Pampa was born from the vision of two photographers and their deep respect for the vivid landscapes and quiet moments they encountered on their travels. Today we celebrate World Photography Day by having a chat with Pampa Co-founder and Photographer Victoria Aguirre about Photography’s ability to transport us and make us feel.
Why is photography your chosen medium?
My background is in travel, lifestyle and animal photography. I was around 12 when my Dad gifted me my first entry-level Kodak film camera (the camera was pink, and I loved it!) and that was the starting point for me really. Looking back, I just got obsessed with capturing moments, almost like I was living through my lens. From there I started creating photo books of my travels with family and friends around the home. Also, I remember I used to collect National Geographic magazines; The natural world growing up was something I was really passionate about, especially animals.
I’ve chosen photography as an art medium because I feel it’s the best way to express myself. I can shape and show reality in a beautiful way, and it has become my inner voice. I love the idea of capturing a moment in time and how that resembles a feeling or emotion to people or more so to myself when looking back at it.
How did you get into professional photography?
After finishing school, I started studying for a degree in advertising and then a degree in photography. I had a photography teacher that really shaped my first body of work. I was shooting in Buenos Aires and focussing on buildings – my photos were terrible, they had no real feeling behind them, and my photography teacher told me that the best photographs we can possibly take are of the subjects in our own backyards and that we should look deep inside ourselves for that special connection and express it through the camera lens. I will forever be grateful for this piece of advice that led me photographing horses on my family’s farm in the south of Argentina in an area called La Pampa. This place is where I feel very grounded and has the definition of home for me.
My Pampa Horses series was a very long experiment that became my main body of work, it took me around ten years to complete, and it’s continuing to evolve. After seeing how much I enjoyed photography, I started pursuing a commercial career and was shooting professionally for lifestyle and travel magazines in Buenos Aires. I then moved to New York to continue my photography studies at ICP. When I moved to Australia in late 2012, I saw that I could turn this series into something more, although I didn’t expect what would happen next. The series became very popular in Australia and shortly after worldwide; as time passed, I started adding more and more nature-focused collections, which included mostly other animals such as highlander cows, llamas, donkeys, and kangaroos, etc, but also some landscapes that I connected with.
I don’t really consider myself a technical photographer, but I feel my eye makes up for that. I also shoot professionally for my brand Pampa, doing all the product and interior photos, which seems to come very naturally to me.
Photography has taken you to incredible places. Is there a stand-out place you’ve photographed?
Yes, it sure has, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m consumed by photography when travelling; one of my favourite places I have been to in Australia would have to be the Outback in The Northern Territory and being able to experience places such as Uluru and its surrounds. Other highlights have been Monument Valley in the US and Jujuy in Argentina.
It feels like some of the animals you shoot are communicating with you in their photos. Do you sense a special connection to them when shooting them?
The part I enjoy the most when photographing animals, especially horses is the bonding, the animal-to-human interaction. Even just staying still amongst them and observing and letting my heart free is such a special part of the process. To me, when photographing animals, you start a silent dialogue; in these dialogues that take place through the lens, I have learned that you can look at a horse and just see a horse – or you can look deeper and find emotions, character, relationships and a deep understanding that every animal has its own spirit, personality and a defined purpose in life.
Is there something or somewhere on your wish list to shoot next?
I would love to go to Colorado and Wyoming to do a residency on a ranch or in the Andes Mountains close to our weavers and experience a deeper connection with the awe-inspiring natural landscape over there. Morocco’s desert is something that’s calling me a lot lately too.
See more of Victoria’s work here
*All images & words are copyright of Pampa, for any kind of use please contact us at email@example.com for permission.
Photos: Victoria Aguirre