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Interview with Conceptual Photographer Jose Laiño

Jose Laiño is a conceptual photographer who likes to reflect the beauty of everyday objects with different points of view. I talked with Jose Laiño about his career and the basics of conceptual photography.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Jose Laiño

Jose Laiño


by Melisa Kaya

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Jose Laiño started his career as an architect and, in 2013, he decided to continue his career as a conceptual photographer, where he could reflect his previous experiences to his works. Jose Laiño has decorated his career by winning notable awards in the competitions he has participated in with his works of combining different materials in a single concept and finding a way to show the beautiful side of the "ugly" objects. I talked with Jose Laiño about his career, his works, and the details of conceptual photography.

Jose, you have studied architecture and worked at national and international architectural offices. How did you discover your passion for photography?

My passion for photography arises in the conceptual phases of the development of architectural ideas, in the conceptual searches and also in the final stages of photography of models already made. I have always worked especially in those phases of the projects. On the other hand, I have had a lot of interest since I was a child towards the image both in photography and in painting.

Crayon Alive - Photo by Jose Laio

Crayon Alive - Photo by Jose Laiño

Could you tell us about yourself and your journey from architecture to photography? How did you decide to pursue a career in photography and establish your own studio?

A few years ago there was a building crisis in my country, Spain, causing a decline in work in the architectural sector, at those times I had more time to devote myself to learn more about something that attracted me a lot and then developing it I was passionate, Photography, self-taught learning and using photography to express ideas in a creative way.

When did you get your first camera? Do you remember what did you photograph first?

The first camera I had was an analog Pentax camera that my father used and he gave me up. And the first photograph that I remember taking with that camera being a 12-year-old boy went to some wooden clogs hanging on an outside wall and those that grew plants like a gardener.

Surreal Lips - Photo by Jose Laio

Surreal Lips - Photo by Jose Laiño

What kind of projects do you specialize in? and What kind of projects do you like to work?

I specialize in still life photography in its most conceptual and creative way. I like projects in which the search and transmission of concepts through an image are fundamental. In my view, inanimate objects have a lot of potentials if we learn to extract them.

How would you describe your photographic approach?

My photographic approach is based mainly on establishing a set of concepts, looking for a balance between them and using irony, humor, provocation or transgression to create the interest and impact of an image, always in order to create a reflection, to activate the mind of the observer

Miss Chicky - Photo by Jose Laio

Miss Chicky - Photo by Jose Laiño

What are the key points that you pay attention to most before deciding to the concept of a new project?

The key points are based on an analysis of the objects, shape, color, texture, condition, quality of the material, opacity, transparency, any aspect that stimulates and drives my mind. Searches like the beauty of the everyday objects or even look for beauty in the "ugly" are very interesting to me.

How long does it take to shoot an exhibition level photo?

That is very variable, many factors come into play, sometimes in a very short time and in others, it is more laborious and more time is needed.

Baseball Pear - Photo by Jose Laio

Baseball Pear - Photo by Jose Laiño

What is the most important component of a spectacular exhibition level photo?

The impact and communicative power of the image. Light, composition, and concept are the key.

Do you decide to work on the specified concept in advance and arrange the object according to it? Or do you decide to shoot of it as soon as you see the object?

Both options are used. In some cases, the specific concept arises before, in my mind or comes from a custom commission for example and I have to adapt or look for the objects to that idea, at other times the object or its location and placement are suitable for photography.

Fish Bones - Photo by Jose Laio

Fish Bones - Photo by Jose Laiño

You have been participating in photography contests since the first years of your career. What are the advantages of participating in contests for a photographer?

You get a recognition and the award to your work by relevant people from the photographic industry in different countries and it is a promotion and visibility that is given to the work that is also fundamental.

You have won numerous photography awards. Could you tell us about the awards that you won?

The awards have been very rewarding, especially because they have been chosen in competitions where there were many works of very high quality made by great photographers of the present, such as the IPA, PX3 (Paris), MIFA (Moscow), TIFA (Tokyo), One Eyeland awards, etc.

Tutti Frutti - Photo by Jose Laio

Tutti Frutti - Photo by Jose Laiño

Besides your awards, a lot of your projects have been featured in notable magazines. What do you feel when you see your works in magazine pages?

It is a great satisfaction to see that my work has spread and reaches many people interested in photography.

How do you protect the rights of your photographs in this online era? How do you protect your Fine Art Prints from copies?

Digital photographs have all the property information in the metadata but these can be deleted. The protection of digital photographs is complicated unless a watermark is placed on them, which makes the cleaning of an image quite ruined, but it is the most recommendable option.

My fine art prints, I always sign them, I certify and number with a numbered hologram.

Sewing Alive - Photo by Jose Laio

Sewing Alive - Photo by Jose Laiño

What advice would you give to photographers who want to pursue a career in photography?

My advice is that if you really love photography, learn the technique, observe a lot of photography, study the masters of photography, look for your own style, have a lot of self-criticism with your own work and learn to select the best works to show.

Grapes Shoe - Photo by Jose Laio

Grapes Shoe - Photo by Jose Laiño

What is your favorite photograph that you have ever taken?

I have many favorites, it is difficult to decide, for example, "Grapes shoe" is one of them.

What do you think about social media? How did it affect competition in the photography industry?

Social media can serve as a complement to show the works or show your way of working to more people from different parts of the world in a faster way, and also help to create contacts with other people in the photographic industry.

Tomatoes - Photo by Jose Laio

Tomatoes - Photo by Jose Laiño

How can our readers follow you?

Web page : https://www.joselaino.com/

Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/joselainofoto/

Oneeyeland portfolio : https://oneeyeland.com/joselaino/member_home.php?pgrid=33544

Thank you Jose for this enjoyable interview.

For more information, please visit the website of Jose Laiño