All Things Jazz

Jun 19 2010

Interview with Juan-Carlos Hernandez

Marcin:: Please introduce yourself.

Juan-Carlos: My name is Juan-Carlos Hernandez. I was born in 1971 and took my first steps in photography in the 1980’s. Passionate about jazz, I started working as an amateur photographer on American and European stages as of 2004. Three years later, I decided to dedicate myself fully to my passion and became a professional photographer based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Marcin:: You are a live performance photographer. Was it your natural choice or more of a coincidence?

Juan-Carlos: I protest! ;-) I’m not only that, even if I’m basically that. For answering your question, it was a natural choice because I’m a music and particularly jazz fan.

Marcin:: Are you interested in other types of art or is your work as a photographer so time-consuming that there just isn’t much time left for it?

Juan-Carlos: I’m interested in all arts, art is so important to people. It’s the thing most important and most useless it the world. As said, I’m passionate about music and by the way I play a tenor saxophone a little bit as a hobby. I love literature but as I have little time, I read basically a lot of poetry. Finally, when I walk the streets and I have time, I enter easily into galleries in order to discover new art stuff.

Marcin:: We can often hear questions regarding our favorite photography subjects, but much less often about those least favorable. What would you never photograph and why?

Juan-Carlos: I can’t really answer to your question dear colleague. Really everything interests me. Now, that’s evident that some subjects interest me less than others, for example landscapes, studio photography or animals. Landscapes because I’m not often inspired.. Studio photography because I never search the perfect photography and animals because I’m much more interested in human beings.

Marcin:: How does your “dream day” as a photographer look like? What is your schedule, what do you do, with whom, what feelings accompany you during such day?

Juan-Carlos: I would dream to have a one entire day session with Sonny Rollins. I would first have a long talk with him in order to know him very well and not only his music, and then I would make portraits of him in uncommon venues as for example a boat, the basement of a building which would be particular. Why not? But it would be as always a collaboration between the model (and what a model here!) and me. So.. inspiration and improvisation. I would be very happy.

Marcin:: Basically anyone can name themselves a photographer these days. We hear a lot about initiatives like “No, you’re not a photographer, you just own a camera” or how stock media destroyed the real value of a photograph. How are your feeling about it?

Juan-Carlos: It’s totally true. These microstock agencies kill the profession and true agencies assigning true and long photographic works by selling photos without copyright (is it really legal ?) for ridiculous prices. People are loosing respect for the price of a photograph, of the work behind it. That’s our liberal world.. A photographer has to sell hundreds of images to clients to earn enough money for them. That’s only good for amateur photographers who love to pay them a caprice with extra incomes and lot of times without paying taxes on those sold photos.

And true photo agencies are disappearing (Gamma, Sygma).

A sad anecdote, will you believe me if I say you that I had to pay 130 Euros in order to put one my photographs on the cover of my book « Estelas de Jazz » ? Indeed, the editor signed a contract with a microstock agency and authors were obliged to choose an image among lot of photographs of this microstock agency.

Marcin:: Thank you for your thoughts.

You can find more of Juan-Carlos Hernandez on:
Juan-Carlos Hernandez Photographe
Juan-Carlos Hernandez Jazz Photographer

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  • Ana Schwarz

    la fotografía artística en sí, tiene un carácter muy subjetivo, se ha convertido en una herramienta fundamental para la expresión artística…y lo que aquí nos presenta Juan Carlos nos explica el por qué…

  • Nice interview.

    That last question/answer was my favorite.

  • Bridget

    Brief but informative and enlightening! I liked the interview.


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