Enjoying a sunny day at the beach. (All photos: mariamoldes/Instagram)
Maria Moldes loves taking shots of the sun-seeking vacationers who fill up the beaches of Benidorm, Spain. This is a tourist town, and retirees from all over Europe visit the area to enjoy their vacations. Moldes has found herself drawn to the older visitors.
“They teach you the marks of life,” she says.
We can’t stop looking at these photographs of men and women well into their sixth, seventh, and eighth decades, enjoying themselves on the beach. Maybe it’s because we’re so used to the posed and youthful beach photograph that these feel at once jarring and delicately real.
Moldes prefers the character in the faces of older subjects.
We snagged this Instagram user to find out more about her work and her elderly muses.
Yahoo Travel: Why did you start doing this?
Maria Moldes: I used to take pictures with a reflex camera until recently, when I started taking them with my cellphone because it was more convenient. In that moment, I realized the potential of the photos by taking them with my smartphone. I like the freshness of images, how close you can get to someone, the way the lens distorts the image.
Moldes says the people she snaps never mind having their picture taken.
What is your goal?
I’m not interested in framing or classical pieces, and I do not want to carry a huge camera for my work. I just look for my own satisfaction. I’m interested in subjects that I see in the streets, and in my case, I live in an area with a very large elderly population. I try to make this come to life in my pictures and make them more attractive by adding surreal, colorful, and ironic overtones.
Moldes didn’t set out to become a photographer. The vocation has been a happy surprise.
How do you find your subjects?
I meet the people I photograph by spending a lot of time on the street observing and keeping an eye out for someone with a lot of personality and character. I’m not interested in normal people; I look for people who have a lot of color and expressiveness.
Do people get offended?
I haven’t had any problems yet with anyone that I have photographed.
What’s your favorite shot?
My favorite photo is this one. It is a picture of a woman tanning at the beach.
This one is the photographer’s favorite.
I realized when I took the photo, that it would be a long time until I could take another photo quite like this one.
I call it, “When Hollywood met Benidorm.” I chose this title because the woman is very beautiful… she reminds me of a retired actress. I imagine her coming from Hollywood to retire in Benidorm.
Related: Instagram Is the Reason I Travel
Just a morning of beach aerobics.
Tell me a little about your background.
I never considered myself a professional photographer until now. I’m actually a psychologist. Until now, photography for me was just a hobby. But a year ago, I was granted a scholarship to train at the Mistos Cultural Cooperative photography school. From there, photography started taking up most of my time. I’ve done a lot of work in Alicante, and in Madrid, I participated in the first Instagram world photo book as a photographer. Photography is a passion for me. I love that anyone in the world can see my work and that we can all share ideas.