1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?
My name is Gaspar Marquez, I was born and raised in Mexico but I live in Brooklyn, NY now. I always felt attracted to photography ever since I was a little kid, as far as I can remember I used to browse my mom's magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Vanidades etc and look at the photos and think that I could do a better job!
Haha for some reason, I wouldn't like the composition or the sharpness of the photo, haha who knows! I thought it was pretty cool to freeze a moment in a frame.
2Where did you study photography?
I can say that I am a self-taught photographer, I read a lot of photography books, about all the technical stuff like how to develop your own film, printing, mounting and showcasing your work. But I took my basic classes in San Francisco CA. and major classes and was a teaching assistant for years at The School of The International Center of Photography and The School of Visual Arts in New York City.
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
Not really, but as a kid I used to take my mom's camera without her consent and would shoot just for fun and experimentation.
4What equipment do you use?
I'm such a lightweight photographer, I shoot with a canon 5D mark2, but I also shoot film with my Canon AE1 and a Polaroid. I have like 3 or 4 external flashes, that way I don't have to carry heavy power packs and strobe lights in the desert or hike a mountain with it. I also have like 2 2000 Norman power packs and strobes to shoot in the studio.
5What compliment inspired/touched you the most?
I guess, it's this time when I was still studying at SVA in NY and I showed my work to my instructor and he was looking at it and then he said; I've never seen anything like this, you don't really have to attend my class anymore, it's really up to you! You're all set! Just show up for finals!
6What inspires your unique storytelling?
The nude female body does! It's the source of my inspiration, I always felt the need to photograph it, I am convinced that I unconsciously wanted to capture the essence of the female beauty in its purest form.
7What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Edgy, Contemporary, Erotic.
8Congratulations! As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
It's such an honor to be recognized for my work. It really helps me keep me motivated and inspired to keep shooting and getting my work to the next level.
9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
It's something I can't explain but it sort of matters in confidence and determination in believing one's work is worth it! It's just something one feels and believes after years of studies, shooting, developing one's style, trial and error, inspiration, a burning desire and lots and lots of work! I chose MUSE Photography Awards because it's very contemporary with a very modern approach and global, for some reason I feel we are on the same page or something.
10How has winning an award developed your career?
It definitely feels awesome, it definitely gives you more prestige, confidence, self-esteem and weight as an Artist and Professional. Not to mention it feels really good when your friends or people in your social circle mention that they've seen my awards online and stuff.
11Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
12What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?
I was told to shoot what I love and keep doing it no matter what people say, just keep shooting and do your thing!
13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?
Definitely the same! shoot what you love and keep developing your style. Go out and see what's going on in galleries, museums, magazines, books, don't forget social media and anything that's online or anything in between and be updated with new technology and information.
14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Success is a state of mind! but I guess what you mean, fall in love with photography, love the whole process, it's all a cycle, find out what makes you tick, and do it again but this time push your limits!
15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
I am in love with the process! I even love filling out these lines about this interview, because it's all part of it. It's part of my Photography, my life, my art. I also look for inspiration online, in galleries. Museums, movies, people, etc.
16Anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I want to add that being a Fine Art Nude Photographer is not something you go to school for and then you're done and ready to go! In my case it's something I believe I had it in me, it just took me some time to discover it, explore it, believe in it, develop my craft, polish it and share it to the world.
There's no path to success or something, you make your own path as you go forward! Don't be afraid, trust your gut, read the signs, and most importantly enjoy the journey, because that's your gift!