Alan Díaz for ROWSE

“All my self-portraits work as some kind of intimate diary. I can go back to the moment I took the picture and vividly remember my feelings at that time.” 


How do you remember your childhood? When I think about my childhood I always remember our travels to Galicia, where we spent every summer with my family. Growing up in a city like Barcelona was quite stressful, but there I discovered nature and freedom.

When did you start taking pictures? I started when I was 14 years old with a digital camera. Two years later I discovered photography in a different way as I bought a disposable camera for a trip I did with school to Mallorca.

And when did you start with self-portraits? I started when I got my first camera. All my pictures from that time are self-portraits, sunrises, landscapes and a beautiful dog that was with me during my summers in Galicia. It's quite strange that most of those pictures have a melancholy feeling that I didn't understand back then.

What is important to you when you photograph yourself? There’s often a mirror, the camera and yourself, looking directly to the viewer. All my self-portraits work as some kind of intimate diary. I can go back to the moment I took the picture and vividly remember my feelings at that time. That’s the power of photography, looking at my past self I can revive memorable moments.


Has nature been always something relevant for you? Growing up in a city was always a bit overwhelming, until I discovered places full of nature and not full with buildings. I rediscovered myself and learnt to appreciate important things, which are not always visible to our eyes.

How does nature inspire your creativity? Nature is the greatest inspiration in my everyday life and also my creative ventures. Last year, after a trip to São Miguel in Azores with my partner Marc Lago, we were so impressed by the colours, the textures and the many amazing plants of the islands that we launched Élida C, a jewellery brand that connects this botanical inspiration with female literary characters. We are working now to find a way to produce earrings with natural flowers and I'm very excited about it.


What is the landscape that you treasure the most? The views from Miradoiro da Pena do Ladeiro, a magical viewpoint close to my grandmother's village, Moreiras do Medio, in Galicia. From there you could see the greenest mountains embracing River Sil. It is truly amazing.


When you close your eyes and you think about yourself immersed in nature, what picture do you see? Freedom.

What are the places you’re dreaming to travel to? Iceland is definitely one of the places I want to go soon, hopefully next year. In September I was planning to celebrate my birthday in El Hierro, the second smallest of the Canary Islands. The landscape is amazing there: lava fields, millenary trees moulded by the heavy winds...


And what is that place you always go back to? Without a doubt, Galicia. I always have nostalgia with Galicia. There’s a beautiful word in Galician to express this feeling: morriña, a homesickness that almost every Galician feels when is far from home. Although I was born in Barcelona, my family and my roots are from Galicia and, so I feel Galician. Every time I go back there, I get some positive energy that no other place can make me feel.


Words and Pictures by Alan Díaz