We sat down with María Soledad Kubat as she shared what it’s like to work with a team, key skills for working with models, and the one thing that comes to every shoot.
We love how well your models fit your work and how well your work fits your models. Can you tell us a bit about how you chose the people that you work with?
I try to find people from my daily life, as similar to me as possible. I feel more relaxed and those people are too when they understand that we are all the same. Beauty lies in the everyday.
Working with models can seem challenging to some people but you are clearly a natural at it. What are some tips that you can give to people wanting to start working with people?
I think empathy, delicacy and not having any kind of prejudice when portraying are very important. Treat that person the way I would like to be treated. Humility and humanity to treat people is my key.
It can be challenging to go from a concept in your head to your final version, especially so as more people are involved. How do you ensure you are all working towards the asame goal?
When working as a team it is very important to have many meetings before the execution. The person who has the main idea is in charge of explaining to the group the objective or concept that they have in mind. Then each member puts their creativity and creates from the main concept. Within the work that falls to each of us we have free reins to create with all possible freedom. And very important is communication and being in constant contact with references and in conversations between us.
In your portfolio you effortlessly switch between lifestyle and fashion. What are some of the difference and similarities for you as an artist working in these two different styles?
For me, Lifestyle is being in contact with everyday life, with what I see and live every day in my life and that of others around me, and having the eye to be able to show that in my photographs. I see the concept of fashion or artistic portrait more as a dream or aspiration, I can play a little more with my imagination and create from ideas in my head and not with what I see every day. It is perhaps difficult to unite both worlds, but I don’t see it as impossible, and I think there is a point where they come together that makes an image memorable.
Tagging on to the previous question, we’re also curious to hear about your experiences working on magazine editorials/brand shoots versus working for Stocksy.
I really like doing editorials because I always work as a team and I think that more heads think better than one. We let our imagination fly when it comes to generating content for fashion magazines. The only thing I would change about that concept is not always working with professional models. I think it is necessary to give the rest of the world the opportunity to be portrayed in a different and fun way. When we do editorials, we don’t think about a particular magazine, but we do it and then we send it to various places and wait for them to accept the job. But we always do it for and by ourselves because it feels good to see what we had in mind come true.
Any goals for the up and coming year?
My goal for this year is to dedicate 110% to photography for Stocksy because I feel that I have the freedom to create what I like and be valued for it. Another goal is to enter the world of videos and illustrations.
What is your motivation/driving force to create the work you create?
I try to always be in contact with new trends, observe the everyday world and the digital world. I admire many photographers who inspire me with their work to continue creating. I am very fond of cinephiles and I watch a lot of series and I think that helps me a lot to hone my artistic eye and see beyond a simple image.
If you could execute any idea — with no budget restraints or logistical limits — what would it be?
An almost impossible dream is to do a campaign for a big brand like Adidas or Fenty. Being a great cinephile, I would also love to be able to make portraits of actors and actresses that I have admired since I was a child.
Do you have any hidden talents besides creating your wonderful work?
I thought a lot about this question. I think that in a more personal way, I consider myself a very empathic person. I like listening to people (more than talking) and being able to understand how they feel and what is going on in their life.
How do you make sure that your work still stays enjoyable and that you don’t burn out on creating new content?
For that to happen, it is necessary to get bored with myself and my work. Having a creative crisis and looking for other alternatives and ideas that inspire me to create new concepts. When I feel bad or I don’t like what I do, that’s when better productions come out later. You have to understand that you are not always 100% in your personal or work life, and it is also part of life to go through those processes that help you grow as a person and as a professional.
What is the one bit of advice you wish you knew from the start?
Not everything comes quickly, I’m going to have thousands of setbacks and anguish. But when you see your finished work, it’s all worth it.
Creative blocks can happen to everybody, what works for you to get out of them?
I let my head rest for a while. Enjoy other things that life gives me and understand that everything has its process. Talking to colleagues has always helped me a lot to understand that lockdowns happen to all of us and it’s a natural thing. We are not robots and we need to rest for a while from our ideas.
Is there something that you can not go without while creating new work? And why is this so important?
There is no lack of laughter and communication while working with people. Links are extremely important to me when it comes to creating, having a nice connection both with the models and with the rest of the team. And when I’m alone editing at my desk, I can’t miss music and coffee (or maté).
Do you have any advice for contributors just starting out at Stocksy?
I consider myself quite new to the Stocksy family but something that helps me grow within this community is the freedom with which I feel when creating. With the returns I learn every day to be better. It is a very nice moment for a Latina photographer to know that there are people inside Stocksy and outside that like and appreciates my work. One piece of advice is not to be afraid to create and to be in contact with everyday life and see the beauty in it.