What made you choose Playa del Carmen as the place to set up your gallery?
I’ve been coming here for 20 years and Fifth Avenue is one of the three most crowded avenues in the country. I want people to experience my photography, to connect with my work, and get to know the region because a lot of my work is about this region. The photos are for sale as well as on display.
When did you begin your journey as a photographer?
Five years ago. I studied photography in Mexico City at a school in the Colonia Condesa, and then I went to the International Centre of Photography New York. For landscape photography, it is something I learned by going out and spending the maximum possible time in nature.
What motivates you to take photographs?
I had an accident in India and my mental and physical condition deteriorated. To get past this I bought a camera and began taking photographs in Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. I forgot about my depression and my physical state and the most important thing for me became my present state while taking photos in nature. I left design and music to focus only on photography.
If you want to do landscapes you have to wake up very early and go to sleep late. You have to be willing to go to remote areas alone and dedicate your life to this.”
Pepe Soho, Photographer
Tell me about your photograph “Believe.” What is the concept behind it?
This is something that I had planned before going down to shoot it. The angles create a visual effect that makes the ladder appear very close to the mountain. It means that the furthest dreams can actually be much closer than they appear. The only thing that limits us is our minds.
How did this photo end up in the competition for World’s Best Landscape Photo?
They came looking for me and asked if I wanted to enter the competition. I’m not really interested in competing, but I sent several photos. I sent “Believe” and was surprised to learn that it had won.
How do you feel about the reaction/accolades that the photo has received?
It’s one thing to win a prize in your own country, but to have your photo chosen out of thousands from the world’s best landscape photographers – I’m still in a state of disbelief and I am very happy. It’s at an international level, with 27 countries involved, so it’s like the Olympics for photography.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
In general, you have to step out of your comfort zone, study your subject, and work longer hours than everyone else. If you want to transcend, you have to work hard. If you want to do landscapes, you have to wake up very early and go to sleep late. You have to be willing to go to remote areas alone and dedicate your life to this. You have to love what you are doing.
Find Pepe’s work online here: http://www.pepesoho.com/es/ or check out the Facebook/PepeSohoPhotography page for his gallery.