A few days ago we spent the afternoon at the beach of Muskiz with the wedding photographer Xabi Vide. His purpose, as always, was to have fun. And we did that, laugh until we could not more! Although his photos speak for themselves, here is an interview in which he explains why he does what he does.
Panateneas: How have you finished in the world of photography?
Xabi Vide: It all started shortly before I got married. I bought my first reflex camera with the excuse of bringing something more decent to my honeymoon. Soon after turning on the camera for the first time, I discovered a world. My preference was from the beginning portrait photography, but I did not take notice the “classic” photography. I did some sessions with acquaintances until one day, doing a couple session with some friends, and after sending the pictures to her, she called me crying excitedly thanking me. That’s when I said, I want to do this. I want to feel that feeling more times.
Panateneas: Is a photographer born or can he become a photographer through courses or other studies?
Xabi Vide: If I told you that one “is born a photographer” I think I would be lying. The eye can be educated with practice and criteria, not so much the artistic vision, that is something whose development is very personal, but obviously it is a totally vocational profession, since nobody is going to force you to be a photographer. What you want to be and when you discover it is a world. In my case, as I said, I had never had contact with the world of photography, this “revelation” came to me with almost 28 years. Regarding training, as everything you want to specialize in this life, is essential. Even if it is to say I want to do the opposite of what they teach me, but it is a base that must be had. In my case I have been totally self-taught, my way of learning has been thanks to reading and reading on the internet and doing thousands and thousands of photos, which I think is how you learn. It is also true that for many photography courses you do, the most important thing is to find yourself in what you do. Call it style, call it a personal seal, call it what you want. That is not going to be taught in any course and is essential, at least for me.
Panateneas: Could you tell us a little more about the way you work? How do you manage to reflect, for example, the essence of the person or couple in the photos?
Xabi Vide: I think it’s a matter of having a bit of psychology, eye and empathy in equal parts. I do not consider myself a photographer whose exclusive mission is to “take handsome” anyone who is in front of the camera. I do not work with models, I work with couples. People who are not used to having a camera on a meter of the face. I can not put a couple to pose or to tell them to kiss or put themselves in this or another way as if they did it as professionals every day. That is why preweddings are fundamental to me. There I observe. Their gestures, if they touch themselves, if they are more or less tender, which one of the two is the most cuddly… What they express and how they do it. What I have clear is that my photography should be as natural as possible, and if they are going to give me an overwhelming look, a movie hug or a passionate kiss on their wedding day forgetting that they have a photographer at “X” meters, I want to know to be aware of that gesture or look when they do it. But it is also very important to know how to leave space and give them time. I’m stealing “little bits of privacy”, the least I have to do is make them comfortable. Working with this mentality until today I have only taken joys.
Panateneas: In addition to the most common services, such as wedding reports, pre-wedding and post-wedding shoots, couples, pregnancies… you dedicate yourself to Boudoir photography sessions. How did you think about creating this original project?
Xabi Vide: Well, actually I did not create anything. The Boudoir genre has a long history in photography. I think I’m just giving it a special importance in my photography because it is a challenge and because in this area where I move mainly there are people who do sessions of this genre, but I have not met anyone who stood out as one of their specialties main. For me it arose when a girl with whom I had worked in a fashion project asked me for an intimate session, but keeping a lot of finesse and elegance. There I started to investigate and I saw in this genre a key that opened the door to expand my photography to an intimate genre without falling into the mere erotic or explicit nudes that do not attract me in the least. The philosophy behind the Boudoir is to show a woman who knows how to be feminine, sensual and elegant, who shows it and is proud of it by wearing certain outfits or elements. I was also very attracted by the fact that I can complement what surrounds the wedding photography, since one of the main reasons for a boudoir session can be as an intimate and private gift of the bride for the groom the night before their wedding. And I will confess that more than one of my brides has given him, or will give him, a good surprise to her boy; as well as pamper herself. The problem I see is that the word is becoming fashionable in the national photographic circle as simply a new title or evolution for the erotic and the nude, when the same goal is not pursued, at least at the level of artistic expression.
Panateneas: We have noticed that each photographer attracts a certain type of client. What do those who come to you have in common?
Xabi Vide: The first thing they do not want is a traditional wedding, but they are very involved in printing a very personal character to their day. The second thing they have clear is that they do not want classic wedding photography, are people who have a certain artistic sensitivity related to what I can give them. They look for naturalness and that the photograph transmits to them. And the third thing is people who are very aware of that photography is what they will be left with after months or years, so they bother very much to find what they can fill, not only a good price.
Panateneas: What stands out of your work, in addition to the photos, is the text that accompanies them on your website or Facebook. Some photographers are scarce in words and let their images speak for themselves, how do you see the relationship between word and image?
Xabi Vide: It is true that in the photography is supposed to be the image that must speak, but I think we live so saturated with images that unless you know what is behind, we rarely know how to “read” that image. It has been summarized that you may like it or not, that is all. I simply try to make an introduction many times of what I felt at the time of that photo, or what I thought I was feeling its protagonist, or what led us to make those photographs. My photography mostly aims to be more than visually appealing, emotional, and to move the viewer to the point where he does not simply see a bride or a groom, or a couple kissing each other, those words serve as “voice over” that introduce you to the story that I will narrate with the photographs.
Panateneas: Can you describe a story that has been a real challenge for you?
Xabi Vide: I take all my jobs as a challenge, because going to do “the usual” I think that only makes you ponds in your comfort zone and do not strive to give 200% in each job, and I’m a wedding photographer, the responsibility of remembering such an important day is entrusted to me. I have to give these couple 200, 300 or 400% of me. But if you refer to “challenges” I remember that shortly after I started taking photography seriously, I was contacted by an acquaintance, the editor of an on-line publication of masculine tendencies to make a small report to a model, as which I gladly agreed. My surprise was when scarce 24 hours before work I learned that the “model” is the dancer and artist Rafael Amargo. As you will understand, so first and less than 6 months from the first time I had a SLR in my hands, it scares a little. Anyway, the result of the session can still be seen on my website and it is a job that I am very proud of. I liked it, I was able to do it with total freedom and with the natural and carefree character that I like to give to my photography. Also I have to say that he did it to me extremely simple and he was very attentive and kind to me.