Javi Saguillo

"I like the autumn light in Palma and that of winter, which coincide with the solitariness of the spaces and creates a familiar but strange atmosphere. The spring atmosphere, with its optimistic touch, I find pretty as well."

Javi Saguillo in Instagram

I learnt everything I know about the profession by being an assistant to the photographer Pedro Coll. Later on, I started doing all sorts of commissions on the island. Little by little, my career began to take a turn towards publicity campaigns and lifestyle travel for national and international clients.

At the same, I try to combine this with personal projects, both about fashion and street photography. I also got involved in the video field, mainly working as a photography director.

I like strange and optimistic photography. Composition, action, colour, control, being out of control, literature and balance.

When did you discover photography? Did you think you would end up working in this area?

My mum started working with the photographer Pedro Coll when I was a child. I was always messing around in the sessions, surrounded by cameras and photography books, so I grew up fully immersed in this world and it marked me as a photographer without even knowing it.

I didn’t think I would end up being a photographer at first, but I finished my studies and realised that what I liked the most was cinema, literature and photography, and what was closest to hand was the latter. I also thought it was the most realistic profession out of the three that one could do.

What do you like most about this profession?

That it forces you to live more, to be in places that you photograph and interact with the people who you photograph. Something that at least I wouldn’t do if I weren't a photographer.

How would you describe your style in three words?

Action, composition, and colour.

Is there a particular project/photo that stands out in your mind which you are especially proud of?

Very difficult to choose them by myself. There is a photo I took at Art Basel in Miami of a woman looking at a mesmerising and striking picture. She was wearing a dress that blended with the picture and she had a perfect haircut for the composition. A strange scene which that woman was never aware about.

Social networks have brought photography closer to the general public, what do you think about this?

Social networks have made it that people now take better photos and have a more potent visual education. There are mythical photographers like David Alan Harvey, Martin Parr, Alex Webb or Steve McCurry amongst others, who use social networks and it’s a good way to approach their work. It’s also useful to discover new photographers.

Why do you think it’s important for citizens to take part in the Palma365 competition? How would you encourage them to take part?

It’s always an interesting option to enter competitions if people want to become photographers, because it gives their work some visibility. What’s more, it sometimes forces you to get outside on the street and you manage to take photos that you wouldn’t otherwise take.

Have you got any professional advice for the participants in the Palma365 competition?

On the romantic level, that they refer to photographers and they look at a lot of photography, see lots of films and take in a lot of literature. Photography has got a lot of implicit literature, which people sometimes forget and which helps you to tell stories.

On a practical level, that it potentially be versatile, both technically and in terms of style and that they don’t make a big deal of the process of how to take a photo. Rather, importance be given to the photo itself.

People say that the light in Mallorca (and therefore the light in Palma as well) is magic. Do you agree? Why?

I think there is a lot of myth surrounding the special light in some places. People always say that everywhere has a special light. What there is, are better hours of better light depending on the season in the year or on the time of day. I like the autumn light in Palma and that of winter, which coincide with the solitariness of the spaces and creates a familiar but strange atmosphere. The spring atmosphere, with its optimistic touch, I find pretty as well.

Palma de Mallorca is lively in summer, but also during the rest of the year, what would you recommend people who come in winter, spring and autumn to do?

In autumn, going out in the Costa Nord, in winter go to the Cine Ciutat cinema and in spring, go for a walk around the old town first thing in the morning.

If you had to choose one corner of Palma, which one would you go for?

La Sifonería restaurant in Gomila.

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