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An interview with El Busta

Luis Bustamante photographing with an old-style large format camera

Luis Bustamante photographing with an old-style large format camera

El Busta is a travelling photography studio that allows you to have your portrait taken and made the good old fashioned way and you can currently find them in one of the cosy gallery spaces at ‘Photographique’ in Corn Street until the 20th March.

El BustaInspired by ‘minutero’ street photographers of South America and Spain, they offer the people of Bristol a chance to be photographed in a new old fashioned light for only a few pounds. Bristol based photographers Martin Edwards, Luis Bustamante and Iris Bolster are the creators of this unique experience, and I went along and spoke to Martin Edwards to find out what El Busta is all about.

HUNOW: So Martin, how long have you been doing your travelling exhibition?

M: For about three years. We do this about two or three times a year, it’s not an everyday thing but we’ve probably done eight or nine events now.

HUNOW: Did you start here in Bristol?

M: Yeah, we’re based in Bristol and most of what we do is in Bristol. We’ve done Brisfest and the St Werburghs art trail.

HUNOW: What sorts of things do you hope to gain from doing old style photography and what do you want people to come in and think about the photos?

M: It’s just nice to appreciate that side of it, everything’s sort of instant and digital now and that’s got its advantages but sometimes it’s just nice to slow down and do things carefully and take your time and be a bit more sociable about it.

HUNOW: What are your favourite things to photograph?

M: Certainly for this, it’s just interesting people really, and that means anyone who comes in and wants their photo done.

HUNOW: Do you have any plans for this project to develop?

M: We’re just going to keep taking it around to events. It’s not going to make us millionaires or anything like that but we cover our costs and we have a good time. We’ve got it in mind to go and try and do a couple of classic bike

shows, get people with their motorbikes, that would be quite fun.

HUNOW: What are the origins of your photography?

M: It’s based on the old street photography of South America and Spain and at one time in this country as well, where people would just set up and do affordable portraits for folk on the street rather than expensive portraits in a studio.

HUNOW: Is this going to stay an independent travelling workshop?

M: It’s going to stay independent, we’re going to do it until we don’t feel like doing it anymore (laughs), and hopefully that’ll be a long time. But people are inspired by this, there are other people out there who have helped us out and have gone and had a go themselves.

HUNOW: Thanks very much, I look forward to seeing your work around the city.

For more information about El Busta you can email them here. 


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