This week we are chatting with Lina Botero (@linabotero_), an interesting photographer from Colombia that now lives in Bogotá and uses her photography passion to capture anything that grabs her attention. As you can see, her photos are vivid, colourful, with a personality that you love from the first second. Let’s learn more about her!
Lina in her own words:
I’m a photographer and a audiovisual producer from Cali, Colombia. I live in Bogotá. Most of the time I work as a Still photographer with movies and web series. Also, I love to portrait people related to culture (especially music). I work for different cultural magazines. My photography is based on natural light and spontaneous moments. I have a personal project called #BuscoUnCiudadano which is based on walk the streets of any town or city from my country and try to take the best laugh or the best happy moment of a person. Is kind of a portrait of my country, which I deeply love. That makes me also a street photographer. I love faces. Laughs.
On the other side, I write. A LOT. I collect notebooks. And I try to write and read a lot of poetry cause I’m in love with love. Is my biggest question and answer at the same time. Thats why I start a project called #CursileriaParaValientes which means something like “love for braves” It has only two poems but its growing. (sorry, it is in spanish jeje)
And this is most of my work. Here: www.linabotero.com.co
I just cant live with out talking pictures. Words that describes me? LOVE. PEOPLE. MUSIC. CULTURE. STREETS. COLOMBIA.
What does photography mean to you?
It could sound a Little bit cliché, but really, photography is like breathing. Is every part of the process of breathing. Is the part where you inhale everything that you need to live, everything that you need to be stronger and better. But also, is to exhale everything that you have left. Is to take out, to that wonderful and chaotic world, what’s inside of you.
Photography is also that part of breathing that means more than the whole process. Is like taking a pause in your live just to sigh. Photography is the art of sighing.
-Do you remember the first picture you’ve ever taken?
Actually I don’t. But I do remember that it was my mom who taught me how wonderful it was to keep track of life. She has always carried a video camera everywhere. She has never been interested in the beauty or the art of capturing images. She just noticed how big it was to keep memories of her family.
So that’s why I got used to write and portray everything that has happened around me. Later, when I was like 19 or 20, I knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. Finally that is what I do, o tell stories with words and images. I breathe everyday.
–What’s your favourite type of photography?
I love the kind of photography that allows me to tell stories. I love to tell stories about people. And to tell stories about music. And I love to tell stories behind the stories. Thats why I love documentary photography, live music photography and cinema still photography. I just love to see humans faces and behaviours.
-How did you start #BuscoUnCiudadano? Tell us more about it!
#BuscoUnCiudadano is a really personal Project. Its a Project that began before I knew I was going to make it. I just love to talk to people in the streets, and to portray their faces. So I had a lot of portraits without a roof. On the other side, I collect Moleskines and other kind of small notebooks. I upload to Instagram a lot of the things that I write on my Moleskines.
On 2013, I began to study Cultural Journalism. On one of my classes, I start to write “Im looking for a citizen to yell because they remembered that there is a river in the city”.
And then I make more of this “Looking for a citizen” quotes, and people seem to liked them. One of my classmates which is also my friend, told me “hey, why don’t you called it like that”. I was like, “called what exactly?” And she said, “your portraits”. Thats what you always do.. You look for citizens.
So thats how #BuscoUnCiudadano was born. And I keep looking for citizens everywhere I go in my country. And I talk to them. And I try to take out a Little smile. Or at least, I try to keep some of their words in my memory.
Are people willing to be part of the project? Did you have any difficulties?
I think the biggest problem with my portraits is not to take a fragment of each person, but the act of taking out my camera. I live in a country I love with all my heart but one of our realities is that is not safe to take a camera, or a cell phone or something valuable in the streets. So most of the time I’m always scared. But I do it anyway.
-What’s the best story you’ve heard?
I’ve Heard a lot of them. Stories that touch the soul. But I think what has touched me i show in every hard situation , most of the people always see the bright side. Always has a extraordinary faith in God. And always try to move on. I’ve Heard about suicides, about mothers who lose their children because of the violence or some kind of disease, but they become stronger with time.
-Which one of your photos would you consider your most interesting for you personally?
Theres one I love because it happened after I make the original portrait. I just took a picture and began to talk to the guy. And I sit in the Street and he keep talking to me while he was standing. He was saying that he was a poet who write about love. And I look up, and there he was. Happy, sighing, and looking to the sky. He was looking the sky of Cali, my hometown. I took 3 pictures of that moment and one of them was the winner.
-We’ve heard that you also started a new project, #CursileriaParaValientes focusing in love. We definitely want to hear more!
#CursileríaParaValientes is my way of being brave to love. Is my way of saying yes… I have had a lot of broken hearts, but I still believe in sighs. I still believe in kisses and hugs, and telling the other person exactly what you’re felling. Is my way of having my own army to beat every shame of expressing whats inside of you. They are poems over fragments of my everyday. Poems that I have writing to the guys I’ve kissed and the guys i’ve being with.
-Which sentiments are your most common regarding photography?
I could say that my photography is about happiness. Its about the search of happiness. Is about the way humans relate to each other. Its about love and the absence of it. And It has a Little bit of melancholy. But always whit the help of hope.
-How do you find inspiration?
Im always inspired by the questions that I have about life itself. So my photography becomes a way to answer them.
-Do you have an advice for someone aspiring to be a photographer?
Keep your eyes, your ears, your hands, your soul OPEN.
-What’s your biggest dream relevant to photography?
I think my biggest dream is that people have some kind of feeling or sensation with each story i try to tell. Generate some kind of emotion. Either hate or love, but always to let them something inside.
-If you had to pick now your next photo journey, what would that be?
I would love to understand Latin American culture trough photography. So It would have to be all latin america. Or at least, begin with south america.
-What do you think about printing Instagram photos via Printl?
Is a wonderful way of touching your feelings or your dreams. I think is most valuable when you can touch your memories.
Llega un día en el que adviertes que todo es un sueño, que sólo las cosas conservadas por escrito tienen alguna posibilidad de ser reales. #vscocam A photo posted by LINA BOTERO LaTíaMaty (@linabotero_) on
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