Raised in Spain and now based in LA, photographer David Gomez Maestre spent his childhood among sketches and fashion, so always knew he wanted to explore his creative side further. His main source of inspiration is rooted in the drawings of his father, a shoe designer, which intrigued and developed his eye for art and photography.
“In my everyday I normally look for colours, composition, interesting characters, urbanism and nature,” David tells It’s Nice That. “When a unique moment catches my eye, such as a candid smile or a random person with an interesting face, that would be the target for my photos. I’m always in constant change trying to find something new and different.”
His style has distinctively developed over the years; having worked in-house as a photographer for American Apparel, this is where he learnt many of his techniques and skills. David tells us how it’s “fascinating when somehow your life goals and dreams turn into reality”, which is exactly what happened at the time of his career move into the fashion house. “American Apparel was my school and the best experience I’ve ever had but it also helped me to realise how important it is to have your own identity.”
From this experience and incredible learning curve, David then applied his practice into identifying his own signature style. Dreamy landscapes, blushed tones and soft romantic hues are integrated among sun-filled landscapes and pleasantly surreal set designs. “I was born and raised in the Mediterranean and this is a huge influence to me. It reflects my surroundings, my personality, the way I see life and obviously my work,” he says. “I’ve always lived in warm and sunny cities near the beach, such as Alicante, Valencia, Barcelona and Los Angeles. Since I was a kid I’ve always spent summer time in Alicante at my family’s beach apartment right in front of the sea — this is where I am right now and all I can see is the blue ocean, the sun and endless white sands around me. That’s probably why there’s ongoing sun-blushed tones and a beach theme throughout my work.”
Alongside his commercial projects, for clients such as L’officiel, Metal magazine, Marie Claire UK, Ader Error among others, David has built an online diary where he shoots and curates a personal selection of “work, fashion editorials, portraits to friends, places and travels”. “I use it as a platform to show non-published work, outtakes and random scenes or photos that I like a lot,” he says. Influenced lightly by “old decades”, David tells us how it’s just as important finding the right model and location as it is finding the right lighting and colour palette. “The 70s used to be my favourite. For the past few years, I’ve been styling some of my test photos and dressing models myself with influence from the vintage Californian vibe. I was able to create my world in that way by going to the Rose Bowl, random second hand shops and flea markets to find the right pieces for my photos,” David says.
Photographs of friends and his travels, plus moments that make him “feel alive and happy”, are the kind of projects that David finds most important. After recently moving back to Spain after almost five years in LA, he now views his home town with a new set of eyes and “sees the beauty everywhere” he goes. “I’ve been very interested in documenting this lately so I’m working on a project inspired by the Mediterranean coast following this beach theme that I love,” he says. “Places I used to think were ugly I now find them very special — they are stuck in the past, sometimes they even look like an 80s set in a movie.”