Since I have moved to Madrid, I have been tring to get a sense of what the photography community is like here. It is in this attempt that I came upon the work of Rafa Alcacer the internet collective he belongs to, Strange.rs.
First, Tell me a little about yourself
I'm married and the father of a 6 year old girl. I don't make a living out of photography.
Tell me what you think about photography on the internet and where it might be going
The internet is a great source of information and interaction with other photographers,but if you're interested in really learning photography you have to turn off your computer and go to art galleries and buy some photography books (as much as you can).
Would you say that you are a documentary photographer? How would you define “documentary” photography?
The first question depends on how you answer the second one. I couldn't give a proper definition of documentary photography (specially in english!), but I think that the term has a broader sense that the classic event-documentalism. An example: the election of Martin Parr as member of Magnum created an enormous controversy inside the agency becsause a lot of the members thought that he did do the type of documentalism that Magnum represented. Is documentalism what Parr does? No doubt. In the broadest sense of the term, I think that people like Alessandra Sanguinetti, Doug Dubois with All the Days and Nights or Alec Soth make documentary photography. So, am I a documentary photographer? (Btw: let me say I don't feel comfortable talking about myself as a photographer after mentioning those names) Well, I guess some of my work consists in documenting my family life...
Tell me a little about Strange.rs and what the goal is.
Strange.rs is a good example of the benefits that internet can have for photographers, being a collective of - If I count right- 28 photographers that met through flickr and that mos of them have never met in "real" life. The main idea, I guess, is in fact getting the best of that particular situation: trying to make a bunch of strangers work as a collective. It is true that most of ther features so far have been of individuals, but there are a couple of projects that will, hopefully, make us all work together with a common idea/theme.
What do you think about the photographs and photographers in western Europe as compared to photographers from the US? Is there any difference?
I don't really see any substantial difference between both sides of the Atlantic ocean. I would say there's no such thing as an european style of photography, or an american way of seing. Then again, I can't help to have this (more intuitive than rationalized) preconception of the european photography being more "conceptual" and the american photography more "spontaneous" and related to terms like "snapshot" or "roadtrip." The Bechers or Gursky or Canddida Höffer or (despite being canadian) Jeff Wall would be "europeans", and Walker Evans or Stephen Shore or William Eggleston or Alec Soth would be "americans"......