For Javier Castán, photography is a creative process that takes place in the dark room where he develops his own images. The artist based in Barcelona distils colorful portraits, where the sensuality of the film amplifies the sincerity of the people he meets.

How and when did you realize that photography was your own way to create?

I started taking photos several years ago, mainly in analogue and medium format, but it wasn’t until I started processing and enlarging my own prints that I found my own ritual of work and a space where I could be alone and experiment, learning and discovering my own style.

How would you describe your photographic aesthetic ? 

I really try to highlight everything that I find beautiful in their own way, every day. Since I started enlarging and producing prints, I have tried to focus on the process and to work on every photograph as a physical object with its own singularities, one that you can experiment and play with.

I am most proud of a series of photos I took on a trip to Japan. It will be released in a book, alongside the work of other photographers. I am also preparing a series I created during a trip to the Scottish Highlands.

How do you succeed to take the best of your model? 

It is difficult to get an honest photograph of someone you don’t know at all, so it’s always important to build a soothing and encouraging atmosphere for not only the model but the whole team that’s behind the photoshoot, where one can feel free to do anything one wants, but always working towards a common objective.

How do you manage to cultivate your inspiration ?

Most of all, nature. For the latest editorials I’m working on, i’ve drawn inspiration from performance art pieces from artists such as Francis Alys and Rebecca Horn. Now more than ever before, I’m coming back to things I’ve always liked, like anime and video games.