We chose one of his photos for our campaign for the Infinite Love collection by Olivia Barthe and that was the start our love affair with this underwater photographer. Xavi Baragona was born in the Mediterranean; the sea is his compass, the east wind his guide. He lives in a blue world where any real idea is moved underwater.
As a child he spent his summers in a tiny corner of the Costa Brava. There he discovered how to cast off from the everyday, when he came across an old Fujifilm waterproof camera. With it he photographed an extraordinary archipelago that hides treasures under the sea, treasures he has never ceased to photograph and that, today, he shares with us in this frank interview.
Xavi, define yourself in three words.
Determined, introspective, optimistic.
Tell us a bit about your journey to date.
I started out in the world of audiovisual production, but when I realised that it wasn’t fulfilling me 100%, I made the leap into the world of technology because we’re always told when we’re young that we need to work towards something to provide stability for the future. One day I woke up with the irrefutable need to overhaul my life and start a new one. During a period of introspection, solitude and scraping by, with the sea as my constant companion, I discovered who I am, what makes me tick and the path I want to take in life. I came by an old underwater Fujifilm camera, and that’s when it all began.
How and when did you know that you wanted to be a photographer?
Photography is something I never know, nor ever will know, where it will take me. I discovered the world of photography, specifically the underwater one, and I knew that it would stay with me, satisfying my longing for adventure to the very end. One day I looked back and realised that this is what I did now.
The underwater realm is the recurring theme of your work, why is that?
The sea is the greatest mirror of my life. I don’t have any memories that salt wasn’t a part of. It is an essential medium that helps me to cast off from the everyday and which makes me feel grounded.
What are your influences?
My influences are very varied. Much of it comes from reading, but if I had to name a specific photographer it would be Louis Boutan or, in a modern context, Sarah Lee.
What goes into preparing for an underwater photo shoot?
The choice of location accounts for much of the preparation and is a key element in any shoot. The weather forecast is another important consideration in making it happen. Thanks to surfing, which is another of my great passions, I have developed an in-depth understanding of the sea and wave forecasts. I am able to get a clear picture in my head of what it will bring, although the sea is always unpredictable. The concept is also very important enabling you to tell a story through the images.
Joid’art has chosen one of your photos for its Infinite Love jewellery campaign designed by Olivia Barthe, what can you tell us about it?
The photograph chosen for the campaign represents the dependence and attraction between two people who complement each other, falling in love with each other every day, like an infinite first time.
Which of your works are particular favourites? Why?
The work that I like the most is one I will create in the future. Most of my time is spent dreaming of future shoots and ideas, which distracts me from taking pleasure in the projects I have already done.
Having said that, the image selected for Infinite Love is one of my favourites, as it depicts two people with very little maritime experience but that feel a great deal of love for each other. It was the core idea that gave meaning to the entire shoot.
What kind of jewellery would be good to photograph underwater?
Just thinking about it opens up a world of possibilities. For starters I would choose a piece that was made up of sodalite or emerald stones. For me their colours are both very reminiscent of the sea. The former reflecting that of the depths of the high seas and the latter a more coastal green, very typical of some of the coves along the Costa Brava.
The best Valentine’s gift is…
Time, thoughts and reflections shared with another person throughout the course of a day.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Travel, explore, dream, reflect, all enhanced by music, something that has always been a big part of my life.
A sea of seas.
A work of art
The Big Blue.
Which of the pieces created by our brand do you particularly like? Why? The Vulcano collection is my favourite one. It is a collection that transports me to an island; it emanates land, nature.