Photographer Interview: María Fernanda Hubeaut

Photographer Maria Fernanda Hubeaut

The following photographs are part of a series titled Rayuela (translated in English meaning “hopscotch”), based on the novel of the same name by famed Argentinian author Julio Cortázar.

See more of this work at María Fernanda Hubeaut’s website and read her blog (in Spanish).

D&B: Where are you from?
MFH: I’m from Argentina, from a small city called Santa Fe. I’ve being living in the New York and New Jersey area since 1999.

D&B: What kind of photography do you shoot and how did you get started – any “formal” training?

MFH: I am a photographer, and I do documentary and artistic [fine art] photography, but I love photography in any kind of genre. It is for me a precious instrument to have the possibility to recreate and help create the reality that surrounds us.

I have a master’s degree in Social Communications from Argentina, but before I decided to formally study I was (during my teenage years) a self-taught photographer. In my adolescence, photography was a special part of my daily routine: to discover things and people around me through my camera.

From the series, Rayuela © María Fernanda Hubeaut

D&B: What cameras or techniques do you use?
MFH: In the beginning, I used film, I used an old Pentax Spotmatic. Now, I use a Leica M6 and the Canon 40D for my commercial work.

Special technique? None at all. Most important for me is to be present at the moment to catch the instant and be aware of the light. These two things are for me the most important in this path.

D&B: Who are your mentors (in photography)?

MFH: Well, my first mentors were my grandfather and my father (both of them were into the practice of photography) and then the books that showed me all the great photographers from the amazing history of photography. Today, I am still learning from them and from everyone in this field.

D&B: Have you experienced any setbacks or different treatment along your photography career that you would attribute to being a woman and/or photographer of color? (this question is optional)

MFH: Sometimes, I am surprised that here in America still exists discrimination against women, more in the journalism area. Honestly, I expected this type of discrimination to happen in my country or in other Latin American countries, but it is happening here, too. That is very sad and I would like things to really change in that aspect.

From the series, Rayuela © María Fernanda Hubeaut

D&B: When did you realize you could have a career in photography? Describe your journey towards becoming a working photographer.
MFH: At the university [in Argentina] I taught and worked as a photographer, but I formally decided to become one at the age of 19. I knew then that no matter what happened, I wanted to follow the photography path.

In Argentina this wasn’t easy. I wanted to keep myself working in the field – this was the principal motor of my travels around the world and the cause that finally led me to live in the USA.

Sometimes it is difficult to make a living only as a photographer, but I never give up. I’m also working as a freelance reporter and writer, and all of these together make a good combination that nourishes and allows me growing deeply into my goals as a photographer.

D&B: What do you hope to achieve with your photography?
MFH: The power to change “La Mirada” of people… meaning the way people look at things. To use the images to help them heal. To be more open and creative to their own reality. I would like to achieve that kind of communication, that kind of joy with my work.

D&B: What’s your dream photography project?
MFH: Right now, my new photo essay is in progress, Independence. A series of human portraits that intends to awaken the sense of independence in every human being and in every possible way that people choose to show it in their own skin.

D&B: What’s the biggest (life) lesson you’ve learned through photography?
MFH: Respect, openness and consistence. That it is what I want for myself and also for everyone that it is in front of my pictures.

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