When we stumbled upon Enrique Marquez’s Instagram feed, we were immediately drawn to his minimalist style and his ability to photograph strangers in moments that feel fleeting and organic. In addition to capturing the authentic motions of everyday life, Enrique also plays with different angles, shadows, and soft colors in his pictures.
Although Enrique is based in Mexico City, his pictures follow his worldly travels through the bare white Bolivian Salt Flats to the clean lines of the Parisian Louvre. Below, we showcase some of our favorite shots of his and take a few moments with Enrique to learn more about his creative process and style.
What inspires you to take pictures?
I think we are all born with the ability to understand the world through photography. Since childhood, we’re always watching and learning from everything we see; our memory is always linked with images. Over time, our personality and perspective changes. Our interests are defined, and a different way of observing things becomes developed. At a certain point in life, every person finds their best form of expression. In my experience, my interest in photography has existed for a long time. The trips I took with my family around Europe aroused a concern for keeping a memory of the new places we visited. Almost all trips deserve a record, and I don't mean just the mental one.
Through photography, I've been able to capture moments that fully express the experience I am living at the time. Henri Cartier-Bresson, the legendary French photographer, said: “To photograph is to put on the same line of sight: the head, the eye, and the heart”. This is a quote with which I identify so much. I have always believed that a photograph is taken with the five senses, with all of our stories and memories. A photograph always carries the influence of the time it is taken. A photograph is the sublimation of what happens to us.
I could say that what inspires me is everything that happens around me. My job is reduced to capture it through my way of seeing things.
Who are some of your favorite photographers you admire?
Well, I think at this point of the digital age, I have to divide photographers into two groups: the great photographers of history and the current photographers who publish their work through digital media.
I just quoted one of them: Henri Cartier-Bresson. In my opinion, he is the greatest photographer of all time, and I can say that his work has greatly influenced the way I look through the lens. Each photograph he captured tells a story and has an absolute accuracy of the time it was taken. I really admire Robert Capa's work, founder of Magnum Photo with Cartier-Bresson and David Seymour. I would say that those three photographers are my favorites.
Man Ray is also on my list of inspiring photographers with his very expressive portraits, like those of Annie Leibovitz. The documentary photography of Robert Frank and Robert Doisneau, the night photography of Brassaï, the classic photographs of Stephen Shore in parking lots, and not only the photographs taken by Ansel Adams, but also his words, are all works that inspire me.
For current photographers, I really like Tyler Shields (@thetylershields), Chris Ozer's (@chrisozer), Michael O’Neal's (@moneal), and Alex Strohl's (@alexstrohl) works. I recently discovered Christopher Hainey's (@chriscreature) work as a photographer; he is the Maps & Atlases drummer. I like Michael Schulz's (@berlinstagram) urban work; the same goes for Chen Liu (@cocu_liu) in Chicago.
What’s your process behind setting up your shot, particularly for your shots that include strangers?
Most of the time I go out with a handheld camera, I think that speaks lots about the kind of photos you want to capture. I'm really hunting all the time. It happens often, for example when I walk down the street, that I find the perfect situation to capture, and my camera is at home. That’s when my smartphone comes to the rescue, despite its limitations.
I think any time is good to take a picture, so the process is the same as that followed by nature: we look at something that catches our attention, we freeze it, frame it through our retina, and the image is recorded in our brain. The same process with the camera.
To travel is getting out of the habit and comfort; it is to escape from the everyday and feel a new experience where time is the least important. It is a conversation with other people and their story, but especially with ourselves. We test our ideas and question them to overcome self-imposed limits, to go beyond the known. When we travel we always carry our own story- we let it loose somewhere amongst unknown people to see what happens.
That really gives me everything to start taking pictures.
Any upcoming travels or projects you’re working on?
I think that trips are part of anyone’s self-construction. When photography is a part of your daily routine, you are thinking all the time about the next trip. I spent the first days of this year in South America. In March, I was in France and in April, in California. There is a chance that I’ll be visiting Toronto in September, and I’d love to end the year in Spain. Part of my family is from Catalonia, and I’d really like to visit and tour the small Catalan villages.
As for my projects, I am developing two projects at the moment. The first is dedicated to the generation of photographic content for companies and cultural institutions. The second project is much more ambitious; it is a photography platform that acts as an office for photo projects management or an agency for photographers where the main driver is the interest of people in photography. In this age of technological advances, the dissemination of content through digital media is easy; everyone is sharing experiences at all times.
With this project, I'm trying to open a space to fit all these publications, where photographers will find the support they need to lead their project to another level and where photography enthusiasts can find really good pictures. This is a project I've always wanted to develop and hope we can collaborate on in the not too distant future.