Meet the Pros: Felix R. Cid's Advice - Take Millions of Photographs

Felix R. Cid's road to professional photography certainly was an interesting one. He started his professional life working in construction, took photos of people in discotheques, and owned a business in Ibiza. Read all about how he started making a living with photography and watch an impressive video consisting of 1,111 photos taken in London, New York City, Madrid and Paris.

Please tell the community a little bit about yourself, what you do for fun, what you do for a living.

I have done many things to make a living in the past. I come from a workers family. I used to be a welder working in construction. I worked in Discos, I owned a business in Ibiza and was an assistant for many commercial photographers Today I am fortunate enough to actually be capable to live from my art. What do I do for fun? I shoot or I enjoy the Mediterranean Sea.

How long have you been a photographer and how did you get started?

I started studying photography in Madrid in 1999. Before I finished the program, I found a job in the Island of Ibiza for a black and white photography business oriented on truism. I used to take pictures of about 800 people per day. All kind of races, ages, languages and genders. At night, after shooting all day, all I had was the same black and white portraits again and again, day after day, month after month. It was not exactly my dream job but I learned a lot about photography and about humanity. I did it for several years before I came to NY.

You work both in photography and video and often mix the two. Is there one of the two approaches that you like most?

That is a good question. Thanks for asking. I actually have been focusing on video as a platform to talk about photography today. I consider my videos to be photographs and not videos. Maybe one can say they are photographs that move. In general I believe that nothing is real, but a photograph is a flat two dimensional image that depict the surface of “reality” while at the same time is also capable of create poetry. A photograph also has no narrative, it is mute. Those are the most important pillars of photography to me. And in that sense I consider my “videos” as belonging to the same category.

Let me explain: I go out there in the world and photograph in what people might call “a very traditional way.” Then I work with those single images to create a composed final larger photograph which is still a two dimensional image depicting a surface. It has no narrative and it is mute, just like every other printed photograph in the world. The only difference is that my photographs move, because the consecutive superposition of one onto another. If I would take all those images and use software to create a larger composite in a larger printed frame (as in my Black Photographs) nobody would question the nature of photography. The way I composed the “videos” is just the same but in this case all the images are composed in the same frame. It is just a matter of space to me, not time. They are still photographs in form and content. I can do this now and we could not do it before because of the tools we get to work with today. That’s the only difference.

How many photographs are parts of your impressive video for “Faces”? Did you include all or most of the ones you took or were there certain photographs you could not or did not want to include?

“Faces” is made out of exactly 1,111 photographs. They were shot in London, New York City, Madrid and Paris. I included every single image of the people I photographed. One of the important concepts behind the work was actually not to edit anything out. I had no plan or expectations about the photographs I was capturing. I shot everybody who jumped into my frame. I approached each shot equally, no matter who was in it and where they were made. “Faces” happened in very organic process. I never had a plan. That is the way I always work. I just go out and shoot and then things start to take shape when back in the studio. Sometimes even months after the shots.

I am a Yale graduated with an MFA in photography. I have obviously been very influenced by Walker Evans. Looking at contemporary photography, I realized that since Evans things have changed in only one direction in American photography: The ideas on individualism. There are some exceptions to this growth of the self-conscious artist based on individual identities in the post Evans period: Gary Winogrand who once claimed that the best way to be for him would be not existing. Another example for an exception to that trend would be Tod Papageorge getting drawn in the masses of the 1960s stadiums during the Vietnam crisis and obsessed with being able to depict as many humans as possible in his frame. Philip Lorca Dicorcia who with “Heads”, I believe, was putting the finger on the same fire that Evans lit. What I am trying to say is that Walker Evans did not seem to care about expressing a personal identity. He cared about commenting on a global American Identity. He didn’t care about who he was as an individual or at least he had no intention to express that with his work. I myself believe that this is a more interesting approach to art and photography than the investigation on individuals’ identities. Maybe that comes from my European education and from growing up under a socialist government, but when I was already working on “Faces”, I looked at the photograph “Studio” (the second photograph in Evans’ book “Americans Photographs.”) I understood well why Evans chose that photograph to be one of the first in the book. It is not about America to me. It is about the human condition and I believe so it was for Evans at the end of the day.

