DJ Cobalt 60: Why do you choose to express yourself creatively through photography?
Loriana Fernandez: Since I started doing photography I feel whole, I’m happy in every way, how could I say no to this?
It has brought order to my life, I’ve found what I want to do for the rest of my life, it is the job I’ve always dreamed of. Some time ago someone told me, I was lucky to have found something that I’m really good, so I should never miss an opportunity to do it and work to keep doing it.
DJ Cobalt 60: When did you first get into photography? Are you self-taught or did you study photography at all in school?
Loriana Fernandez: I started in January 2014, when I bought an old Pentax K50 camera, my first year was one of experimentation, but then in 2015 was when I found my style and it’s the style I keep doing to this day. Suffice it to say, yes I am self-taught 🙂
DJ Cobalt 60: What’s your set-up like? How has is evolved over the years? How much equipment do you typically bring to a shoot?
Loriana Fernandez: Actually everything is improvised, I’m not very technical so I’m not good at it, I feel that so far everything flows very naturally, either at the time of the photos, as well as the planning, sometimes if needed I’ll prepare and organize in advance, select dates coordinated with models get stylist, props, etc. Usually on my personal projects I do not use makeup artists, or a large budget.
The truth is that practice makes perfect, and I think in this whole process of two years, I have taught myself to internally visualize my photos, therefore, from day one, I have constantly been practicing whenever I have free time, and it happens almost always, that sometimes I do not know what I’m doing exactly, and stop questioning myself, so I go through cycles of frustration and discouragement, but for some magical reason, I always find something throughout my day that makes me want to reproduce these moments which I live, things I see and feel that make me get inspired and excited again, to the point I that I’m able to overcome any obstacles that come my way.
As for the equipment, not much, just my Pentax K-3 camera and 2 maximum lens, a Tamron 17mm-50mm f/2.8 and a Sigma 85mm f/1.4.
DJ Cobalt 60: Who are some of your favorite photographers? Is there a particular one who has influenced your photography more than the others?
DJ Cobalt 60: What is an image of yours that you believe best represents your style and aesthetic and what was the situation surrounding it?
Loriana Fernandez: It was a shoot with an incredible artist and person, Mercedes Oller ofLas Robertas, a Pop Band from my country.
I met Mercedes on Instagram, I fell in love with her look and brown jacket, when I first saw her I said in my head this is a girl with style and attitude, so I decided to email her about wanting to photograph her, the day she answered me back resulted in this picture.
That photo is very special, it makes me feel a lot of nice things, it is my definition of perfection, a soul in peace, free, in connection with nature, and looking forward without fear, she is unstoppable, she knows what she wants and what she can achieve.
I am like her, we are all like her.
DJ Cobalt 60: How do you come up with ideas for photo shoots?
Loriana Fernandez: Many photographers do not like saying this, but in my case I feel it is necessary not to copy but to develop a taste and criticism through the work of others, so something that has helped me greatly is being up to date on how much of what is being published on the web, Facebook, Instragram, magazines both online and print or some other network or platform specializing in photography.
The concepts have to do a lot with my personality, I like being funny, playing with colors, being irreverent in terms of poses and situations, bad behavior, youth culture, girls’ sexiness and freedom, everything is undoubtedly reflected in the photos, still my main focus is to connect with people who feel and live their lives a mile a minute, without limits and without bias. These are organic, natural images reflecting the everyday, strongly influenced by the trends of the 1960’s to the present day, trends centered on discovery and enjoyment, in exploring the female body, music, and the experiences of free and nomadic souls.
DJ Cobalt 60: Almost all the models you photograph are women, why do you find the female form to be so interesting?
Loriana Fernandez: I find it easy to interact with women, I feel no jealousy towards them rather admiration, I consider myself very feminine, I love all that we can enjoy as women, like fashion, accessories, parties, boyfriends, travel, etc. I am very bold in my own way, I like to be outdoors, to be in touch with nature, I’m not afraid to project sensuality and that power only women have in themselves, if something is present in their behavior and in their features, why run away from it? I mean. We deserve to embrace all of it!
DJ Cobalt 60: What I love most about your photography is the way you capture great poetry, beauty and emotion in images of people acting casual and natural. Some photographers really go out of their way to grab a viewer’s attention using anything they can, props, heavy make-up, strange wardrobe, etc., you on the other hand can make photos of model Lola De Witte Zigarella simply eating gummy worms look stunning and captivating. The photos feel real yet, better as if it was a snapshot from someone’s actual life that happens to be framed, posed and lit well. Do you like to give your models a lot of direction or ask them to just be themselves and not try so hard?
Loriana Fernandez: Wow thank you, I am very grateful for what you said, I honestly realized a long time ago that large investments in makeup, costume, hairstyle, etc, and putting so much pressure on yourself for perfectionism in your photos, is not my style, it’s not what I want to do right now or in the future. I do not like to lead the models too much, the first thing I look for is that they understand my style and it excites them, the idea of wanting to be natural and above all, that they feel confident with their body and personality. It’s all about attitude.
DJ Cobalt 60: Fashion, nature and youth culture are recurring themes in your work. Being a photographer based out of Costa Rica how do you feel your interests reflect your vision of your country? I’ll be honest you are the first photographer whose work I am a fan of from Costa Rica and a lot of what I have seen of Costa Rica has been through your images.
Loriana Fernandez: Ok lol….it’s funny because my country is not used to seeing these type of photos, because everything we see in magazines and international publications is always overload, a lot of production, costumes and heavy makeup. It has been difficult for me here and sometimes even hostile, but I found people who really appreciate my vision and now share my point of view. It is a dream come true, to show the world through my photos what my country has to offer, so I decided to adjust my style closer to where I am, explore its environments, from urban life in the capital, to Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests and to combine it with beautiful girls and fashion, but my way.
DJ Cobalt 60: When are you happiest and most proud of your work?
Wow! That is very nice memory, it was when my favorite magazine “Off The Rails Magazine” agreed to publish my beach editorial “Who Are You” with model Cecilia Z for both its web and print versions. When I received the confirmation by Matthew Comer founder and CEO of the magazine, I could not believe it, it was a dream come true, and to see his comments that he really liked my work and thought it was good, made me believe I had a future in photography.
DJ Cobalt 60: A moment in time you regret not having your camera on you and wish you could go back and photograph?
Loriana Fernandez: It is very sad, but I wished that my older brother had seen me enjoy all this, what I do now, and what I have become. I really could have taken many pictures of him being himself ❤
I LOVE MODELS WHO feel freedom in all aspects.
I WISH MY CAMERA did not weigh so much, I am very weak lol.
THE LAST TIME A PHOTO LEFT ME SPEECHLESS…It was a picture in a dream.
I TRY TO MAKE MYSELF A BETTER ARTIST feeling and deserving everything.
PEOPLES BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT COSTA RICA is that we are a small country and all townies, we are creative people, young people that want to go out and look beyond borders.
DJ Cobalt 60: For people interested in your work or would like to learn more about you where can they go?