I come from a very Catholic country where images of wounded saints and the ideas of punishment and suffering are prevalent.
These days everyone likes a good horror show, the blood and guts of the Saw series a top grossing attraction in our times. But Daniela Ubide prefers her darkness in a martini glass, so to speak, elegant and understated.
You mention on your IG that you don’t use Photoshop. Do you do any kind of post-production or do you achieve the effects in your images in camera?
No Photoshop, ninety-nine percent of my pictures are taken with my iPhone, which I also use for a minimum of editing with apps like Snapseed.
Most of your work appears to use the same model, which I am assuming is you. Why do you choose to work mostly in self-portraiture?
Yes, the model is mostly me. It’s not something driven by ego, more of a practical matter… I am always around when I need to take photos.
You shoot both in a studio and on location. Which do you prefer? How do you find such cryptic locations?
I take pictures outdoors when on vacation. I’ve been lucky enough to visit some beautiful places, but there are a number of challenges when shooting in a location like where to set my tripod and having time to run to my mark before the timer goes. There is a sense of urgency and excitement when doing that, but also a lot of frustration. I have a vision of what I want to get and I really try to make it happen. In my studio it’s definitely easier, I can control the lighting and I stage my pictures like vignettes. I style and use some props, all from my closet, in a minimalist way.
Your images include many elements of horror and the occult. Is this an area of interest for you? Why?
I have always been attracted to the occult, dark, arcane and mysterious; maybe a little horror, but not gore, more romantic and stylish. I come from a very Catholic country where images of wounded saints and the ideas of punishment and suffering are prevalent. The imagery of Semana Santa (Holy Week) has been ingrained in my consciousness since childhood.
Who or what are you stylistic inspirations?
I am inspired by music, silent movies, dance, ancient mythology and religious motifs. I try to interpret these things with my own vision, within my limitations.
You can see more of Daniela Ubide’s work on her Instagram