For Mexico-based photographer Joel Sossa, youth is not fleeting, but forever. Whether capturing those lazy summer days which seemingly stretch on for infinity, or road trips through the desert with friends, his sun-soaked photos are a dreamy suggestion that love, friendship and youth are simply pure distillation of light. The 23 year old’s photography, though shot through a modern camera with a contemporary eye, feel like vintage photos from the 70s, where love was wild, free and unencumbered by the world’s trappings. The photographs seem to ooze with a nostalgia you didn’t know you had.
Below, he has answered a few of my questions about his process and his work. You can visit Sossa’s blog for his complete portfolio of this project, but you’ll also be treated to his hand-selected playlist which accompanies the honeyed and nomadic quality of his photography. When asked if he is currently exhibiting his work anywhere, Sossa said, “I am not currently exhibiting my work anywhere. I hope and I would love to exhibit it in some cool gallery.” Hear that, New York?
What is the narrative or theme you are trying to express?
The theme of my pictures often touch on freedom, being happy with what you have, beating time and being forever young. They are about loving and forgiving because that’s the only real here.
Your use of light and how you play with it in the photos imparts a playful, dreamy quality. What’s your relationship to light, and how do you see its role in the work?
The light for me is a sign of life. A sunset, a sunrise makes me feel alive. [Light helps] me appreciate the beauty of life. In the photography, it gives amazing tones and vibrant colors. I also love playing with the sunlight, as it gives the pictures a unique style and some cool effects.
The music on your blog inspires the same kind of soul-wandering the images convey. Would you mind sharing a few of the bands that inspire you/found their way onto your playlist? How does the music inspire the work, or vice versa? Are they meant to be experienced together?
I like to listen to Angus Stone, Devendra Banhart, the Head and the Heart, Bon Iver, Radiohead. This isn’t the only music I listen to, but it conveys something more, music that helps you travel without moving. Everytime I hear a song that I love, my mind travels and that is where creativity and imagination begins to play with images. The music gives something “extra” to my pictures and helps reinforce the feeling that I want to share with people.
All photos courtesy of Joel Sossa. Copyright, 2012: Joel Sossa