This week on Prodibi, we meet with a fantastic portrait and fashion photographer from Santiago, Chile: Paula Sprenger
Discover her excellent work, simple and harmonious, with a clean, honest and peaceful look, and learn how her background in filmmaking is part of the reason for the exceptional quality of her pictures!
Discover Paula's artistic work and make sure to zoom and explore her photographs!
A few words about you. Explain to us, how did you start photography?
I am a photographer and filmmaker from Santiago, Chile. I currently reside in the United States and live in an RV with my husband, who I travel and work with. We have a production company, Habitat Productions, where we create wildlife video content.
I began experimenting with photo and video at a very young age. I remember having a VHS camcorder in my hands at all times when I was just six or seven years old, and my father bought me my first photo camera when I was ten years old. My mother is a visual artist, and my father has an obsession with movies. I definitely inherited my mom’s eyes and my dad’s love for storytelling. Both these traits run deep in me, and I knew I would be involved in the arts in some way or another from a very young age.
I began to practice visual arts more seriously in High School and by the time I was in college I was spending most of my time collaborating with other artists (fashion designers, jewelry designer, models, etc.) creating photographs. Now I spend most of my time focused on filmmaking.
How do you describe your style as a photographer? What is your process to create such clean and sincere photos?
My style could be described as simple and harmonious. I gravitate toward clean, honest and peaceful images that are also beautiful to look at.
In my photography work, I tend to focus on living things rather than objects; I enjoy photographing people, animals, and plants. I find that in my work I like to concentrate all of the attention on the subject, so the backdrops I use are usually either a blank wall or nature. When I photograph people, I strive to create an atmosphere where the models I photograph are relaxed with me capturing them. In all my shoots I ask the models I work with to wear no makeup. I think that makes people more vulnerable, which makes them look more natural and more beautiful, and I think that translates in the photographs.
My background as a filmmaker has also had affected my photographs, a lot of my inspiration is drawn from the cinematography of different movies, and I think that gives me a different take on how to capture an image. I have been told that I capture movement well, and I like to think that this is because of my background in film.
For you, what describes a successful picture and why?
If you take a photograph and it resonates and inspires someone else or yourself, then it is a successful photograph. We all have different tastes and stories; we’re all moved by different images.
Are you inspired by the work of other photographers or artists? Which ones?
Yes, I am constantly inspired by the work of other artists. I have a new inspiration every week so this is a difficult question for me to answer. I am currently inspired by Greta Gerwig and her movie ‘Ladybird.’ I think she captured an incredible amount of subtle details in her movie. It is an ode to teenage girls and the city of Sacramento, and I think it is beautifully done.
*Read on the same topic: Dive into the glossy and minimal aesthetic universe of the Fashion photographer Lara Callahan and Dive into the stylised universe of fashion and documentary photographer Matilda Temperley
As far as my all time inspirations, I love Jonathan Becker’s photography and how he captures such honest moments so effortlessly. I also love Patrick Demarchelier’s and Annie Leibovitz's older work.
Currently, I have been very drawn to Matteo Montanari’s and Cole Sprouse’s work.
Do you have projects for the future like workshops, personal series?
In college, I was very focused on portrait and fashion photography. In my senior year, I started to gravitate more toward filmmaking. And by the time I graduated I was working full-time on video work.
When I started film school, I went in with the idea of working on wildlife shows, like Planet Earth, but eventually, I ended up discovering a passion for portrait and fashion photography and concentrated on that.
After graduating college, my life changed, and opportunities were given to me where I was able to focus on wildlife film again. I met my husband, who is a filmmaker and environmentalist, and together we are working on a new project. We care so much about the environment and animals, so we started a company, Habitat Productions. We have invested all of our time the past two years into building a successful film production company. Our mission is to make video content that hopefully makes people care about the environment and the wellness of animals.
With all that being said, I have not abandoned fashion and portrait photography, I still consider it to be a passion in my life, and I plan on revisiting it again one day.
If you’d like to read more about my current project you can visit www.habitatproductions.org.
Is there a particular goal you wish to reach?
My goal at the moment is to have a successful Film Production Company and to eventually be able to balance the work I do there with my personal photography work. As far as my video work goes, I would love to inspire people to be responsible with the way they treat animals and the world.
As far as my photography, I would love to one day be at a point in my career where I can photograph other successful artists that are doing meaningful and inspiring work.
To see more of Paula's work:
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