Serene is the word that comes to mind when flicking or scrolling through the portfolio of Bogotá-based photographer Carmen Triana. Born into a family that works in the theatre and film industry, Carmen developed a love for the “world of image and light” at an early age and now uses the medium as a means to explore humankind’s spiritual paths and nature’s life cycle.
“I feel that photography is a visual diary,” she tells It’s Nice That, “It’s a tool that I can use to travel and invent different realities.” In both her personal and commercial practice, interactions with people and her surroundings are a conceptual driving force which inspire her to create in the first place, but which also influence the aesthetics of her outcomes. “My biggest inspiration is travelling by car around Colombia,” she explains, “I love having conversations with strangers and feel that with photography, I can explore my feelings and reflect myself in others. Photography is a mirror.”
A self-confessed “dreamer”, Carmen’s imagery is beautifully quiet, making use of natural elements like water, dappled light and soft sunsets. She also combines compositional elements of more traditional fashion photography, rooted in fine art and contemporary sensibilities. This approach reflects her admiration of artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Herbert List and Sally Mann. As a result, her personal and commissioned work regularly overlaps in both aesthetics and concepts: “photography, to me, is an act of meditation and a spiritual journey of growth,” she explains.
It was some of Carmen’s commissioned work, created in collaboration with stylist Juan Camilo Rogriguez, which initially caught our eye. “Photography is a team effort,” Carmen outlines, “and we always conceptualise the work we are doing and the kind of mood and feelings we want to transmit.” In the duo’s most recent work, they’ve been exploring “the fragility of human beings” by combining feminine styling, dramatic landscapes and intimate compositions. The synergy created by these elements leads to imagery which highlights the awe of nature and our position within it, in a manner that feels both overwhelming and complimentary. Although full of juxtapositions, this notion is communicated with subtlety as Carmen and Juan attempt to “portray this intangible but present concept within ourselves”.
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