoot, the approach on the environment, people and time. Is there also something specific you look for when taking pictures?
Gustavo: I go for a walk without a previous idea, trying to photograph what in some way excites and surprises me, from a small gesture to the most complex situation. I believe that walking frees the mind and one becomes more receptive to what happens in the street. I like to be close to the situation (depending on the possibilities) and I consider that there are few times that a singular photo can be captured, but it is always worth trying.
Gonzalo: I like the sense of humor and irony, but also the drama and ambiguity. Surely this influences me when it comes to finding a situation to photograph. Going for a walk makes me pay special attention to particularities in people (a gesture or look). I have also noticed that I like the adrenaline that I feel when I have to take a picture very quickly or get close enough to the subject. Not knowing what I’m going to find generates in me a nice feeling that has a playful component.
Finally, do you have any future project/exhibition you would like to talk about?
Gustavo & Gonzalo: We have been making an exhibition per year since 2016. The last one was until the beginning of May of this year. So it would be nice to be able to make another exhibition in 2020. We are also looking forward to a publication of our work in a magazine that is edited by one of the reference institutes in photographic learning in our country.
You can find Shot Fotografia callejera here: