If there’s one thing anyone knows after meeting the people on our campus is that IE is bursting with talent!

And anyone who has ever come for a visit to Segovia knows how beautiful the city gets during this time of the year. The sights around us are breathtaking and will make anyone with a quick instinct reach for their phone to snap a good shot. 

If there’s someone who can relate to that rush to capture a moment in the film are these three photographers: Rebeca Elmúdesi, Maximilian Habsburg-Lothringen, and Blanca Caballero Cusin. All three of them with different visions and styles when it comes to their craft.

They were kind enough to answer some questions about their hobby. 

Do you mind firstly telling me a little bit about yourself? Name, nationality, degree…?

R: My name is Rebeca Elmúdesi, I’m from the Dominican Republic. I study communications (BCDM) and I’m a second-year student.

M: My name is Maximilian Habsburg-Lothringen. I’m from Scotland and Austria and I’m in my first year studying Business Administration and Design (BBABID).

B: My name is Blanca Caballero Cusin, I was born in Milan, but from a young age I was lucky enough to live in different cities across Europe. At age two I moved to Paris, then Madrid, and finally Zurich. I am currently based in Segovia and am in my second year of communications (BCDM) at IEU.

Is there someone in your life or an exact moment in which your interest peeked in photography, or was it just something you grew to take an interest in with time?

R: I have always been a very visual person, so I was always intrigued by images. I also draw so, it’s a big part of that. But my sister is a very good photographer, she works with film and photography. She studies film, so she inspired me a lot on learning how to use a camera, learn composition, and all that. So yeah, my sister was a big inspiration for me.

M: I can’t pinpoint an exact time in my childhood when I picked up my interest in photography, but my father was always into photography, therefore since I was always around cameras and gear, I latched interest from that. I started to use my father’s cameras when on holiday and used to take pictures (along with my brother) on family holidays. To be honest, I probably only did that because I liked cool photography gear, but it definitely sparked my interest in the artsy side of photography too.

B: I cannot remember a moment in my life in which I was not passionate about the arts. However I remember my interest in photography starting with Vogue and overall editorial Fashion photoshoots. The ability to capture an individual’s essence, not only through their physical bodies but also through [how they] dress made me fall I love with the practice. In addition, all throughout high school, I was supported by my friends who believed in my abilities and constantly made me strive towards my passion. Support was not the only thing they offered as they also allowed me to feature them in most of my work, no matter what it entailed, and for that I am infinitely grateful.

What’s your favorite view from Segovia you have taken in shot?

Photograph courtesy of Rebeca Elmúdesi

R: I have to say, I was lucky enough to go in a hot air balloon in Segovia, so I could just see the entire city from up there. Taking pictures from up there, I think was the best opportunity that I had here. It was beautiful.

M: Since I’m not the biggest fan of landscape photography, I don’t really have a favorite view of Segovia.

Photograph courtesy of Maximilian Habsburg-Lothringen

I mostly prefer sports photography and street photography, unless the view has an interesting subject in it.

Photograph courtesy of Maximilian Habsburg-Lothringen

But, what I do like in Segovia, is the isolated hills which have little to no light pollution if you walk far enough. One day I will try to walk up and do some star photography, maybe catching the Milky Way.

Photograph of Blanca Caballero Cusin

B: As stated previously, my photographs don’t really focus on views but more on individuals and fashion. However, my favorite view of Segovia has to be from the hills at sundown.

Do you have any sort of social media where you post your work?

R: Not photography, but I do have an art account where I draw (@espagueret). But for photography, I mostly work with the photo club and we cover events, workshops, and such. And I have my work put in there as well. We are going to start a magazine this semester so there we going to open submissions and my work will be put there hopefully, so yeah.

M: I don’t post my work; maybe I should! But my personal Instagram is @max.hbs and I often post my work on my stories.

B: I post most of my content on my Instagram Accounts @blanca_caballero_cusin and @b_beautiful_trash however I also have my own online portfolio.

Do you have a favorite photographer? Or someone who inspires you in your style when it comes to your work, whether it be a celebrity, family, or role model?

Climbing the Mast by László Moholy-Nagy. Photograph courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

R: It depends. I’m really inspired by Bauhaus photographers from that era. It’s an architectural photography art movement. László is very good; he is one of my main inspirations right now. It’s a very influential movement that took place in the XXth century. I’m always looking for things visually, I look for things on Pinterest and do research. Sometimes I don’t know how I come about some things.

Chicago-henge by Pierre Lambert. Photograph courtesy of Alpha Universe.

M: One photographer I really like is Pierre Lambert, who is a French travel photographer who takes some really interesting and beautiful pictures. He was the one who got me into street photography after I saw a couple of his videos on YouTube. Another inspiring photographer I like is Peter McKinnon. My editing style is inspired off of him – I’ve always enjoyed his moody editing style. 

Baron by Petra Collins. Photograph courtesy of PetraCollins.com.

B: I admire many photographers. One of my main sources of inspiration remains Petra Collins as her style is incredibly unique, playful, and theatrical. She is a fashion photographer with immense creativity and talent, check her out on Instagram: @petrafcollins.

