An espresso with…
Pablo Reyes

Image Credits: Pablo Reyes © Oleg Panov

February 14, 2019


Jazzespresso has interviewed the Chilean photographer and lawyer Pablo Reyes, finalist of the Jazz World Photo 2018

Who’s Pablo Reyes?
I’m a Chilean photographer and lawyer. I passionately adopted photography as a way to build and preserve social memory related to some artistic activities. Presently, I’m a professional member of the Jazz Journalist Association, finalist of the Jazz World Photo 2018 and I collaborate with All About Jazz.
Why did you choose jazz photography? Are you only interested in jazz?
As a child I studied clarinet, and this made me closer to jazz, even if it wasn’t the music we listened to the most at home. When I was 20 (1995), I bought my first reflex camera (Pentarex k1000, a copy of the Pentax), with which I approached analogical photography. In 2011, after seeing the work of some Spanish photographers, I started shooting jazz photographs in clubs and I discovered the special technical and aesthetical features of this profession. In 2014, notwithstanding my reluctance for digital photography, I adopted this format, and consequently I was able to divulge my work through social networks and to cooperate with international publications.
At the same time, I practice Objets d’Art and assets photography, as well as colour management and platinum-palladium print.
Would you like to share with us an anecdote about your relationships with jazz musicians?
Recently, a jazz street band asked me to photograph their performance in order to help them to spread their music. At the end of the performance, they counted the coins collected and they gave me a portion of the earning equivalent to that of the musicians. That was the most generous act I have ever experienced in jazz and also, symbolically, the best remuneration I have ever received for my work (the equivalent of 7 dollars!)
What could you suggest to young photographers approaching this art?
Respect your profession and the work of the musicians, as two sides of the same creative expression. Stage and applause are for musicians. Define your personal languag according to your identity (know yourself!). Obviously, some people will like your photographs and others won’t, therefore it’s absurd to limit your work for others’ opinions. Resist the temptation of displaying your pictures in conditions which are not respectful of the effort made for their creation. The famous jazz photographer Hermann Leonard had his first exhibition in London in 1988, after a more than 40-year activity, so to speak.
Which is your favourite gear?
It’s the most useful for my work, I’m not a collector. Presently, I use Pentarex K1000, Nikon D7100 (lens 70-200mm, crop factor: 105-300mm) and Nikon D750 (lens 24-70). I think the future belongs to mirrorless.
Is there a pic you’d wish you’ve taken?
I have some photograph friends that I deeply admire, and I would like to steal them photographs and give them my name (of course I’m kidding!) Seriously, I believe in jazz as an artistic expression uniting people and refusing any discrimination and social injustice. I hope my pictures are sometimes able to represent those ideas, which I naturally share.

Images © Pablo Reyes

Pablo Reyes Interview 2019 Leonardo Schiavone Jazzespresso Jazz Magazine – copyright 2019 

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Pablo Reyes
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