Interview: Citlalli Rico
Photographer Interview: Citlalli Rico
Citlalli Rico won Fearless Photographer of the Year 2011 and has been Top 10 ISPWP Quarters from 2011 - 2015. I love Citlalli's work, it's rich and sensitive and she uses the absense of light beautifully.
Can you briefly tell us a little about your life, where were you born and raised?
Yes! I was born in Mexico City and moved with my family to Cancun when I was 11 years old. So, most of my life I’ve been a Tropical Weather kind of girl.
Have you always been a photographer? What was your path to photography and specifically to shooting weddings?
I studied communications in University and worked for different mass media, (TV, Radio and newspapers) Until I was unemployed in 2006 and a Studio offered me a job as a wedding photographer. Money wise, it was very attractive, but in my mind, I felt defeated as being a wedding photographer back then felt like you didn’t do well in life. Obviously after a few months I realized how amazing and challenging this profesión is and now I am very proud to be part of the industry.
Do you remember the first moment or time a camera/photography jumped out at you as something different/interesting/worth pursuing?
In University, I took photography classes and it was magical to see the film results but didn’t think I could make a living out of it. So it was until I was actually documenting weddings when I realized I could make it work.
Do you have a style or widely understood approach to shooting weddings ie fine-art, documentary?
Mostly documentary but I also enjoy creating moment driven portraits with creative light and compositions.
What/who do you look at for visual inspiration? It could be a favourite photographer or blog? movies? etc
I take most of my inspiration from life. I’m a creep that loves to stare at people interacting. Most of my wedding poses are inspired in seeing couples interacting in parks or public spaces.
I wanted to be a Film Director, so a lot of my inspiration is from movies. I love European Cinema.
What would a perfect day shooting a wedding look like for you?
A perfect wedding day comes with the most happy, in love, laid back clients. If we have that, it doesn’t matter the venue, the weather or the light. Fortunately, most of our clients are like that.
Do you have any sort of routine before a wedding to get yourself into the right frame of mind to achieve that perfect day?
I do send our clients a questionnaire and have at least one skype call with them if I can’t meet them in person (most of our clients are from other countries). The more information I have, the better prepared I feel to document their weddding. I am also in touch with the wedding coordinator for logistic and organizational purposes. All the equipment needs to be ready the nigh before, no matter what, for my peace of mind.
Generally speaking, what do you focus on when you are shooting a wedding, by which I mean, what about a wedding is important for you to prioritise while your shoot?
What drives me is relationships and emotions. I do shoot everything else (details, places…) but will always prioritize meaningful, emotional, raw real moments.
I often think peoples experiences of marriages, theirs or their parents, can have an impact on their involvement in working in the world of weddings. Can you explain what weddings mean to you personally?
My parents have been married for almost 40 years, that is pretty awesome. In my personal life, I was married and now divorce. It is pretty hard to shoot people in love when your heart is healing, so I decided to approach weddings in a different way. I do see them as a union between two people, but also see them as a mini ecosystem of relationships and life situations that have a lot to do with real love and many other emotions between friends, parents, siblings and so on. This way, my approach is wider and less centered in only one vision. Most of the families will only have a photographer hired for an entire day once in their life, so it is a great opportunity to give them more than details or two people kissing with a gorgeous background.
In the feedback you've received from wedding clients over the years, would there be one word that keeps popping up again and again?
I think most of our clients love all the images they had no clue they were going to receive. Wedding photography can be pretty standard, so when they see a full gallery with moments and emotions, they are very excited and value this images more and more through the years. Also, they always mention how calmed and relaxed we made them feel during the day, even though they weren’t expecting that.
Having seen lots of weddings, what would your advice be to a beloved family member if they came to you and said they were getting married and asked for (any) advice on how to approach their wedding day?
To hire vendors they trust and sit back and relax. It is fun to plan a wedding but can also be very stressful. My advice would be to enjoy the day no matter what goes different to what you expected.
What three pieces of advice would you give young photographers starting out
- Learn from the best
- Make sure you put the same effort on becoming a better photographer as on becoming a better business person.
- Work hard but find balance and time for personal life.
How can people get in touch with you?
Through my site www.citlallrico.com ! Thank you!
Wedding Photographer - Fearless Photographer of the Year 2011 - Top 10 ISPWP Quarters 2011 - 2015