When you take a look at Brian Pescador’s photos, they not only feature people in classic to eerie poses, but they have a vintage look to them. He’s also presenting them at the Coachella Valley Art Scene as if they’re hanging off the wire in the dark room.
Where does the vintage look come from? That’s easy…
“I shoot with all kinds of different cameras I’ve had over the years,” Pescador said. “The common thread is I’ll only shoot with actual film, mainly color film. Most of these photos in the exhibit are dark room color prints that I printed by hand in the dark room. It’s just like black and white, but with a different exposure process and there’s no trays where you put them through chemicals, but you put them through a processor and you still have to go through the dark room to adjust the colors and dodge and burn.”
There’s a distinctive process as to how Pescador photographs in what he refers to as a “decisive moment” technique in photography.
“All of these pictures are like my fantasy life. Basically, I look for a situation. When I set up a situation or I look for a situation, I’m always interested in a certain kind of mood; a feeling or an emotion –whatever the mood is that I can get out of my subjects. I’m interested a lot in the mood and the way I get that is when you look through the frame in the camera and know exactly at that moment what the picture is going to be.”
He points to a couple of photos in the exhibit in the gallery and explains an example behind his photography.
“In these photos, a family member got cancer, so I was trying to figure out how to connect to family and friends in a new way besides just being there and hanging out with them. I thought, ‘Why don’t I just photograph everybody?’”
While he photographs locally, he also does a lot of photography outside of the Coachella Valley. Some of his subjects are sitting in architecture not typically seen in the Coachella Valley.
“I don’t shoot specially in one location every single time. I like to see the environments and see what I can do.”
There is one photo in the collection that grabs your attention. A photograph of a little girl sitting on her bed looking like she’s holding a sharp object.
“There are 2 famous artists who are her parents – Jim Shaw and Marnie Weber. They’re Los Angeles artists and very well-known. This is their daughter and she is obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she wanted a shot of her holding a stake. We did it and she had this real intense look on her face. This is what I got out of it.”
Pescador explained how he got into photography.
“I first got into drawing and painting for about 7 years before I picked up a camera. I’ve been a photographer now for about 11 years. I was given a camera one year as a birthday present and I took one class, which led to another class, which led to moving to Los Angeles to go to more classes to going to an art school called Art Center in Pasadena. I studied photography there for 7 years. I took 2 years off and traveled around California. I did the Kings of the Canyon series, I did many other series and during that time, I shot 500 rolls of film.”
I was curious to ask Pescador what photography gave him that painting and drawing didn’t give him.
“Drawing and painting is done mostly by yourself, and whether your painting or sketching, it’s by yourself. With photography, there’s other people and you can create a community around photography. That’s why I became more interested in photography, because I’m connecting more with people.”
See More Of Brian Pescador’s Work at brianphilippescador.com
See Brian’s work in person now at The Coachella Valley Art Scene:
68571 East Palm Canyon Dr. Cathedral City, CA 92234