For our August FOCUSED feature we have Spanish born, London based photographer Jesus Rodriguez Lluch. We caught up with Lluch to discuss his love for people, why he uses photography and what drives him to use film; from the excitement of not knowing the results, to limiting himself to only a certain number of frames:
Film’s not Dead: Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: I was born in Spain in 1989 and bought my first camera when I was 19.
I moved to London in 2013 to work for an organisation as a ‘School Photographer’ for a year all around the United Kingdom. It was a very good experience to work with children and meet new people. However, in the summer I had to come back to my country for personal reasons and that was when I started to shoot on film.
Unfortunately after a year in Spain I realised that I couldn’t find the right place for me, so I finished all my projects and relations and left everything behind me to start a new life back in the UK, and there is no coming back for me. I want to stay and learn about everything from everyone because London is amazing and gives me everything that no other city or anyone has given me before. There are opportunities everyday, for everyone.
Film’s not Dead: Why photography?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch:I love the cinema. I love to tell stories and I love to be told stories too. The first film I remember watching was “The Elephant Man” of David Lynch with my mother. I loved to draw and practiced painting and writing scripts. I was young so I experimented with everything. I started filming short movies with Beta Cam, but when I bought my first Nikon, everything changed, as it was something I could carry everywhere. A camera is a tool, an extension of my arm, that gives me freedom to capture every moment I live, everything I feel, and create a new chapter of my life.
Film’s not Dead: You shoot with the Mamiya C330 what made you decide to use this camera?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch:This camera came to me. I like the square format 6×6 and I like to shoot from the hip because it’s a different point of view that we are used to.
I have shot with many different cameras and I think it’s not only the camera what defines your work, it is more about what you want to express, your soul.
Film’s not Dead: How would you describe the work you do and what inspires you?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: What I try to do is Fine Art. Art developed primarily for aesthetics, which aims to produce beautiful photography and provide intellectual stimulation; I want my work to be judged for its beauty and meaningfulness.
Notwithstanding, I want to spread my art all around the world, because my art is as I am, Stateless. It belongs to the world, to the streets. I am a citizen of a place called the World.
This is my path. Photography is my field.
What inspires me? People inspire me, which is why I do portraits. I have faith in people. People are amazing.
Film’s not Dead: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in photography you could pass on?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: I am currently starting from zero again as a photo assistant for different photographers in order to learn about everything, and they all say that I have to shoot everyday and be constant with my work, and I think they are right. If you want to do a movie, don’t wait until you have the newest camera model, or until you have more budgets, just do it with what you have.
I would like to say a special mention to my master, Ian J Jackson, who teaches me lessons everyday in photography, but more important in life. Without his help, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
Film’s not Dead: When you started taking photos was there a photographer whose work changed your expectations of the medium?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch:There was a friend, a comrade, who taught me an important lesson. Elegance. I owe him a lot. Sometimes you can learn more having a coffee or just speaking with people in the streets than in a university.
My inspirations are Stanley Kubrick, Bresson, Vivian Maier, El Greco, El Bosco, Cormac McCarthy and Ludovico Einaudi.
Film’s not Dead: From talking to you, you obviously have a strong love for using the analogue process. What is it about film photography that you enjoy more than shooting digitally?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch:That it makes me think more with every shot. I shoot better in film, because every shot counts. Because I have a limitations, it is a challenge. And I love that feeling. I love to shoot with expired film and push it later. I like to take risks and I love the wait. I love to send the films to the lab and receive the scans later.
I don’t like to see my work immediately, I need some time to forget about it, to imagine how is going to be, and to surprise myself later with the results.
The immediacy has killed the artisan work of photography. It is like when somebody spoils the end of a book you have just started to read. We live in a society where everybody wants the things as soon as possible and I think we have to enjoy more of the little things and to not loose traditions, and more importantly to not loose ourselves.
Film’s not Dead: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Film’s Not Dead?
Jesús Rodríguez Lluch: Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. You can do everything you propose. The world is yours. Embrace your Dreams.