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Born in South America, NYC-based photographer Andrés Altamirano's work manages to draw the viewer into its sensitive, dreamlike and timeless own private world. His effortless-spontaneous style, extremely sharp sense of fashion, as well as his avid passion into travelling, makes this unique-one of a kind photographer, true worthy of keeping an eye on.

How did photography get into your life?

In my teens I had the opportunity to share some great moments with “Maestro” Oswaldo, an amazing Ecuadorian artist. He encouraged me to take photos, and asked me to document some of his work. Actually, from him I inherited my first camara.

Can you tell me which was your first camera?

It was a Canon AE-1 35 mm.

Can you remember what you aspired to be when you were growing up?Is art something that always interested you?

I remember being always passionate about the arts. Photography was just a way of sharing moments with people.

What was the first image that made an impression on you?

It was a very simple black & white portrait of my grandmother, Cumanda, sitting on top of a yellow radio on her living room.

You’re originally from South America. How does your background reflect in your work?

It’s probably reflected on the simplicity, purity and carefulness that I look for in things.

Your art usually captures the beauty of amazing exotic places. Is traveling an important component to your work?

Yes, I feel very fortunate and honored to be constantly travelling and to get to know other worlds.

There's a lack of artifice in your photographs, a dogged desire to reveal people and places as they are. Is this intuitive or an elaborate composition?

That’s purely spontaneous, simple moments I love.

Your aesthetic for fashion is so unique. You have been portraying big models like Myf Shepherd, Rachel Rutt, Muriel Biel, and Flo Dro. How do you come up with these simple, sensitive beautiful images?

I connect with them and share simple beautiful moments. I like to shoot on location and just concentrate in having a great time.

How did collaborating with Myf Shepherd come about? Your published work, called Book Portraits/Amigos was so eclectic and beautiful.

Working with Myf was inevitable. She is an incredible talented person, and I love her unique energy.

The city is packed full of young creative artists. Is it hard to get your work out there?

I’m always grateful to have the opportunity to show my work. There’re so many outlets in NYC it's just a matter of making a connection.

What inspires you? And who has been your greatest inspiration?

Mainly different countries, cultures and people. My grandmother Cumanda was a huge influence. She shared with me her appreciation of cultural diversity and joy into travelling and exploration.

When you are choosing between shots, how do you pick the good one?

I try to connect to my instincts and go with my guts in a very spontaneous way.

Is there anything that you really want to photograph and you haven’t done so yet?

Absolutely. Right now I’m interested in visiting the deeps parts of the Amazons to take photos.

What do you wish your photography to express?

I feel my goal as a photographer is to document and share the beauty of the people and places I encounter.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished a couple of video projects I’m very happy with, one of which is a video for Audrey Louise Reynolds with Myf Shepard. And I’m psyched about and upcoming story for Vice I’m working on, with artist Martin Gutierrez.

What do you like the most about NYC?

The people.

What do you like the least about NYC?

Winter weather.

Where is “paradise”?

I love Galapagos Island.

What comes next?

I’m putting together some prints for an exhibition opening next month with Snax Magazine. They’re photographs I took at Cotopaxi Volcano, in the Ecuadorian Andes. I’m also planning on moving to Tokyo for a few months, I’m so intrigued by the city and culture. Would love to work and live there for a while.

WORDS
ALEJANDRA RODRÍGUEZ MENZER
PORTRAIT
BY DAN MCMAHON

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