We first met music photographer Adela Loconte at the same Charles Bradley show where we met fellow photographer Ken-Grand Pierre. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Adela started her own production and photography company while completing her masters’ degree in advertising. She then lived in London and Barcelona and worked as a producer for the CMYK Independent Magazine Cultural Festival while also shooting/producing at the Sonár Music Festival. She then moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she’s been shooting concerts and musicians nonstop. Adela links reflection to introspection and learning about the self, which can lead to meaningful response through actions. For Adela, a photograph represents a reflection of a moment, a “register of time.” Peep the interview and some of her awesome images below!
Through the camera I get to reflect the moment, atmosphere, action, and feeling of the subject. My intention through the photograph is basically making people feel that moment in case they weren’t there or, in case they were, bring them back to it.
– Adela Loconte
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
AL: Hola! My name is Adela and I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela but my roots are Italian.
I finished high school when I was 16 years old and started to study advertising in Caracas. During my second semester, I started to take photography classes, and became interested in it. I went on to get my masters degree in advertising at Santa María University, and while studying, I interned at Saatchi & Saatchi Caracas. After interning, I decided to open my own company with a friend and focus on production, photography, and design. Saatchi & Saatchi became our client, along with Leo Burnett, Venevision TV, Planeta Urbe and Loquesea.com, amongst others.
While I was in school for my masters degree and running my company, I decided to enroll in a photography school called “Imagomundi.” I really got into it and I spent two years there taking different types of analog camera courses.
After I finished my masters degree and my photography courses in Caracas, I decided to close my company in 2001, and head to the UK to continue my photography studies.
I chose London, because it’s where all of my favorite music was from, and I enjoyed the English sense of humor. I started a Postgraduate degree in Photography at University of the Arts London, and was so excited that I sometimes even went to school on Saturdays!
I enjoyed London so much for 3 years. I studied a lot. I met incredible people there. I enjoyed cultural exchanges. I enjoyed amazing shows and festivals and it was time to leave, because the weather was not helping my tropical side. So, I flew to Barcelona, Spain where the weather was better and I could go to the beach as much as I wanted. I spend almost 4 years [there]. I worked there for CMYK Independent Magazine Cultural Festival, and Sonár Music Festival. I learned so much and had a blast, working as a producer for both festivals.
The last Sonár Music Festival I worked. I got the opportunity to do two different jobs at the time, one for Barcelona and the other one for Venezuela. Apart of working on the production side at Sonár, I got to shoot the festival for the main newspaper in Venezuela called “El Nacional”, when all of the sudden my camera got stolen in the middle of the festival. At that moment, I only had on my mind how many months of hard work were gone, instead of the camera and the films the thief took.
When I was living in London I put my self into the craziest schedule someone could have lived in. I was sleeping about 5 hours a day. Finishing my Photography Master, having a daytime job during the week at a company and during weekends at nighttime a job as a bartender, and I was also studying on Saturdays. My goal at that time was buying this amazing camera I was dreaming with, it was a Nikon F5 (film camera) and some lenses and new flash. I worked for 6 months nonstop. I was falling asleep everywhere, at the university, in the train, at the bus, and at the office. I aimed for the Nikon camera, 5 Nikon lenses and a Nikon flash and finished everything I put myself into it. All those months on nonstop work just got stolen at a festival.
I feel so much frustration after that episode that I went into different life phases. I did produce photographers. I did assistant photographers. I quit for some time photography and then I came back. Barcelona at that time was starting to go into their economical crisis; companies where paying really bad and I couldn’t get a new camera as fast as I did in London.
So, time to start again! Let’s leave Barcelona for New York!
First, I came to New York to visit for a month and out of the blue, the most hardcore city open its arms and super welcoming me! I never thought I was going to live here, honestly. Basically, I have been based in Williamsburg for the past 7 years. I been working for CMJ Online, CMJ Music Marathon Festival, Brooklyn Vegan, SPIN, and IMPOSE magazine.
I also worked for Vme Media/Channel Thirteen, Sheik ‘n’ Beik, and Metal Magazine as a Producer.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
AL: Reflection is our own introspection and the willingness to learn more about our own nature, purpose in life and essence. Through introspection we find responses, those that make us create a plan to develop our own path and to aim our goals.
There is a wonderful quote by W.T. Yeats, that I really like, and it says “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than is does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”
How do music photography and portrait photography fit in with that definition?
AL: Through the camera I get to reflect the moment, atmosphere, action, and feeling of the subject. My intention through the photograph is basically making people feel that moment in case they weren’t there or, in case they were, bring them back to it. [With] portraits I’m all about people’s essence and their anatomy.
The response will be my introspection towards music. Music is a worldwide language and Photography is the register of the time.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?