Dazed Digital


Felipe Ortega Chavez

January 9, 2012

Santiago's rising photography star unveils a clean and graphic-inspired style

  • Text by Fer Munizaga

Felipe Ortega Chavez is a rising star in the local photography scene with a unique style that captivates, utilising a style that incorporates his graphic design background. His portfolio includes national brands such as retail store Ripley and the local designer Pola Thomson, international brands like Miele and LG and is a favourite of local media as the Super 45 music blog, Paula magazine, ED magazine and Joia magazine.

Satellite Voices: When did you realise that photography was your thing?
Felipe Ortega: As a child I was surrounded by visual encyclopedias, magazines, vinyls and films, but it was when I entered college to study graphic design when my relationship with the world of photography began. I started to realise the importance of visual language and the management to generate impulses within human power to make you like or dislike things.

SV: What was your first job as a photographer?
Felipe Ortega: It was nearly five-years-ago that I joined forces with my designer friend Pola Thomson, that at the time owned a shop in a little gallery of clothing for young people with style - called Pituqui-Pinaqui. I did some look books and the campaigns for a few seasons. After that, I started working for national print and online medias, such as Super 45, portraying national and international musicians.

SV: What inspires you to photograph?
Felipe Ortega: Everything is inspiration, but it depends a lot on the mood that you are. There are always certain things that attract me, starting with the city, shapes, colours, light, space architecture, world history, art, film and Internet. Everything can start by observing an everyday small element or finding yourself in a place surrounded by people, friends, a party, a library or my apartment.

SV: How would you define your style?
Felipe Ortega: I am not sure to define or talk about my own style but I really like to join design, photography and the general direction of the concept, to diagram on the lens, play with shapes that are in front of you, whether it is human, a thing or architecture. At the end, it is a photo-graphic work in a language with intent and concept. I hate to use too much post-production, I like the dialogue between the analogue and digital effect. I think that I finally project a clean, purist and graphic photography.

SV: What are you currently working on?
Felipe Ortega: At the moment I am working on a personal project and begining to prepare a new campaign for the eponymous fashion label Pola Thomson, a national designer based in New York.

SV: Which Chilean photographers do you admire?
Felipe Ortega: There are several, but I’ll start with Gilles Larrain, a New York-based photographer. His work and collection of characters is an inspiration. Julio Donoso and his pop portraits, I take my hat off while I bow. And from the new talents I really like the work of Mauricio Duarte Arrattia, alias Van Derbeat. His work is beautiful.

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