“I like to shoot with my iPhone as it gives me the ability to be spontaneous, to work discreetly and to catch moments of life without being obtrusive. Having access to different apps opens up many creative possibilities - one can push an image to the limit or keep it simple”.
—Cara Gallardo Weil in conversation with LensCulture Contributing Editor, Joanne Carter
When I first discovered Cara Gallardo Weil’s street photographs, I felt as though I had travelled the world with her. Viewing the heady flow of imagery, harnessing the excesses, exuberance, noise and pollution she has experienced on her travels, allowed me to experience life, as viewed through her eyes and evoked a sense of being part of her world, not a passive observer .
“I generally have to be quite stealth when photographing people in Hong Kong [where I live], as they don’t really like it. In the markets you see many signs that say “no photos” which seems a shame. I haven’t really had this problem in places like Indonesia or the Philippines, where people can be quite engaging. In Europe, it can be difficult too, especially France where the privacy laws are much stricter. Using the iPhone to capture street scenes enables me to be more stealth so people are less likely to notice that I am taking photos”, she explains.
Her images bear out her instinctive approach whether shot in color or black and white and register with a heavily graphic based lead. The thirty years she spent in the Design Industry working with the likes of acclaimed photographers, including Nick Knight, Anton Corbijn and Trevor Key, heavily influences her pictures. With raw poetic vision, Gallardo Weil’s photographs involve shapes, patterns, lines and topography with an abundance of unusual characters and interesting juxtapositions thrown into the mix.
Gallardo Weil works in the space between documentary and pure street photography, capturing the essence of the subject, in relation to the whole notion of everyday life but also seeking to tell an understandable story. It is this ambiguity that fuels her passion. Working in style to one of her idols and Masters of Street Photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gallardo-Weil is the distant observer but at all times watching and listening to her subjects, characterising her images with a certain humble silence.
“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Gallardo Weil recognises the responsibility street photographers have in documenting society, communities, neighbourhoods and lives. Her images do not reflect herself, they reflect life as it is being lived, running with an underlying theme of the importance of building a visual legacy.
Gallardo Weil is pushing the boundaries of mobile street photography, the lure of the street photograph amplifies the purity of her vision. She is a photographer who will soon be on her way to another country, another shoot, another day.
“A photographer must always work with the greatest respect for his subject and in terms of his own point of view.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson