Luis Sánchez Martín was awarded Gold in the single image category of Let’s Face It: 5.
“ I thought that the competition was one of the best ways to compare my work with other people's,” he explains. “I already had the image in my portfolio but this definitely gave it a new perspective.”
“The moment I pressed the shutter I knew this was "the picture",” he goes on to say. “The subject’s personality was so strong that every short sentence they said was a kind of wisdom statement. I was absolutely hypnotised by his eyes; I got a strong connection with them and felt we were reading each other’s thoughts. I felt the message behind his eyes: the exciting life, the complicity but also the distance, resignation and melancholy...”
Luis feels that competitions like Let’s Face It are useful because they forced him to compete with “really amazing photographers”, which he always finds rewarding, as he is “learning from the best”. He also points out that competitions are a good way to get your work known and appreciated by professionals, and are a prestigious reference for the future.
An industrial engineer, Luis earns a living as a Factory Director in a well known British chocolate company. He discovered a passion for photography when recovering from a serious illness which changed the way he saw life and the world in general. Since then, he says, “I have been following a strict course of self-teaching. I have been very careful in building a portfolio and a style and concept. I still consider myself a young student with a lot to know and learn. I have been awarded in some local contests, some of my work has been selected and published in magazines and used for advertisement and calendars, but I consider the Let’s Face It competition my first important recognition.”
A keen traveller, Luis likes to seek out secret places to inspire his photography: “those places which not everybody can see even when they walk around there every single day. I really love to give a turn of the screw to little things in life, to shoot invisible people, but always with my personal point of view.”
A chance meeting in Brooklyn Heights led to Luis photographing Karl Lagerfeld on location in New York. He explains, “Karl and his team were taking pictures of a model and I was so focused on my own work that he had to ask me politely to change my position! There were not too many people around so we kept on taking pictures for more than 30 minutes. Then he took a break and came over to where I was to take his personal pictures. I admit to taking a quick picture of him, but I don’t think I can ever show it, because he didn’t notice. But who knows if some time I can ask him for a picture again!”
Luis is currently working on some very different projects. One, shot in black and white, is about street life and communities in some European and American cities. Another aim is to complete a series of photographs in a medieval environment with pictures shot at the Medieval Fairs in Spain. Luis also intends to complete a series of portraits continuing the theme of the winning image from Let’s Face It: 5. Luis says he will enter more LPA competitions, as “I really appreciate the work LPA is doing and how it is supporting artists and highlighting their work to make it better known.”