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Work / Photography

Maximilian Virgili on photographing the romance and randomness of Mexico

For photographer Maximilian Virgili, travel opens up possibilities for his work. Settling in the medium as a documentary, travel-focused photographer, his discovery of this niche was largely “because whenever I travelled I had time to really focus on my work,” he tells It’s Nice That. This time spent in another part of the world melted away any worries the photographer had; he felt confident to try new ideas and the processing of the photographs would happen when he returned home. It gave him the room to do what photographers do best: take pictures.

There’s also a “certain excitement” that comes with shooting on the road for Maximilian. “Everything is new and overwhelming, so I shoot a lot in the first few days,” he says. As the days go on his process becomes more refined, selecting moments to photograph more carefully with a “more cautious” temperament as the photographer moves towards the story of this place he wants to tell. “It’s a learning process every time I travel somewhere new, that’s what makes it such an exciting field for me.” The location that provided this feeling and shooting material most recently was Mexico.

Back in 2015, Maximilian took a trip to Costa Rica from his home in Germany. Spending three weeks there, the photographer settled in and enjoyed the pace, culture and nature the country had to offer. On returning home he was vocal about how much he enjoyed the trip and friends encouraged him to try Mexico next. “When my girlfriend suddenly suggested to visit it last year, there was no second thinking.”

While in Mexico shooting his most recent explorative travel story, Maximilian was open to what he would photograph. The series, as a result, is vast in content featuring aspects such as “romance, liveliness and a bit of randomness – sort of how I perceived the trip looking back,” he explains. “I was able to travel a small part of the country (Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Chiapas), yet the trip felt so diverse, which I tried to transport with this series.”

In turn, Max’s photographs jump from photographs of nearby strangers to jaw-dropping landscape scenes, each with a slightly dark tendency to their lighting. Joyful, reflective and eye-opening in equal parts, the series reflects “a very emotional trip,” concludes Maximilian, “with ups and downs along the way, but that’s what made it so special.”

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