You studied at the International Center for Photography in New York. What are some of the most vivid memories from that time regarding influences on your photographic work?

My time at ICP was a very transitional period. I was moving from Spain to New York, my English was much worse than it is today (believe it or not, it is possible). It was also the first time I got to invest my time only on studying photography and I got to learn very closely from American photography, which became my biggest influence. But I think my experience at Yale years after that definitely shaped my work much more. I had the privilege to still have Tod Papagoerge as director of the program the first year and Gregory Crewdson the second year. Every week we had figures like Richard Prince, Paul Graham, Jonh Pilson, Philip Lorca Dicorcia and Richard Benson in the panel among many others, plus an endless list of extraordinary visiting artists and lecturers. Yale really were the most important two years of my career.

You started out working as a photographer in Spain and later moved to New York. Do you see big differences in the photographic approach in the two countries? How would you describe them?

I would say only that as we know and as we have heard before, Europe has been painted and America has been photographed.

What is your advice for someone starting out as a professional in your field?

As simple as what Tod Papageorge said to me once. Follow your instinct. It sounds easy but it is probably the most difficult thing to do today in our rational and intellectualized contemporary times. But if you find the way to do it, you can’t miss.

Please share a trick of yours that will always result to a great photo.

Take millions of photographs.

Lastly, do you have any new projects coming up? Anything we should watch out for?

They are many things in the pan but I have some new images from this summer and they will be added to Black Photographs. I am also preparing a book which will be called “Landed.” I am always working in many things at the same time. The mystery is to know which ones will survive.

I would like to say that I am very excited about a new exhibition coming up at Garis and Hanan Gallery in New York City where some of my work is included . The exhibition is called “After the Fall” and it opens January 10th. I personally know and admire every single one of the other artists like Gideon Barnett, Pao Her, Matthew Monteith, Yorgos Prinos, Hrvoje Solvenc and Monika Sziladi. I consider them some of the best people working today in photography.

You want to hear more from professional photographers? Check out the other interviews in our Meet the Pros series.

written by bohlera on 2013-04-18 in #lifestyle #videos #coverage #meet-the-pros #interview #felix-r-cid #120-films #features #35mm-films #analogue-photography #exhibitions #street-photography #accessories #analogue-cameras #art

More Interesting Articles

  • Newcomer of the Week: billseye

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-06-14 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: billseye

    Having a professional photographer in the family paved a way for Bill to start taking interest in photography early on. In this interview, he shares more about how he discovered the community and his passion for shooting analog. Let's all welcome our newcomer of the week from USA, billseye!

  • Lantern Slides From the 'Psychic Photography From a New Angle' Series

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-01 in #world #lifestyle
    Lantern Slides From the 'Psychic Photography From a New Angle' Series

    Mysterious apparitions and other inexplicable phenomena on film, or generally speaking, for that matter, are as highly debated topics today as they were many decades ago. In 1934, a certain Mr. C.P. MacCarthy of 15 Wilkinson Street, Sheffield held a lecture at 76 Clarkehouse Road located in the same city to "demonstrate under test conditions Fake Psychic Photography" before an invited committee. MacCarthy's demonstration was accompanied by a series of photographs titled "Psychic Photography From a New Angle."

