Last year I had a chance to participate as a photographer in interesting project. One day when I was playing international online photography game “Gurushot”, I was contacted by Spanish guy Luis Alberto Serrano. He wished to write a short story for one of my photos. I agreed. Recently he contacted me again and gave me a good news that he got a photo-book deal. Because it was royalty free project, he had decided to donate all the profits from the book sale to “EDUCA NEPAL”, an organization that saves Nepali’s children from human trafficking. He wrote to me to ask if I am still on board. Hell yes, of course was my answer. Since I had the chance to work for the magazine Voices, I decided to condensate interview with Luis Alberto Serrano. About the project “Photo + Story” and the charity it supports.
Tell me bit about yourself.
I have a degree in Audiovisual Realization and Shows. I always wanted to fulfill my dream of making movies. I started making award-winning short films at some festivals and I specialized in screenwriting. Over time, I continued with performing arts projects and directed two Musicals. After this stage in the scenarios I thought I needed some time for myself and create a project. The idea have been in my head for years: write a novel. That’s what I do now, combining it with the “Photo + Story” project in which I write short stories with photographs sent to me by photographers from all over the world.
How did you even came up with idea to write stories on photos that inspire you?
Writing a novel, especially if you are a beginner, is a very hard task. I decided that for the days when I didn’t have my head ready to get into the skin of the characters, I should have an escape route to oxygenate myself. This is how the idea of writing short stories was born. One thing I could write in a day and that same day publish it. On the other hand, from the Nadieshda International Cultural collective to which I belong, we have always wanted to generate synergies with artists from other countries. We have been teaching film and theater workshops in three continents and this occasion was good to contact photographers from different parts of the world with whom to share a project and, over time, a friendship. That’s the way it is, which I appreciate very much.
How do you pick the photos you write stories about?
I do not choose the photos. Actually, what I choose are photographers. I move well through social networks and I see a lot of photography. When I like the style or intentions of some of the pictures, I get in touch. From there, it is the photographer himself who has to select the photo he wants to send me. The project is that I have to invent from the photo, so I can’t choose the photo that fits my story. It is the opposite. It is the story that has to be adapted to the photo.
How does your creative process work?
Once I receive the photographer’s photo, the first thing is to decode it. See what little elements there are that serve me as pieces for my story. Normally, in each photo I usually discover between 5 and 8 words that are hidden among the visual elements. With those words, I sit down in my chair and begin to compose the story. Also, sometimes, the photo style defines the style of the story. Sometimes I write a story, sometimes a reflection. I like that of the published stories, some don’t look like the others. Maybe it’s because the photos don’t look like each other and I let myself be dragged by each creation of each photographer.
How did you get the photo book deal?
That the “Photo + Story” project is going to become a book is something that I never imagined, when I started to publish the stories on the web. It is true that after 20 years of film and musical projects, I have managed to have some experience in the Canary Islands, where I live. When we started, each time, to have more readers waiting for the days of publication to be able to read them, the project began to sound in many places. And when people speak well, things come by themselves. One day, a friend who has an editorial with whom I have worked in the past in the presentations of my films, told me that she had read the stories and wanted to make a book with them. My surprise was huge and I said that I would have to ask photographers for permission since I only had permission to publish on the web, but not in a book. I contacted one by one and all, with the condition that we donate the benefits of the book to a Social Institution, they would agree to it being published. Which will occur in the month of January 2019.
How did you get involved whit the charity that you will donate the proceeds of the photo-book?
The benefits that come to us, since it is a project in which nobody has economic benefits, will go to a charity based in Nepal. EDUCA NEPAL is founded by the Canarian José Díaz and is a non-profit association that tries to prevent trafficking in girls and child labor exploitation, through education.
Why did you decide to benefit this particular charity?
I have already worked previously directing artistic shows in which funds are raised for this organization and I am very sensitive with the work they do. That is why, every time they need my services, they have my support.
Where can we see your photos and stories?
Yeah right. That all those who want to see the pahotographs and read the stories, can do so at http://www.fotomasrelato.com and that the photographers who want to participate, to get in touch with me. Of the best compliments that we have been told is that when you go to read a story, you want to read them all. We encourage readers to immerse themselves in a whirlpool of sensations and to transmit their experiences to us. Of course, I would like to thank Voice Magazine for giving us the opportunity to go out to the world through this window and its readers for wanting to share us. Reason why I participated in this charity project. The simple reason that I care benefit something that I believe in while doing something that I love. Photography has always been my passion. It is clear example that you can help make a change using talent an good heart.
Madis – Siim Kull