Gabriela and Marcial are passionate world travelers. Based in Barcelona, they take two or three trips a year. It was on a trip to Sri Lanka where they first started giving photos. For their recent trip to Mexico’s Yucatán region GivePhotos donated film to give away to the locals who experience very high rates of poverty. You can see their beautiful photographs on Instagram @siemprehaciaeloeste and read about their adventures on their travel blog Siempre Hacia El Oeste
When did you start giving photos?
We started giving photos on our trip to Sri Lanka on August 2016.
What motivated you to do it?
We have been photographing people on all our trips. Unfortunately, we have left many places with the bad feeling of not having access to a printer to make a copy of the files that were kept in our cameras and share those pictures with the people we met.
We tried to send the pictures once we were back in Spain but sometimes the addresses we had were difficult to recognize for the postal service and sometimes people did not have a proper address. We have been uploading most of the photos on our blog and we try to share it with the people we meet, but some people do not have access to an internet connection.
That is why we started to share the pictures taken with the Fujifilm Instax.
What equipment do you use and why?
We use the Fujifilm Instax 90 for giving the photos and a Fuji XPro1 for the rest. We chose the XPro1 because it’s kind of a perfect camera for travelling. It’s small, light, it has a nice collection of prime lenses and it goes pretty unnoticed compared with other bigger systems.
Can you share one memorable story with us about your experience sharing photos?
It is not easy to choose only one, but I think the moments with kids are the funniest. Last summer we have been in Sri Lanka where we had a beautiful experience with some kids and their mothers. We arrived to a church on a Sunday at the end of the sermon. All the community was there. We took out our Fujifilm Instax camera and started taking pictures for the kids. They were crazy about it. They kept coming and coming several times to ask for a new picture for his brother, sister, friend… They were really excited. It was a very rewarding moment. And then, all their mothers got closer to us and asked if we could took a photo with their babies next to the church or the virgin. Finally they invited us to have lunch with them.
Do you have any suggestions for people who would like to give photos?
Do not leave your Instax camera or printer in your room just because you think you’re not going to meet anyone to give a photo to that day. As it happens with photography, you simply cannot foresee when you’ll get a good chance to take a great picture. Opportunities are all out there!
On our last trip to Mexico we met in Mérida two old men that were working on a sewing workshop. They were around 80-90 years old and had a lot of clothes to repair and sew. Marcial asked if we could take a photo of them and then we started to talk for like an hour or so. That day I left the Instax camera in the room because I thought we’re not going to meet anyone in Merida’s city center to give away photos. I regretted. It would have been an excellent moment to give the photo to these men and I could not do it.
So, do not plan much. Take your camera always with you. It can happen any time!
All photos by Gabriela Huarie and Marcial Rodriguez.