We chatted with the artist behind Moringaia’s brand photography, José Rozón, and asked him a few questions about his work as a photographer for leading Latin American brands, his favorite Moringaia products, and must-visit places in the Dominican Republic.
José Rozón, who started, as he put it, “photographing his world” at the age of twenty-two, is based in Santiago, Dominican Republic. His works have been featured in Rollingstone, Vogue Mexico, Holapardo, and, most recently, Whetstone Magazine.
The subjects of your photographs are often of nature, and often of still-life moments of daily life. Why do you think you are drawn to the two?
I am intrigued by how landscapes and its “actors” —mountains, sand, trees, wind, water, fire— come to shape it. You can tell a lot about the biography of a landscape by looking at where water runs through it. This exercise makes me look and think about the landscape as a moving space, where us—the actors—get to be only for a period of time. The way it looks today might be very different tomorrow or in a hundred years.
I do this mental exercise of looking and trying to understand what has happened or is currently happening with still life as well. I turn them into photographs by thinking about my relationship with them.
What do you find to be the most valuable part of creating in the Caribbean?
Having the mountains next to the sea is what makes creation in the Caribbean so rich. Different ecosystems exist very close to each other, and this diversity enriches my eyes.
Which photographs have you taken that you feel best represent Moringaia? What is the most quintessential Moringaia moment that you’ve captured?
There is a portrait we created in the treehouse where the model closed her eyes for a few seconds(1). It was a small moment. But this shot communicated the intimacy and the feeling of self-love I wanted to portray and expressed Moringaia very well for me.
There are two more images that come up for me when I think about Moringaia and the family behind it: Ben-Yam, Elah, and their parents. One is the photograph of the bee who’s taking off from the Moringa flower (2). And another one is the shot of the trees growing on the Moringaia finca, strong and proud (3).
What is the most rewarding part of working with a brand?
You get the opportunity to challenge yourself and co-create with other minds. This is what has happened with Moringaia.
How is Moringaia part of your daily life? Do you have any favorite Moringaia products?
Yes. I love the Salvation Balm!
Name a must visit spot in the Dominican Republic.
You must travel to Punta Rucia and take a boat to Cayo Arena.
This tour takes you out to the open ocean to a tiny sandbank surrounded by beautiful corals and schools of tropical fish. You can snorkel there and then swim around the mangroves on the coast. Look at the mangrove roots. Small fish live there.