Do you think you will take photography on a professional level or is it just a hobby for now?

R: Depends, cause since I study Communications, I really like videography as well. So that’s also something that I love doing. Pairing those two up could be nice. Photography for me might be more of a complementary thing. I don’t think I will look at it as a career path necessarily, but I would love to keep exploring it and keep seeing more what I can do with it.

M: For the moment, it is mainly just a hobby. I’ve done some cool projects with a lot of different people but I’ve never asked for money as I prefer keeping it as a hobby. In terms of making money off of photography in general, I have. I once sold pictures on stock sites (where companies have to buy the pictures to use them) and earned some money there, but I did this for a project and not for the money’s sake. Maybe in the future, if I am able to earn some passive income, I could try to do photography as a profession.

B: As a nineteen-year-old who has no clue what to do in life I wouldn’t really know. However, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility.

What do you think it’s the camera you would recommend to someone starting with photography?

R: I really like the Canon 5D. They have it in the media lab here in uni, so I usually rented it a lot. Also the lens 70-200, it’s, my god, amazing!

M: As a general rule, use any camera you have. The camera shouldn’t really be the leader of your work. That being said, (in my opinion) it is quite important to have a camera that has a manual mode so you can play with aperture, ISO, and shutter speed settings. If you master using manual mode on your camera, your pictures will turn out great and unique. A camera with interchangeable lenses could also help as this will allow you to explore with different focal lenses and F stops. Oh and also, as a first camera, its not a bad idea to buy a used (second-hand) camera, the price will be reduced significantly and the function and capabilities are the same. Sony and Canon are thriving at the moment, I would personally go with one of them; Sony is my pick!

B: My knowledge of cameras is very limited, I personally use the Nikon digital camera D5600.

Do you use any of IE’s resources for your photography? The cameras, equipment, studio spaces…?

R: Yes. Sound equipment, any camera you could need, tripods, lights… Anything you need they have it here. That’s how I actually was able to access the technology because I don’t have a camera myself.

M: Personally I don’t because I am very used to my camera and for the most part, it does everything at a very high-performance level. But the Canon 5D’s and the Sony A7’s provided by IE are really good cameras and are a good option for anyone wanting to start. I’m sure I’ll need some of IE’s tripods and lighting systems one day though because they are too heavy and bulky to bring from home. For the moment I haven’t needed to use the studio, but it’s a really good space to use, and I’m sure I’ll use it soon, for portraits or product shootings.

Photograph courtesy of Blanca Caballero Cusin

B: Yes. A lot of my photos were taken in the studio with the school’s equipment. It is super easy to reserve and use so I recommend trying it out.

What would you think is the most valuable lesson you have learned from IE when it comes to photography?

Photograph courtesy of Rebeca Elmúdesi

R: I think there are a lot of opportunities here to explore whatever you are interested in. So, for example, joining clubs, doing workshops, etc. I think just being aware of everything that is happening right now is important, even going for a walk and seeing a cute view and taking a picture of it or joining a club and covering the events that we are doing. I think those are opportunities for photographers here to keep developing their skills.

M: This is a hard question, to be honest. This is a far reach, but maybe the details in your image are what will make it stand out. Since I do design, I’m starting to get a very perfectionist mentality, I’m not sure if it’s good for my photography work, but we will see.

B: The possibilities are endless when u know the different techniques.

And any words of advice for new or aspiring photographers?

R: Yeah, I think just being aware. I think photographers have an eye – they have an eye to capture everything they see, so I will just extend that to taking opportunities they wouldn’t usually take.

M: I’m not going to say something like “do it because you love it”, because everyone says that and it’s a given by now. My advice is probably to not force yourself to take pictures because as soon as you do that, you will lose interest because it becomes annoying to do. If you don’t feel like taking pictures, don’t feel like you should be. Most professional photographers stop taking pictures for weeks if not months at a time after big projects. This doesn’t mean to stop thinking like a photographer (in terms of visualizing an image in your head or thinking about lighting etc.), but you don’t always have to be capturing pictures in a professional manner.

Photograph courtesy of Blanca Caballero Cusin

B: There is no pressure, have fun with it and try to learn as much as you can. Also, take time to find your own unique perspective!

 After meeting such unique artists and having a glance at their work, I can say that my perspective on photography has grown.

We come to understand how different their perception is when it comes to their work, as well as how different are their inspirations and preferences to what they consider a good picture. Closer or farther, colorful or darker. 

As Blanca said, “the possibilities are endless.” When it comes to the lessons they have acquired in photography since coming to IE. And even with contrasting styles and opinions, if there’s one thing all three of them seemed to agree on is that IE is a place for opportunities if you wish to for photography yourself.

As if not, at least now you know three photographers that are pretty outstanding. You can tell by the pictures, and even more so by the people behind the camera.

Be sure to check out the rest of all their works on their Instagrams and portfolios!

(Article feature image courtesy of Blanca Caballero Cusin)

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