MMM Interview: Intimate Self-Portraits by Melania Brescia

Photographer Melania Brescia has continued to capture beautifully intimate self-portraits since the last time we posted about her, nearly two years ago. Her stunning images are deeply expressive, radiating raw energy and uninhibited emotion. Looking at each self-portrait is like glimpsing a part of the photographer's soul, as Brescia exposes herself entirely to the camera. In turn, viewers cannot help but feel moved, themselves, as each intimate shot evokes recollections of moments of vulnerability, love, longing, or loneliness.

Brescia, who will be moving from Spain to the US at the end of the year to get married, places great value on post-processing, through which she's able to fully achieve her intended image. Although many of her self-portraits depict natural and quietly contemplative scenes, the 22-year-old photographer isn't afraid to push her creative boundaries by producing more surreal photos of herself half-submerged in water or floating in the air like a phantom.

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask the photographer a few questions about her inspiration and creative process. Be sure to read that interview, below.

How did you first become interested in art and photography?
I became interested in art when I was 12 years old. I used to paint and draw until I was 16. I was already in an art school, so there were all kinds of art there, and I found photography thanks to a friend. Eventually I gave up the pencil to pick up the camera.

Who or what inspires you?
Even though I have a lot of photographers I admire, what inspires me the most are moments of my life, feelings or memories, my work is like a journal. I can get inspired by music or books usually, I don't know why but I don't usually find my inspiration in other people's work.

Many of your photos are self-portraits. Can you walk us through your creative process, from the initial idea to photographing yourself to post-processing?
To be honest, I work easier when I'm upset, or I have some kind of problem. So that's the main thing, a strong feeling or something I need to express or say out loud, from there I find the idea. When I take the picture I am already thinking about the post-processing, it's something really important to me that I really enjoy, so I always have that in mind.

Your portraits are beautifully intimate and expressive. What do you hope to convey through your work?
I've answered this question a lot, and the truth is I don't hope to convey one thing or another to anyone. I just need to express myself the same way others do it through writing, singing, or crying. I don't hope people understand what I'm trying to say, if I hope anything, it's that they feel something when they see my work, I really don't care what. I think art is about feeling, not understanding.

Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers?
I would say never to give up or to regret. There have been so many times I've wanted to stop, or I've regretted studying this and not that. But in the end, this is what I love. So I'd say, you need to think in what level do you love what you do, and how much would you give up for it.

What's next for you? Any exciting goals or projects in mind?
For now I haven't thought about my future in photography. People are different, I can only talk for myself, and after what I've experienced, I've decided I don't want to make a living out of what I love. Pressure, obligations, and schedules I think, would destroy my love for photography.

Thanks so much for the interview, Melania!

Melania Brescia Website
Melania Brescia on Flickr

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