Written by: Anna Díaz
Sandra Rojo, Photographs with soul
Courage, action and passion, but also strength and a positive attitude towards life: this is what the color red represents. And it's no coincidence that these are qualities possessed by Sandra Rojo (Rojo is Spanish for red). For Sandra, photography is as much her profession as it is her calling in life. She's a woman who puts something of herself into everything she does. Let us introduce her to you.
The name Sandra Rojo may be befitting of her lifestyle, but her name arose as a result of an innocent mistake. Her actual name is Sandra Arjona. At a time when she was adamant to find an artistic name (to sign her snapshots with) she was hired at a new job. Upon starting out, her new company accidentally assigned her an email address under the name Silvia Rojo. She was instantly reminded of her old love for the color red. It took her back to her punk days, when she boasted dyed red hair.
Sandra is one of those people with a big presence. She's always active, very expressive, never unsure of herself and has clear ideas about everything. All of her qualities inspire and transmit an overwhelmingly positive energy. As a result, this interview felt much more like a conversation than anything else.
She always knew she wanted to be a photographer, but had trouble taking the first step. It was not until after she had a professional hiccup that she finally turned towards photography. The book of Eva Sandoval also gave her a nudge towards pursuing her passion. it helped her to believe in herself and become a more positive person.
"In order to dedicate yourself to an artistic profession, you have to believe in it first, and believe that you are capable. Actually, you need to believe in yourself before doing anything!" Sandra Rojo.
Sandra Rojo is dedicated to the photography of spaces, and she has always been attracted to architecture. She is very clear when she talks about her world: "both interior photography and architectural photography are almost entirely dominated by men. They tend to be more technical, more descriptive and more thorough. But I can’t help but seeing the artistic side to everything I do, because for me a space is not just a space: it always retains something from the person who created it. And there are details that at first sight may seem arbitrary, but are very noticeable to me."
The fact that she pours something of herself into each photograph is noticed by many, who agree that her images have soul. "For me, a photograph is my way of communicating with the rest of the world. It's my tool; it helps me tell my story, express what I understand and see, how I think and how I feel". This is how Sandra Rojo responded when asked what photography meant to her.
Sandra follows her instincts, and listens to her emotions. When she meets someone who exudes something that she defines as interesting, she can not resist the urge to photograph that person’s home. Sandra combines the emotional with the professional in her work, which explores the more voyeuristic side of interior photography.
Her style is perhaps best embodied in 'The Domo Project'. With this project she builds on what she likes to do most, photographing interiors. But with a twist: the interiors feature the people who live in them. It's new challenge for her, she's used to just photographing interiors and having people in it everything changes. The important thing is not the photo, it's how you communicate with the people to get the photo. Patience and empathy are the crux of the matter.
"Your house is a part of you. Your house talks about you, it’s your refuge, it. It's your inner world, a reflection of your personality." Sandra Rojo
Sandra says that behind every person with a cool project is a cool house, the same counts for interesting people. One day, in a coffee shop an Asian girl caught Sandra's attention with her unique look. Without hesitation, Sandra offered to do a photo story on her home. The two didn't know each other at all, but Sandra showed up at the girls house a few days later. The result? You can see it here.
On her wish list of houses to photograph are, among others, the Villa de le Corbusier, and the house of Lou Doillon, actress, model and singer-songwriter. It's not so much that these houses are spectacular (which they are), but that the characters that inhabit them are so enigmatic. And when she discovered that the owners of these houses were born on the same day of the same year, Sandra knew it was meant to be... or is it just a coincidence?
Sandra Rojo portrait by Angie López.