Are you someone who uses photography to reflect a part of you? Do your images represent your subjective personality and emotions? For many, a photo is art, but not all photographs are artistic. The idea is to convey a feeling or a sensation using an image, and this is what sets them apart.
Ana Sofía Ayarzagoitia, a former student of the European Master of Contemporary Photography, knows this well, and she is reaping the rewards of her effort. With the project presented during the IED Madrid course, she was selected by Foam Magazine as one of the top 24 international talents in photography. She also won the model competition at La Fábrica, whose book will be presented at Paris Photo in November.
She came to Madrid from Monterrey, Mexico. Her work is inspired by documentary photography, as can be seen in the empathetic relationship she establishes with her subjects. Even if she does not appear in the photographs, the work always refers to her, not just through texts, but also through this relationship.
As Sofía herself says, her work attempts to explain her existential and psychological journey. Much of her work revolves around intimacy and issues that emerge from within her, maintaining a necessary link between life and art.
How did you start in the world of photography?
I began when I was very small. Even then I was fascinated by my photographs and I always carried my family photos around. I also began to take photos of my friends and family. But it wasn’t until three or four years ago that I discovered the art and language of the image when I visited a Paris museum and saw the Jean-Michel Basquiat show. I was surprised and I realised that I wanted to make art. Since then, I have wanted to find out everything about photography, and I have been fascinated by the notion of getting to know different artists.
What inspires your concepts and images?
My source of inspiration come from the people I photograph and from within, things that I see and I imagine. As each project progresses, I discover concepts and I also find it helpful to show the work to teachers and colleagues.
This year you won the model competition at La Fábrica and you were selected by Foam Magazine as one of the 24 international photography talents. What does this kind of recognition mean to you?
I am pleased that these opportunities are given to us, and that new artists are supported. The fact that they like my work makes me happy and motivates me to work and continue to learn more about this discipline.
What are your future plans as a photographer? Could you tell us something about your future projects?
I am very focused on photobooks right now, and that is a direction I’d love to go in. I enjoy the format and I think it offers a lot to the work. My next projects are along the same lines and I would also like to add new formats to my work, such as video.
You studied for the last edition of the European Master of Contemporary Photography. Was it a useful tool for your work as a photographer? What would you highlight about the course?
I think the IED Madrid was the perfect tool for my work as a photographer. You are constantly being stimulated, discovering new projects and meeting people who constructively criticise your work.
The teachers and the exercises we carried out contributed to improving our work. And the tutors, who visit you once per month, really get you to see your work, so that you can work on going in the best possible direction. Finally, the energy and depth with which the teachers get involved in each project is priceless!