Edited by Odeta Catana, Photo Editor

Claudia Morales

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Tell us about yourself? Where do you live?
I live in Gran Canaria, (Canary Islands). I´m 19 years old and now I’m studying graphic design at an art  and design school in Gran Canaria.

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How did you start taking pictures? 
I started taking pictures when I was a child, in primary school. I was interested in art world, writing and drawing. My father used to draw when he was a child too, so I think that I inherited his hobby.

I realized I needed to do more things, different things: I found out that with basic image editing programs, I was able to color photographs and represent on them the same stories that I used to imagine, write and draw.  I bought my first professional camera when I was 16 age and started taking pictures on atypical situations, taking pictures of myself with body paint and also taking pictures of dolls, toys, balloons, candy, masks, hama beads… One day, by chance, I discovered the photo gallery of a girl named Gloria Marigo on Flickr. I was reading and writing colorful stories with fantastic elements and scenes full of magic, impossible things, offbeat stories, and I felt identified with her pictures

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Where does your inspiration comes from? 
On flickr I checked that many artists are taking the same pictures that I wish I would be able to take, therefore, I keep on learning on my own, through books, internet, friends…
And over time I fell in love with analog photography, pastel tones, polaroids and the scenes they create for taking each photo.
But I think that the most important is the inspiration that I received from books and music, specifically from fantasy books and space-rock, alternative-rock, post-rock and folk music.  Magical stories, as Harry Potter or Bridge to Terabithia and also books written by authors such as Christopher Moore, the American writer of absurd fiction.  Songs and music videos of artists like the band Angels and Airwaves or the musician Adam Young bombard you with hundreds of images full of lights, fantasy, movement and lyrics that evoke many feelings.
I also think I was influenced by artists such as Tim Burton and the photographer Tim Walker.

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What kind of relationship do you have with your subject when you shoot?
Normally, I shoot photos of objects that for his shape, usefulness or color are really beautiful or give tenderness without you realizing it. I photograph many pages of my sketchbooks, drawings, books, food and anything that can convey the feelings that I want to express. Something like “visual poetry”.
Other objects, as the disposable cameras, let me get really beautiful pictures and I like the camera, I can’t part with it so I paint it and I use it as an object in my compositions.

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Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?
I think that studying something related to photography can help you to discover many tools.
However, when I started taking pictures, I was studying science in high school, so I had to learn different techniques and tools by myself. Now I study graphic design and, in our first year, teachers taught us some basic Photoshop functions, which I think that are very useful. In brief, even though I think that the classes can be very beneficial, I also think that it’s important our enthusiasm in learning, practicing and trying to learn by ourselves.

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What’s the photo you want to take and you never did? 
The photo that I would love to take is a shoot about one of the stories that I wrote last year, when I was listening “Everything’s magic” by Angels and Airwaves. A man wearing a dark suit, leaning against the stone wall of a river looking at the camera while he holds his old bike. Serious but lovable.

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What’s your photo-mission?
 I want be photographer in the future. I use the photos to illustrate my stories and someday I want return the favor to those artists that gave me inspiration and ideas with my own work. And I would like to meet Tom Delonge, the musician that inspired me to start writing and others artists that have been important to me from an early age. But like the folk musician Steve Earl says: “Someday”.

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About the Author

Odeta Catană, born in Romania, has studied a range of disciplines: History and Theory of Arts, Cultural Anthropology and Documentary Photography at University of South Wales, Newport. She is a freelance photographer, currently lives in Berlin and she collaborates, since 2013, with POSI+TIVE magazine as photo editor.

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