Javiercastan-omarsouleyman-crackmagazine-photography-itsnicethat-18

Work / Photography

Photographer Javier Castán’s film portraits evoke personality

For photographer Javier Castán, an interest in taking photographs was an organic career choice. “It started as a really natural thing,” he says. “I used to shoot my friends and our life, my brother studied photography and my grandfather left us different cameras, so that’s why I started shooting film.”

Javier has taken photographs for a number of notable publications: i-D, Vogue, and The Editorial Magazine, manually processing the photographs in the lab himself, adding a tangible quality to the photographs where the edges of the film process are still evident. “It has become a more introspective process, spending hours alone. I have to consider every detail because everything now depends on what I do outside, and now inside the lab.”

Currently, Javier is a creative director of an advertising agency, while simultaneously developing his commissioned and personal photography projects. One recent shoot of Javier’s from Crack magazine, caught our eye for his ability to capture the brilliant personality of Syrian musician, Omar Souleyman.

The shoot took place in Bilbao, a city neither Javier or Omar had visited before, an “interesting experience” that proved inspirational. “Omar has a really strong aesthetic, so I wanted to find a contrast, and also a symbolic and representative place,” explains Javier.

The concept for the shoot was informed by the situation at hand, “I wanted to show him as a tourist enjoying himself, a bit Martin Parr inspired. We shot for a couple of hours, walking around the Guggenheim Museum while I took photos of him with his phone. He always asked me to shoot him with his phone in completely different places and perspectives of what I was shooting for Crack; he has a really curious way of thinking and I think it shows in everything he does. There was a moment when he stopped and stared at a Peruvian street musician for ten minutes, he looked fascinated.”

Javiercastan-omarsouleyman-crackmagazine-photography-itsnicethat-15

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-omarsouleyman-crackmagazine-photography-itsnicethat-17

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-omarsouleyman-crackmagazine-photography-itsnicethat-19

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-omarsouleyman-crackmagazine-photography-itsnicethat-21

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-01

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-02

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-03

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-04

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-05

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-06

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-07

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-08

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-09

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-10

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-12

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-13

Javier Castán

Javiercastan-photography-itsnicethat-14

Javier Castán