Anaely Delgado’s editorial scene is surreal and moving in equal measure – created as a true labor of love
“To me, nothing is a coincidence. I believe our subconscious guides our decisions, so I love finding symbolism in my images. In this case, my initial inspiration was the color palette. Blue, among other things, represents depth, freedom, calmness and sensitivity – and what better subject to evoke that than a child?” Anaely begins, explaining the process behind her winning photo.
“Taking pictures of my daughter is challenging. I never know what I’ll get. But usually, when she is over the process, I document her most pure and intense expressions. In this case, she covered her eye naturally, because the light strobe was bothering her. I thought there was something poetic about that. Once I was editing the picture, I decided to add the bird, to further enhance the contrast between the darkness and the blue, but also to introduce a symbolic nature element.
“In Spanish, there is a phrase that goes, ‘No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver,’ which translates to, ‘There is no one blinder than one who wishes not to see.’ Birds have, for the longest time, represented freedom, and the bird is next to the eye that is uncovered. To me, that depicts freedom in truth, even if it’s hard to accept – as highlighted by the subject’s defeated expression.”
Evidently, just as much care went into craft as it did meaning. “I placed one backlight, to create a soft glow around the subject and separate her from the background. There are two other lights in front, to each side of the subject,” Anaely describes. “I love negative space, and normally center the subject with minimal distractions. For this image, since the color is so vivid, I felt the extra space around her really enhanced the striking blue. To me, the color tone of my images is very important. That is what makes or breaks the feeling I want to evoke. I usually gravitate toward moody, monochromatic setups.
“I’m so grateful and happy to have been selected as the winner,” she concludes. “Thank you to Fujifilm, and the amazing Create With Me photographers who share these challenges to keep us inspired.”
The poignancy and skill of Anaely’s photograph was of deep, personal interest to Claire, who chose it above all others. “I was drawn to the mood and unexpected gesture of this image,” she notes. “I enjoyed the way the color and light drew the eye. I also appreciated the surreal use of symbolism, and reference to the classical Dutch style of portrait painting – creating something that feels both classic and contemporary.”