Making of the Portrait of Sr Arribas
A rural adventure through the High Lands of Northern Spain

When Javier Arribas told me he wanted to me take his picture on a derelict monastery at the top of a hill in the High Lands of Soria, in Northern Spain, and use a silver deer head to replace his face, I thought it was a fantastic idea; but I didn't realize the great effort and hard work involved in capturing such a portrait. Especially because I didn't know that the last stretch to reach the top of the hill couldn't be done by car...

Sr Arribas is one of those artists who are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his projects, even climbing mountains or installing real-sized human sculptures in the middle of a completely deserted area. He lives in a wooden house built by himself and has his own vegetable garden to feed his family. Founder of the Latidos del Olvido collective, he is also an explorer who loves forgotten places, abandoned towns, and derelict houses where he finds and documents pieces of the past, abandoned objects, tools, and images; small treasures that make us remember our ancestors, the people who lived in our land before we were born, when the majority of the population lived in small towns, and time passed by more slowly, before we lost our connection to the land, when our way of living was more sustainable.

For a city kid like me, who spends most of his time seating in front of a computer screen, capturing this portrait was an epic adventure. Many people think my way of working is totally based in composing different images in Photoshop using pictures from online photo stock services, that's one of the reasons why I wanted to share these images to show the actual process and work involved in capturing one of my portraits. Big thanks to Susana Medina for the pictures of the process, and to Aitana & Ainoa Arribas for their professional assistance! : )

Sr ArribasSr Arribas

Taking Out the Deer Head
Taking out the fake deer head from the studio
(no animals were harmed in the making of this portrait)
Climbing the hill with our little assistants : )
Little Break
Little break to regain our strength
Dedicated to the people who think
I do everything using Photoshop : )
Testing the light
Setting up the Scene
Let's Start
Settin up the Scene
Let's Start!
Shooting with Aitana Copying My Photographer Posture  
Heavy Weight
Shooting with Aitana Copying My Cool Photographer Posture
Heavy Weight
Loading the Car
Having Lunch
Loading the Car to Go Down to Sarnago
(an abandoned village rescued by a brave group of people)
Having Lunch with the Arriba's family at Sarnago
(No Man's Land - All Man's Land!)
Final Country-Style Siesta