Competition Close Up, interview with Victor Hugo Casillas Romo, winner of The World at your Feet Competition
Wow, what a beautiful silhouette image. The competition judge said that he loved the sheer exuberance portrayed here, and we can see why. There is also something really peaceful about being out in the world somewhere at sunrise, before most people are awake. We chatted to Victor about his winning image, and asked him about his journey in photography so far.
Victor lives in the city of Guadalajara in Mexico and works for a Catholic School, run by Jesuits known as ‘The Company of Jesus’ – there are many of these schools and universities around the World. As part of the school curriculum, some tutors and students from the school were on a spiritual retreat in a town called Jocotepec in the state of Jalisco which is part of the biggest lake of Mexico, called ‘Chapala’. Victor and the four men on the bridge went to the lake to admire the sunrise from 7am to 8am.
Apparently, the men on the bridge are following the instructions of the man on the right, the ‘Orquesta Master’ as he leads them in movement and dance. A beautiful time and place for Spiritual refreshment.
Victor has enjoyed many aspects of ‘The Arts’ throughout his life, studying drawing, technical drawing, painting, sculpture and woodwork in USA and later in Mexico. He has dual nationality, both American and Mexican.
Whilst studying communications, Victor discovered photography and immediately took courses in cinema, visual arts, TV language, art and design to name a few. Photography became his passion, supported by his foundation in the different aspects of the arts.
When asked what the best piece of advice was, that he had been given as a photographer, Victor has many answers and they are all fantastic. But I think the one that resonates particularly with me, is, ‘A photo is a reflection of yourself, so try to be faithful to who you are – your heart, spirit, ideas and emotions will be reflected in your work’. So true.
Victor is recognised by both the US and Mexico as an important environmental activist for the area where the winning photograph was taken, Lake Chapala. The lake has become contaminated and Victor has been working on a project around the fishermen of the lake for the past 20 years, attempting to raise the issues of the effects humans have on nature.
As well as that ongoing project, Victor says that his future photographic plans are all based in Mexico. Mexico, he explains, has 121 magical towns, so his plan is to travel around all of them and document the different places, their colours, architecture, history, traditions, folklore and people in images that are then made into a book.
That sounds like a fantastic plan, Victor, we look forward to seeing the book ourselves, when it becomes published.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share the background to your winning image and a little of yourself as the photographer too.