Meet Isma Harvera (@iharvera), a talented photographer from Granada, Spain. With his smartphone only, he manages to capture the beauty of his region. Get to know him and his furry companion John as we discuss his work and the lovely community of Andalusia.

 

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Une publication partagée par Isma H.V. (@iharvera)

Tell us more about yourself, what do you do for a living?

I work as a sales representative for a famous Spanish rum company, and I’m in charge of community management for several companies. 

You only photograph with your smartphone, how do you explain this choice?

I started taking photographs regularly around 4 years ago, and I just naturally used my phone. Photos from a camera look great, but things also tend to change too much once you try to edit them. It turns out that photos shot with a phone often turn out great, plus it’s super convenient for traveling. As opposed to a camera, a phone is something you always have on you, and you’re free to capture anything, anytime you want!

Which difficulties come with shooting with a phone?

Honestly, these days phones are getting better and better, and better cameras go hand in hand with these evolutions. I feel like the phone suits the type of photography that I do. Maybe if I tried to do portraits, or macro, or nighttime photography, I’d consider a different approach. Let’s see what happens in the future. 

As opposed to many photographers, you can be seen in many of your photos, which side of the camera are you the most comfortable with?

It’s much easier to be behind the camera because you overthink things less. When I first started, I would always be in that position, and then about a year ago, at the beginning of the pandemics, when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to photograph as many places as I used to, I came up with a different approach. Granada somehow became a central theme of my work. This situation, combined with my love for fashion led me to go on the other side of the camera, and it allowed me to collaborate with more fashion brands. Now I try to balance things to have a little of both.

 

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Une publication partagée par Isma H.V. (@iharvera)

What is your favorite kind of scenery?

Right now, I would say city landscapes are my favorite because they’re the closest to where I am. I also think that landscapes would be better to capture with a camera. For instance, I tried photographing mountains and beaches with my phone, but it’s just not the same. In my mind, it doesn’t work.  

What are the three places in the world you’d love to capture and why?

Japan, Peru, and New York City, because these are places I’ve always dreamed of exploring! For now, it’s unfortunately not possible, but they’re on my list as soon as traveling is possible!

 

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Your dog seems like a cool traveling buddy, tell us a little more about him! What’s your funniest story about John?

The funny thing about John is that people sometimes stop him on the street, not me! They know who he is, and some of them even ask to take a picture or a video with him! Some friends occasionally send me screenshots of conversations with other people where they discuss where to hang out so they can run into John like he’s an actual person lol! He’s by far more famous than I am, there’s no comparison! People usually go “Hey John!”, and then if I’m lucky enough, they’ll talk to me too.

Do you get to travel around with him?

Unfortunately, not that much. Spain is pretty old-fashioned when it comes to dogs. You can’t take them with you on the bus or the train, so we usually have someone take care of him when we go away unless it’s near Granada. My dream is to travel around Europe with him: I’d love to see him walking around the streets of Paris, explore Belgium, and so on! But for that to happen, there’s a lot of planning to do, especially for the accommodation. I’d have to find a place that accepts dogs and is roomy enough, he weighs 35 kilos, so not exactly the chihuahua type! 

 

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Une publication partagée par Isma H.V. (@iharvera)

What are the top places people must see if they get to visit Andalusia? 

It’s a tough choice because Andalusia has so much to offer! It all depends on the season. Cadiz has the best seaside, the coastline is just insane! But if you’re planning a winter trip, Granada is perfect: only a few people know this, but Granada is also home to a great skiing resort. The city is also known for its gorgeous Alhambra. Tapas culture is quite big throughout Granada, along with flamenco performances and concerts, away from typical tourist activities. I don’t know about now, but there’s a nice restaurant called Faralá, that used to host flamenco nights. The district of Sacromonte is full of caves, and it’s part of the area where flamenco was born. It’s quite touristic, but it’s still possible to find some nice places to listen to some traditional music. My ultimate advice is more cultural than geographical: whatever you do, make sure you enjoy free tapas, they often come with your drink! It’s part of the soul of Andalusia.