Exhibitor Insights – Jose Esteve

Could you give an introduction to you and tell us about your photography.

I’m originally from Spain and moved to London about 15 years ago to pursue a career in Visual Effects for film. I’ve been serious about photography for about that long.
My journey began with portrait and fine art photography. Over time, I became increasingly process-driven and enamoured with the craft of photography and creating handmade images. Spending time in community darkrooms took me down the path of traditional silver gelatin printing and alternative photographic processes dating back to the 19th century.
I love the hands-on aspect of photography and take a slow approach. I enjoy the creativity of each step, from capturing the initial image to interpreting it in the darkroom. There’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing the final framed print on the wall, knowing all the work that went into it.
instagram: @joseestevephoto
What did you get out of exhibiting in previous years?
My previous experience in 2019 was fantastic. It was my first time, and I had no idea what to expect, but I left with fond memories. I got to meet other photographers and chat about our shared journeys and passions.
During the exhibition, I spoke with many people who approached my work with curiosity and interest. I got to talk about the subjects, the process, and what it took to make the images. Sometimes, they shared their impressions and what they found interesting. Those conversations were valuable and rewarding because they made me think more deeply about my craft.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I look forward to enjoying the event at the end of the year. Having a date on the calendar gives me a goal to work toward. My photos take ages to produce, and I need more than a stream of social media posts to stay motivated. Aiming to create a series of images helps me plan, photograph, and make the prints. Plus, the experience itself is something I look forward to as a goal in its own right.
What’s the best thing about exhibiting at the London Photo Show?
For me, it’s seeing my work on a wall, outside a screen. We put so much effort into our photographs, and I feel that the print is the final result that truly does them justice.
It’s a humbling and proud experience. Photography tends to be a solo process, but exhibiting allows you to connect with other artists and creators, step out of your comfort zone, and think more deeply about your motivations, work, and process. It’s completely different from the quick dopamine hit of social media.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about exhibiting?
If you’re considering exhibiting, I’d say just go for it. Don’t be put off by thinking you have to be at a certain level or fit any mould. Selecting and preparing your work for exhibition is challenging but incredibly useful. It’s a valuable exercise in self-editing and curation. Beyond that, the experience is immensely rewarding. Seeing your work displayed in a gallery and viewed by others is something you’ll remember fondly.

Above all, this process will help you grow as a photographer. You’ll take those decisions, conversations, and feedback with you and reflect on them. So, embrace the opportunity, be brave, and dive in. It’s a positive experience all around.

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