As travel photographers, we often get preoccupied with photographing a location’s marvelous landmarks such as ancient temples and towering skyscrapers. Often, we forgot that the real personality of a location doesn’t always lie in the ritzy shopping district. It is the real people and the locations that aren’t listed on a travel guide that give a travel destination it’s character.
Photographer Ernesto Pérez tells the visual narrative of his native Venezuela through images of the lesser seen cities and urban landscapes. “What matters to me, what inspires me, is the people. That’s why I do so many portraits. I try to tell the story that no one sees, that no one knows and that no one wants to see” says Ernesto Pérez (@revistanow) in Spanish to Instagram Blog.
Based in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Pérez practices his passion for photography when he is not working at his job as an editor for a digital magazine. Often finding an interesting perspective and animated subjects inside public transport systems, Pérez captures the heart of the city – mainly through the faces of its daily commuters preparing for the daily grind. “I live in a city where you get 112 degrees Fahrenheit at noon, so using public transport is a tough experience. I’m interested primarily in those feelings, in the expression of those on that transport system.”
“I take pictures of buses without air conditioning, where everyone is standing up. There’s an infernal heat. There are also other cars known as ‘carros por puesto’ (public transport cars that can ride up to 5 passengers), which are vehicles from the 50’s that smell like gasoline,” Pérez says.
The city’s rich architecture is another favorite subject that Pérez loves to photograph. Pérez would make it a point to stroll along the city’s avenues and alleyways, such as Carabobo Street, which houses many colonial buildings. Intertwining his photography portfolios, like the public transportation scene, the city’s architecture, and the intimate portraiture of its citizens, Pérez’s images are a true example of how to tell a compelling story of a city and it’s people.
Ernesto Pérez proudly explains that his photographs are a representation of his country’s unique culture, tradition, and beauty. “I’ve always thought that I’m disturbing people’s tranquility on their Instagram feed,” he says. I’m sure his more than 11,000 followers would dismiss any notion of intrusion as long as he dishes out interesting images of his home city. He adds, “I try to capture what it means to be in a city, I try to focus on people’s feelings. I like to get to know people on the streets. My city, my country is passing through a difficult moment and I am not trying to portray it in a bad light. I am trying to find beauty in places where it is difficult to find it.”
Sit back and imagine the stories behind these images of Maracaibo and its surrounding cities in Venezuela.
To see more of Ernesto Pérez’ visual tales from Venezuela, please follow him on Instagram @revistanow