Through the other’s lens

Two femmes, two cameras. Berlin-based photographers Dánae Cuesta and Michelle Gutiérrez Fernández share an intimate photography study of each other.

In most photoshoots, the role division is pretty clear – one is the photographer, and the other is photographed. One looks, and the other is looked at. But what happens when the participants occupy all these tasks at once, shooting and posing at the same time, letting the other to observe and catch, while doing it likewise? That’s exactly what Michelle and Dánae tested out on a sunlit weekend afternoon not so long ago, and the results are as charming and tender as you would expect.

Michelle about Dánae:
“As soon as Dánae walked through my door I felt an imposing presence, the facial features, her body language, the gaze, especially the gaze. Everything about her is very natural, but at the same time she gives you this immense strong energy. Working with Danae – both behind and in front of the camera, became extremely easy and fulfilling. The moments were intimate and very pleasant, which for me counts as one of the most important things while shooting with someone. We shared old stories, we got to know each other, we laughed, and this made us connect. Something really important to me was the way she made me feel in front of her camera, since I’m normally behind. I have to emphasize that I felt very calm while she took pictures of me and I appreciate that a lot.”

Dánae about Michelle:
“Michelle and me have several things in common: we are both queer, straight-forward, Spanish-speaking femme photographers finding our way in the art world, a scene predominately ruled by the white cis male gaze. Oh, the struggle!

Both of us are living in Berlin and sharing several friendships in the queer, sex positive community, it was only matter of time for us to get together and shoot each other. I firmly believe us queer femmes have to stick together, create and support each other, because none else will do it for us. Like Anna very well wrote in one of my favorite Kink articles, the male gaze is long overdue. Long live the queer gaze!

We arranged to meet a Saturday around noon at Michelle’s place, shared a coffee, a smoke and a chat, helped each other choosing outfits and, in turns, slowly began shooting each other.

It was such a sweet, relaxed first meeting, we are definitely looking forward to developing new projects together!”

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Dánae Cuesta: Instagram, Website
Michelle Gutiérrez Fernández: Instagram
Text: Anna Wim

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