Who would have imagined where I was going to end up 20 years ago when I first arrived in Spain with a big bag full of dreams, a Pentax K1000, and some rolls of film.
I came to study cinematography lighting (Septima ARS, Madrid), for a year that could be extended for a second year. I won a scholarship to study photography at EFTI, Madrid, where I got a bachelors degree in digital photography.
I was a black and white, analog film lover. The digital world was just beginning and was still far from my dream of becoming an architect photographer.
Unintentionally, I started working as a wedding videographer — carrying a huge camera on my shoulders. I hated every second of those two years, but it helped me realize what I didn’t want to do.
I moved to a smaller city, after living in Madrid for five years, with the hopes of making a living out of my photography passion — I started shooting weddings.
My first year (2004), I shot four weddings with my Canon Rebel 300D. I had no clue what I was doing.
I only knew I didn’t want to do what I saw others doing; the classic portraits in the same locations and the posed pictures looking at the camera.
I started my journey going to sunflower fields and yellow rural fields. Within a couple of years of shooting in those unknown locations, all of the rest of the photographers started copying my work and my locations.
That pushed me to come back to the city and start shooting in the streets. By that time, I had started using off-camera flash (OCF) and had an assistant with a flash on a monopod.
But, I still had no clue about all of the OCF techniques I could use. The flash modifiers we use today weren’t even in our dreams yet.
Everything changed completely in 2012. I realized there was a universe outside of my small town with incredible photographers rocking the industry.
I discovered fearless photographers, photo conventions, and private workshops. It was as if, up until then, I was living in a cave, and, suddenly, I got out into the real, modern world.
It has been, and continues to be, an amazing and passionate journey. I teach people to remain open and eager to learning because there are so many new elements of this craft that are ever-expanding.
New layers, new fields and genres, new techniques. Photography is so prosperous, I love it for that.
At some point I realized it’s not only about techniques. I have strong lived experiences that have changed my life and helped me grow as a human and photographer. Those experiences have influenced my photography.
Our lens speaks about our life. The path of knowing myself is the path of finding my own voice, my own style. Through my experiences, my photography has evolved, and now my photography is the path of my life.
Cameras & Lenses
About My Gear
It is not the camera or the gear that makes the picture. Pictures need you, your mind, your heart, your view. That’s why I decided to include myself in the gear picture. ;)
Every single piece of gear you see in this picture I love, I use, is part of me, is an extension of my body and soul.
For starters, I’ve been shooting with the Fuji XT2 camera for three wedding seasons. It has made me a better photographer, changed my way of shooting; it’s more silent, lighter, and causes less physical pain.
I now barely shoot with the camera in my face, which has been a huge game changer for my work. I look at what I am trying to capture with both of my eyes, I can smile and engage, and I can reach different points of view.
The three lenses I use are ones I love the most, the Fujinon 14mm f/2.8 is perfect for my complex images, and it has saved me while shooting in really small spaces; it is my go-to lens.
The Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 is a beautiful portraits lens, for a more intimate approach.
Two years ago, I added the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8. My partner and photographer, Franck Boutonnet, recommended it. I love, love, love every single thing this lens has added to my body of work.
It has helped me to isolate better, clean up my shots, get more right in camera, and sometimes it’s good to be farther away from what we’re capturing in order to not ruin the moment.
This year, I started using the Godox AD200, and I fell in love with it. I add the round-head attachment and just love the light I get from that combination. When I add a MagMod MagBeam, the extra power of the AD200 really helps to overpower the sun.
My oldest gear love, the one that has been with me since 2015: MagMod. It was a game changer for me; I just love the system, the quality of the product, and the versatility it adds to my work.
I’m on the path of learning how to add another dimension to my work using video and sound. I’m learning on the go, but it feels like the direction my photography is going.
We will see what the future holds!
My only complaint about my all of gear is the amount of batteries I have to carry!
You can see more of my recent work on Instagram or on my website below.
Inside Rocio Vega’s camera bag: