Marya Garcia is an alternative fashion photographer from Madrid, Spain and is a total bad ass with a camera. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and has just released a new book called “Queens of Hearts – The Art of Marya Garcia” from Schiffer Publishing. If you love edgy, tattooed, alterna pin-up photography as much as I do, you’re going to LOVE this book!
Your latest book “Queens of Hearts” is absolutely gorgeous. How did it come to be?
I wanted to do a book, so I took a backlog of my best work and did all the design and layout myself. I contacted Schiffer Publishing and they said they would love to add the book to their library. The vintage pin-up work is a little older, while the more eccentric pictures are a little more new.
How long have you been doing pinup and how did you get started?
I’ve been doing pin-up style photos for about 3 years. I started in a photo studio in Madrid with 18 years as a clerk, and eventually I became a photographer and now specialize in alternative photography.
Did you always shoot pinup or do you do other themes as well?
No, I consider myself an alternative fashion photographer, I make photographs of alternative models, but not necessarily with a pin up or vintage aesthetic, I also like fashion photography with more extravagant looks dark, artistic nude photography, normal fashion, etc.
What is your typical process / workflow?
Everything depends on the session. I usually organize ideas in a kind of storyboard, then i’m in charge of searching for outfits, props… contacting the model, set a date, contact makeup artists, hairdressers .. I usually take care of everything .
How much post work do you do?
It depends, sometimes a lot, sometimes not much. I don’t usually do any postproduction… I’m pretty quick.
Who is your biggest creative Influence?
I am influenced by many things. When I started with vintage, of course Gil Elvgren, also cinema and directors like Tim Burton or Terry Gilliam. Actually I find influences everywhere! magazines, paintings… etc.
Who is your fav artists / photographers at the moment?
For me, one of the best photographers in my country is Eugenio Recuenco. I always admire his work, I also follow the work of Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino.
How do you overcome those times when inspiration has left the building?
With patience… without pressure and having confidence that at some point the inspiration will come back. I devote myself to other things, never stop still until light the bulb moment comes to me.
What do you do when you’re not shooting pin-up? What is a day in the life Marya Garcia for like?
I’ve worked in a photo studio for 6 years, where I do all kinds of photography, in my spare time I do my own sessions. That, in itself, is a full time job!
Most inspirational food, drink , other ? What has to be on hand at all times for you to get into the creative flow?
A good latte… a paper and pen… and if it rains, even better 🙂
But mostly, I surround myself with a team of good people, the communication with model and the rest of the team is essential.
What does the future hold for you? What are you working on next?
Actually I have no idea… the situation in my country is very bad for the world of photography, so I would love to travel for shootings, or do exhibitions in other countries where I can have more output and a good job. I wold like to publish my second book, and I have another project planned as well…
Is there any promotional / marketing advice you would like to offer to other photographers or artists?
I think right now as an artist, you have to be your own manager or business owner, this is a profession where you can not stop pushing your work, stay up to date all the news and especially for selling. Sales, editing, emails… networking… there is always work to do.
What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a pinup photographer?
Follow your passion, be patient because things do not always come easily or by themselves, we must work hard, but if it is constant and it is what you really like, continue forward and try to move around the world of the vintage pin-up. Start making contacts and who knows!
I find that many hard core pinup fans tend to align their personal tastes, fashion and lifestyle around the traditional, vintage retro culture. What do think about the future of pinup as a genre? Do you feel that it is evolving and has room to grow/change, or do you feel that it is more about a retro, era specific thing?
I know as aesthetics in countries like the United States, but in my country certainly has become a real fashion, most of the girls dress Pin Up without knowing why, and although there are many people who are true and belong to the culture, here in Spain there are many who do not. For me it is a very important part of American culture of the 50’s, and it is far more than a fad.
When can we expect a volume 2 of your book?
There will likely be a volume 2. Not in the same style, but I’ll definitely try to publish a second version. This time the theme will be freak shows.
Where you can we buy the book?