For Alexander Pérez-Flores (Site. alexanderdiary.com | IG. @alexanderdiary) Photography is the means of communicating sensations and intangible elements, turning them into something more than beauty, making them immortal. Having worked for diverse publications, from Vogue Italy, Elle Mexico, V Magazine and I-D to fashion designers whose collections highlight important social messages, he has made his point clear. In an exclusive interview for Vanity Teen, the Peruvian fashion photographer talks about his journey into photography, challenges, influences, and the current state of fashion photography.
Hi Alexander nice to meet you. First off, could you please tell us about yourself and how you got started in photography?
Hi, thanks for this interview. Well, I’m 23 years old right now, people always tell me that I’m like the youngest fashion photographer in my country, and the thing is that I started really young, like when I was 17. I remember my father and sister buying me for my birthday my first professional camera ever. I was really excited, so the only thing I did was shooting, practice every day to learn and improve. I used to take picture of my friends and family, they were fed up with me hahaha. But I think those months and years of practicing actually worked. I’m always thankful with my family and friends to let me get better and practicing with them.
In fashion, I always remember me as a little child watching and being obsessed with my mom’s magazines, she used to love fashion magazines, I was always amazed by them, with the pictures and models, so I realized I was always obsessed with fashion. Thanks mom.
Faith Denham by Alexander Pérez-Flores for Elle Mexico April Issue 2020.
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
Love this question. I always describe my work as nostalgic, that’s the feeling I want to convey.
I tell the models to imagine a specific situation and you know, reach that mood, that sensation like remembering the good old days; I convey that also with the colors and edition, when I put together all these tools, the result is I what I wanted.
Which are your artistic and cultural influences?
I always say that my principal influence is the human behavior, but of course when I see pieces of art from another artist I can’t avoid getting inspiration from them. For example, paints from the Neoclassicism, what I like about them is the acting, the behavior of the characters, how they look in the picture, is really important to me.
Social movements as Feminism inspire me too, right now is important to use our platform as a place to report and help people to be informed.
And of course, I have photographers who inspire me as Harley Weird and Tyler Mitchell, who uses his cultural identity in his photos. I’d love to share my Peruvian culture in my work too, I’m finding out how to do it in a new and modern way.
What do you find most challenging/ interesting about fashion photography?
The challenges in South America or in Peru specifically are the lack of fashion in general. Sometimes, photographers, we have to do some commercial, or bore stuff to survive, we can’t do fashion every time.
Since there aren’t fashion PR agencies, the communication and contracts every time make everything a little difficult to work because we have to do all the legal and paper stuff. Also there aren’t fashion magazines and not even to mention agencies that would represent us. Even though we don’t have the best conditions, there is a lot of creativity to still do quality fashion productions. The most interesting about fashion photography is the different perspectives every person in the set has. You can find one single perspectives in so many different ways. .This is when you see how amazing brains of creative people are and it just gives you more motivation to create.
You have worked for different publications around the world. Do you consider there is enough representation of Latin American talent (models, photographers, designers, artists) globally?
Well, I think lately we have seen a lot of representation of Latin American talent, talking about models, there are a lot of girls and boys running the business and I am so happy for that. I have met a lot of Peruvians and Colombians agents, and Mexicans are everywhere! We all Latinos are doing great, there are more than years before, and I’m sure the following years there will be more. You know, we have something special, our warmness, dealings, and creativity are unique, so I’m sure we will keep doing it good. You all going to hear more from us. Hahaha.
You shot Peruvian designer Annaiss Yucra Mancilla‘s “Resistencia” SS19 lookbook along with Artistic Director Christian Duarte. The collection represented the feminist struggle and gender violence. Could you please describe the experience and creative process?
Oh! Sincerely one of my favorite shoots. I always work with Christian Duarte, he is such an inspirational and creative person, and meeting Annaiss was such a great experience, she’s unique, I can’t find another word. UNIQUE. The vision she has, the motivation and the talent, she’s the first designer to use her talent and platform to communicate and give a positive message, and that’s something else. Talking that shoot, the first thing that I loved was the casting we used three different characters like a pregnant girl, a trans woman and a not typical and stereotype model, I loved them. The location was in the neighborhood of Annaiss’s childhood, we wanted to transmit all the rustic and realness that collection was talking about, the struggle and the different representations on women in our society, and I think we made it. The whole crew did an amazing job, from the make-up artist to the artisans that were fitting the pieces into the models.
Your projects are a collaborative process. Tell us what is like to always be working with new stylists, models, and designers
Honestly, that’s one of my favorite things about my job, I know people every day, and I love that. I studied Communications and marketing at university, I’m a people person, I love talking and meeting people, so as you can imagine, I love to do that every day. Meeting people who likes the same things as you is even more interesting, you can’t stop talking and even is positive for the shooting, you can get more ideas and the atmosphere is so good and that makes you enjoy the hard work.
Of all the images you’ve made so far in your career, which is your favorite and why?
For me, each editorial and project has been a great challenge, to improve, learn and capture what I see. For sure, there are some specials shoots for the meaning. So, I choose this picture because it was part of my first challenge in fashion, it was my first job with Christian Duarte and an important designer who is Ani Alvarez Calderon. This picture shows Daniela Lalita, who is not a model, she’s a Peruvian artist who lives in NY, she was in Peru so they told her to do the shoot. She completely understood the mood and I could capture the best of her, I was so excited cause it was the first shoot I really felt I was doing fashion.
How would you define the current state of fashion photography?
I feel that fashion photography is in an incredible era, less and less resources are used and everything is more talented. We are lucky to be surrounded by many new proposals every day that we are creatively in constant evolution.
Thanks to social networks we could think that photography could change for the worse that the profession could be distorted, but in reality it is not as you see it, in my case I saw it as an opportunity to expose my work to people who could never know about my existence, I am grateful for the era and time I am in, I am grateful to be able to see colleagues who have a different vision and style.
What’s the most important thing you want potential clients to know about you?
I have a personal vision, my clients always find me and want to work with me because of my style I think, but I always looking for something else, create a connection. My clients most of the time became a friend, in that way the relation I create makes everything work in a positive way. I always want to be part of the creation of a collection or maybe know really well the story behind, I want to share the same feeling of my client.
Your advice to aspiring fashion photographers?
´´Never stop watching´´. That’s what a very experimented photographer once told me, and it’s so true. You’ll never know what things going to inspire you. Of course, being humble and never stop learning this job teach you something every day.