  • From Experimental to Ordinary: LomoAmigo Martin Dietrich Tests the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    written by Lomography on 2016-01-29 in #people #lomoamigos
    From Experimental to Ordinary: LomoAmigo Martin Dietrich Tests the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    In order to escape the world of facts and figures, tax auditor Martin Dietrich discovered photography as his creative counterpart almost seven years ago. On a trip to Paris he fell in love with analog photography and the magic of film has been fascinating to him since then. But he also appreciates the benefits of digital photography. For Lomography he tested the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens on his Fuji X-Pro 1 camera. Check out Martin's photos and learn more about the founder of the popular Neoprime magazine.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Trending LomoHomes of 2015

    written by lomography on 2015-12-31 in #world #news
    Trending LomoHomes of 2015

    All throughout the year, the community had been an endless source of inspiration for photography projects, photo shoot ideas, and radical experiments. In the front line of such creative endeavors are these passionate lomographers who never cease to amaze us with their impressive snapshots and innovative concepts. We proudly present the most trending LomoHomes of 2015.

  • Shooting the Petzval Lens with Ian Taylor

    written by givesmehell on 2015-04-29 in #people #lomoamigos
    Shooting the Petzval Lens with Ian Taylor

    Canadian-born Ian Taylor is a full-time photographer specializing in kids and development work. It all started when his five siblings started having children at the same time he was into photography. This passion then spiraled into something amazing, and now Ian works primarily with kids, shooting them when they are in their purest form. Based in Asia, Ian has agreed to share this amazing series of photos he shot with his Petzval Art Lens in Cambodia and Thailand. He also shared with us some of his insights and views on photography.

  • Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    written by ciscoswank on 2015-07-10 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    The Glastonbury Festival is arguably one of the most anticipated and renowned music festivals in the world. It is a joy to be able to watch it, and a privilege to capture scenes on and off stage. Apart from creating beautiful portraits, the Petzval Lens is great for adding an albeit subtle drama to the already spectacular scenes of music festivals. Japanese photographer Taio Konishi photographed this year's Glastonbury with a Petzval 85mm Lens, and here are some of the photos. He also talks about his Petzval-meets-Glastonbury experience in this exclusive.

  • Shop News

    Lomo LC-A+ Russian Lens

    Lomo LC-A+ Russian Lens

    A true Lomographic gem, the Lomo LC-A+ RL is blessed with good looks and bursting with experimental potential. Get ready to shoot amazing Lomographic photos by experimenting with MX shots, long exposures and a whole range of accessories!

  • Landei and her Weapon of Choice: Sprocket Rocket

    written by lomography on 2016-02-06 in #world
    Landei and her Weapon of Choice: Sprocket Rocket

    Lomographer Carina, or landei in the community, regards the Sprocket Rocket as a "versatile plastic camera." For her, it doesn't only take great travel snapshots but makes an interesting conversation starter as well. In this interview, Carina expounds more on what makes the Sprocket Rocket her go-to camera.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Santa Barbara 2015 (A Tribute to Bruce Davidson)

    written by sirio174 on 2016-02-06 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Santa Barbara 2015 (A Tribute to Bruce Davidson)

    This article is dedicated to Bruce Davidson, one of the most important American documentary photographers and a leading figure of the Magnum agency. Recalling his photos of the Worcester Fire Department in 1999, I'll show you my coverage of Como Fire Department's public demonstration, an annual event commemorating St. Barbara.

  • Robertofiuza is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by lomography on 2016-02-05 in #world
    Robertofiuza is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulation to robertofiuza for winning Home of the Day!

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Lomography Online Shop Introduces Category Filters for Easier Film Shopping

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-05 in #gear #news
    Lomography Online Shop Introduces Category Filters for Easier Film Shopping

    Sure, it takes effort to source films these days, but the Lomography Shop has just made the online part more convenient.

  • Just In: Get Camera Discounts via Lomography's Early Bird Valentine's Day Deal

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-05 in #gear #news
    Just In: Get Camera Discounts via Lomography's Early Bird Valentine's Day Deal

    In the name of analogue love, the Lomography Shop is now offering great discounts on handy cameras.

  • Photo of the Day by jborras

    written by lomography on 2016-02-05 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by jborras

    A fun-filled carnival is the perfect spot for those who want to step up their skills at night photography.