Photographer Ronny García Channels his Colourful Fantasies into Perfectly-Planned Portraits

The best photographers bring something new and distinct to the creative field. With an impressive following on Instagram, Colombian photographer Ronny García creates high contrast ethereal portraits, often choosing nature as the backdrop. Post-processing plays a major role in his creative process and he often shares behind-the-scenes editing with his followers.

Prior to using models in his photography, Ronny enjoyed photographing self-portraits as a means to explore his creativity. Photographing portraits has become a way of extending his self-expression through a wide colour palette and a seemingly endless amount of inspiration.

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We spoke to Ronny about his work, process and his advice for fellow photographers.

THE PLUS: If you had to boil the concept of your portraiture down to a few words, what would those few words be? Or is it indefinable?
Ronny García:
It is a difficult question for me to answer since many things inspire my portraits, but I can tell that the common subject within them is fantasy and surrealism.

TP: Post-production is a big part of your creative process. Do you feel like you’re in the “flow” more on location or in the editing room, or both in different ways?
RG:
Many people think that post-processing is most of my work, perhaps due to the fact that I tend to share a lot my process. The reality is that I plan a lot my shoots, so what I do in post-processing comes in an organic way. All the decisions I take in Photoshop come with the decisions I made during my plan. So, I have to say that the creative process is 70% planning, shooting, preparation, etc., and 30% post-processing.

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TP: What attracts you to shooting portraits in forests and woodland?
RG:
When I started in photography, I used to use what I had near to me, in this case, a forest. I also felt more comfortable because I was alone. I could do whatever I wanted without being judged by others. When I started to incorporate models into my work, I took them to the place that I felt most comfortable, and now my favourite place to shoot is outside in the forest.

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TP: What’s your best advice to photographers when they don’t feel inspired? Have you worked through instances like this before?
RG:
Oh, many times because creative blocks are so common for creative people. However, we have to learn to deal with it, so here is my advice: Firstly, write everything that you think could be an idea, no matter how silly it sounds. The moment you feel uninspired you can go and check your notebook to find very interesting things to try.

Secondly, don’t let this situation destroy your creativity, go and shoot, even if you feel like you don’t want to. From the moment you take your camera and decide to create. Even if it isn’t a great picture, you’ll feel how your mind begins to move on from that stage.

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TP: You also do self-portraiture. Can you tell us a bit about how these feed into the overall aesthetic in your work?
RG:
The beginning of everything was self-portraits, I wish I could do it more now, but my entire story was because of that.

The self-portrait absolutely gave me the chance to know me, know my body and express what I was feeling inside in ways I never thought I could do. All the themes of fantasy, surrealism, and colours definitely are inspired by my previous self-portraits.

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TP: You’re heading into autumn and winter in Chile. What can we expect from your creative plans for the coming months?
RG:
My favourite season of the year is when there is not too much sun. I’m currently on tour in Mexico but when I come back, I plan to shoot a series of self-portraits inspired by the colour wheel, so let’s see how it will go.

TP: What do you like doing most when you’re not shooting portraits?
RG:
I love to travel, get to know other people, explore different cultures, and go to museums. I always say I can’t disconnect from photography because I’m always thinking about it. Everything I do is to help understand myself, appreciate what I am creating and envision what I want to show to the world.

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