Cue in Shot at the Night by The Killers, just take out the pretty lights of Las Vegas and the romantic love story in the four-minute music video. But don't be hasty to take all the romance out, these photos by Octavio Garcia have plenty of it in them. The only thing is that the romance you're about to see has something to do with film photography and the many vignettes of American suburbia he's been collecting all these years.
Loving film photography can go both ways — difficult and unbelievably natural. Regardless of the direction you're going in that description, it's easy to appreciate these images of Octavio. You may not be the biggest fan of vintage cars, neon lights, and cinematic frames but somehow, you suddenly become one after taking a look at his shots. There is something hypnotic about his photographs and we can't help but wonder just what it is that makes you want to flip through Octavio's photographs.
Maybe, it has something to do with excitement and surprises. These two elements play a big part in his work. The photos keep you wondering and they also make you look forward to the next shot. What colors will get mixed in with the American pink skies? What stories can those cars and old establishments keep under wraps? Why does film photography feel so genuine and evocative in the hands of a visual storyteller? So many questions and thoughts, so many possible answers.
“I find it bit difficult to make it fit sometimes, with my job and other commitments, but it’s definitely a practice to have a camera in the car when I leave my home. Aside from music, this is something that has stuck through years and watching how my work changes with the times is something I’ll keep looking forward to seeing. For the excitement of not knowing what became of the photo until the roll gets developed. It’s a different medium in which you can gather your thoughts. Possibly an avenue from where to streamline the process of learning how to take a photograph. Film is less forgiving at times. Film slows down the process, It makes one think and learn from what it is we’re attempting to photograph.
Still, even with these beautiful photographs under his belt, Octavio sometimes finds it difficult to keep it all together. The fascination he had when he was a kid about the magic of the film negative is still there but at times, the grind gets you down. But what's important is that spark, no matter how little it is. A spark is all you need to keep that engine running until you reach the next stop.
When we asked him what inspires him to take pictures, he said:
“A slick-looking car, the people who used photography before me, and the people that use it today. Also, collections of work that summarize thoughts are something over the top. It conveys the dedication and a better message about what we do when we take these photos.”
And that's a good enough answer. He sews up all these visual experiences together and writes his own narrative. Dusty, intriguing, and inviting to a point, these vignettes are a collection of memories that you probably can't see elsewhere. Octavio is able to capture the vibe of the scene with the use of colors, mood, and the faint glow of the lights. There's even a hint of music in the background when you look at his photos. His photographs can trigger something in your memory bank. This sense of nostalgia is surprising — it's your first time seeing his photos but somehow, you feel like it's a memory or a song you heard somewhere.
We would like to thank Octavio for letting us feature his images in the Magazine. Follow him on Instagram to see more of his work.