Begoña Rodríguez, creator of Zyllan Photography, is a photographer from Valladolid, Spain, who is specialized in fashion and wedding photography. Friendly, kind, natural and discrete, she perfectly knows all the necessary techniques to show through photography the essence of it, which she knows how to capture from the people who have the honor to work with her, not only for her natural talent, but for her natural charm.
- What does photography mean to you?
I started it as a hobby. I had a blog and I decided to buy a camera to help me illustrate it, and after a few years it became my profession, when I started receiving calls offering me different jobs. The first two years I began as a novice and now it’s being more than 4 years as a professional.
- When did you feel that you had to make your passion for photography your profession?
There was a critical moment that inspired me. Previously I was working for I+D but just right after I started there, they closed it down. I had two options: either to emigrate and find a job as an engineer or reconvert my hobby. At first, I started getting myself prepared for about a year, focusing on technique, approaching to clients and event planning. Getting to know the event you are going to work on is so important that, for instance in a wedding, I have to say that if the result is not professional, the bride and broom can sue the photographer, as it had happened before in some countries. You have to keep in mind the copyright laws, especially when working with kids, where nobody should publish a photograph without their parent permission.
- Every time I think about photography Robert Doisneau comes to my mind, he is famous because for his photography ‘The kiss’. Who do you have as a role model in the photography industry?
I am very eclectic, I like a little bit of everything. In fashion, Tim Walker, because he has a special vision set somewhere between a fairyland and the real world; Helmut Newton, who has a very sexualized style, what has inspired me most about him it is his black and white photography and his camera framings, as you can see in my exhibition, “Idioglosia”. Now I am looking to find more symmetry in my photos, and to organize all the elements in space. Here I have been influenced by Wes Anderson, the director of “The Grand Budapest Hotel“, because he has a very symmetric camera framing.
- What kind of photography services do you offer?
I am mainly specialized in fashion and weddings. When it comes to photography specialization is very important in order to stand out. In Castilla y León, the region where I live, it is complicated to make a living off of fashion photography exclusively, that is why I combine it with wedding photography. It doesn’t mean that I don’t take extra jobs, but 80% of my day job is those disciplines.
I think that being open is a positive thing in this field, because you can acquire new perspectives: for instance, I started with dance shows, and recently I got into photojournalism, which helps me to have a different perspective about fashion or wedding photography.
- What do you enjoy photographing the most?
People. I usually focus myself on the human component of photography: people’s expressions, how to get best look of everyone, because it drastically changes depending of the angles and lighting. Besides that there is a connection between fashion and weddings, although clothing plays an important role as well. Landscape I can do once in a while, but I don’t enjoy it as much, the same with still life photography, about nightlife photography: I think myself “ I don’t get out of bed to photograph the stars” (laughes).
- What are the basic principles of taking a good picture?
Camera framing, lighting, and there is something else that I always thought is very important, which is a clear concept. You have to know what do you want to convey, and you have to convey it. In addition, most of the times you have to think about it within seconds. Luckily the computer allows you to correct things when you couldn’t get them right (laughing). Technique is a part of photography, but not the only thing that counts. You can take great pictures with cameras that people would get surprised. In fact, I always joke about that and I propose to do a blind shoot with different cameras, guessing what picture has been taking with what camera and it’s not easy to get it right. During a wedding, for example, it’s essential to take certain symbolic photographs which the bride and groom are expecting to see.
- I saw that you also have a blog. What is it about?
Well, right now I have the content of my work divided into my photography blog and the local cultural newspaper Valladolid Siglo 21. The fashion posts go to the newspaper and the most personal ones regarding the evolution of photography, polemical issues or personal work that has been published in other sites, go to my blog.
- What are the most popular events that you have participated in?
The Seminci would be one of them. Generally, I have been focused in premieres and red carpets, as since a few years ago these events have been welcoming local designers who promote their designs along with actors and the festival itself. I like to contribute to Valladolid fashion with my photography, along with Valladolid Siglo 21 and El Norte de Castilla.
I would also mention my participation at the Mercedes Bez Fashion Week in Madrid.
- Has there been a job that you are particularly fond of?
One of the events that I keep in mind fondly is the 25th anniversary of Pablo y Mayaya, who are two hat and headgear designers from Valladolid who became very famous after Letizia Ortiz, Queen of Spain, wore one of their headgears at the Royal Wedding of Prince William, Duke of England, to Kate Middleton. They are part of Mercedes Benz at the Fashion Week in Madrid, they also work with Andres Sarda and even the Royal House of Spain uses their designs, and it’s surprising that designers from Valladolid are so successful; that is why I think we should promote them.
I also keep in mind fondly my first cover for a international hair salon magazine because that happened completely unexpected and honestly it is such a rewarding feeling to see your picture on an international magazine cover, but I draw my motivation from my everyday work, mostly because these kind of projects only happen one in a while. Therefore, if you don’t find motivation on a daily basis, it’s possible you will lose it altogether eventually.
- What was the most successful photography exhibition that you have organized?
I would say the exhibition called “Generación Moda” at the Espacio Joven, which was excerpt of what I have been working on in fashion over the past few years. But I am not planning on organizing any further exhibitions in the nearer future, not only because all the work that it requires also because the waiting is very long. For this particular exhibition I had to wait for 3 years, from 2012 to 2015. On top of that, I think I already had enough exhibitions over the last few years, twelve times individually and 30 times collectively, additionally my work is permanently displayed at Espacio Coworking I am at.
11. What are your projects for the future?
With respect to my projects, it changes. I like to have short term, precise goals. One of the goals that I set for myself is a portrait photography project wherein I would like to capture the symptoms of cancer, also I would like to add a short story in each photography. In my family we had a few cases of cancer and since then, there is still an important unawareness regarding the symptoms of this illness I think that through photography we could help to prevent it earlier.
- Where can we find you on social media?
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to meeting you. We wish you all the best on your personal and professional projects.
|Author: Sara Sanz
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