What girl do you know who hangs out at Macba and Parallel? Meet Andrea Dosouto, a Spanish born photographer who captures everything from the reality of life on the streets to Spanky skating a bowl. Growing up in such a huge skateboarding community, it’s become one of her favorite things to shoot and she is damn good at it. Though she travels the world telling stories through her lens, we were lucky enough to catch up with this wandering paparazzo to ask a couple questions.
You shoot all types of photos—from skateboarding to personal projects—which is your favorite to do?
I really enjoy documenting skateboarding, it has been my main focus for the last 8 years. It has taught me a lot and allows me to see the world, and it also keeps me on the streets, aware of a lot of other realities and life interactions. People, their emotions and life circumstances are one of the main subjects I love to work with.
Your style of shooting is very natural and in the moment. How do you choose your locations?
I just see things and I shoot them, some days I don’t even take the cap off my camera because nothing attracts my eye, other days I can’t stop. I don’t really organize or direct shoots that much, most of what I shoot is just happening on my days out. When I do choose, It’s always empty street spaces. I have a fetish for abandoned houses, public buildings, industrial areas, intimate rooms, early mornings, and late afternoons.
How do you feel about shooting women nude?
Nudity is something I grow up with—my family are really open minded and we used to go to nudist beaches during the summer so I feel really comfortable with it. I love women’s bodies, femininity and attitude. I think a woman that owns it can be really powerful in her nudity, not needing a piece of clothing from designer ‘x’ or ‘y’ and to just feel herself.
Skateboarding seems to play a major part in your photography career, how did this come about?
Studying photography and living in Barcelona during the early 2000’s is why. I had an apartment between Macba and Parallel—well known skate spots— and my world and friendships were developed there, mainly skateboarders coming from all around the world to film and shoot. The cream of skateboarders were living there or spending long months out there, it just happened for me to be there, have a camera and fall in love with it. I had them teaching me what I was doing right or wrong. With them I started traveling and working on projects together and now it just feels like a family spread around the world.
How does it feel to be a woman shooting skateboarding and being part of such a male-centric sport?
It has always been really satisfying and hard at the same time, but I guess as anything, that’s a good thing. I feel really welcomed and admired as well as questioned. A lot of times you are working with younger guys that aren’t used to it and it can make them feel some type of way to have a girl in on the session. It was easier in Europe, it just feels a little less like a sexiest culture when you go with your friends than when you are working and going out with guys you barely know. I think I can do as good of a job when it comes to action as any male photographer and when it comes to documenting, I think I can definitely give a different perspective. I’m a woman, I see things differently or different moments take my attention and might be passed or unobserved by a man. Also, you provoke different feelings in them when it comes to portraits—there’s a certain level of vulnerability both ways.
Do you ever feel that people don’t give you enough credit?
I do feel that way sometimes. I definitely think the fact I’m a woman has been a point of discussion to get certain gigs or not, or to get published or not. As you said, it’s a mans world, where men take hold of the decisions. But I also have had a lot of satisfying feed back after a projects.
You always seem to be at the right place at the right time. What’s your secret?
I think I’m a ‘yes to everything’ person, really sociable, outdoors, curious by nature, and easy going. I don’t ask many questions. I’m always down for a trip, for a project, for anything that looks fun. So, if something is going on, I get invited, and off I go!
Any new projects in 2016 we can be looking forward to?
I plan my life 3 months at a time, haha! So for right now I’m working on a ‘male intimacy’ project that I will be presenting during Miami Art Basel with a show and a zine. Perhaps a couple trips too. I also want to start working on a book, putting together the last 10 years that I’ve been shooting skateboarding culture.