Monaris: watching the world as a movie￼
A few years ago, Paola Franqui from Puerto Rico told her partner: “Do you know that there are people who travel and take pictures? Little did she know that this would soon be her life. Today, she explores universal emotions such as joy or loneliness in faces.
In 2020 he published a book called Moments. Paola loves recording that “which will never happen again.” Known as Monaris, Paola has also made a place for herself in the world of crypto-art.
You often say that you are a Latina fulfilling her dream. Why?
I moved to the United States when I was 14 years old; I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. It’s such a tiny little island, I carry it in my heart. I could not have imagined being a photographer and traveling the world. I fulfill my dreams day by day because I achieve something I never thought I would. It feels great to get emails saying: “I love that you are a woman and Latina; thank you for the inspiration.”
When I started taking pictures, I did it with an iPhone. At that time, I hadn’t discovered my love for photography; it was in 2014. Back then, Instagram was very different; there was a friendly community. People were willing to meet each other in the city and take pictures. I met many people like that: we would go out and take pictures. I remember taking pictures of strangers, of everything. The love of street photography is my first love. That’s how I discovered that I wanted to take photos for the rest of my life.
When did the trips start?
I grew up, and companies have started to hire me to capture the essence of a country or a city. I once said to my wife Laura: “Do you know that there are people who travel the world and take pictures?” and she said: “Maybe you can do it”. This week it’s my turn to go to Qatar to do what I love. This trip will be different and a new experience because it’s one of the places where I probably can’t photograph people. They are strict. It will be a challenge for me because I know what I want to take when I travel. I’m going to go with an open mind and let myself flow with the culture and the people. I want to document textures, colors, and food as much as possible.
Are you comfortable with the idea that you “transform moments of reality with film scenes”?
I think I’m mostly known for the style of how I edit. A lot of people tell me I have a cinematic style. I try to make every photo look like an instant from a movie. I see the world as if it were a movie. When I take it, I think about how I’m going to edit it.