ONE WEEK - RAFA PRADO

Welcome to the second A LOOK AT of 2019, and what a zine we have to share with you today. In the A LOOK AT series, we examine the work of a photographer in the film community. This could be prints, an exhibition, or, in this case, a zine. Today we’re sharing with you Rafa Prado’s ONE WEEK. 

Rafa joined the roster of the ever-growing YOUR EXHIBITION family in December, and in his GET TO KNOW ME article he referenced the production of ONE WEEK. Here’s what he said about it:

“The goal was to evade the monotony of a normal week. The photos were taken from one Monday to the next in two rolls of 35mm film. You will find landscapes, self-portraits, street photography around the Louvre, me biking to the photo lab in the very crowded boulevard Saint Germain, diners with friends…The only common theme is the time frame.”

I’m personally a supporter of these type of photography challenges. I believe that setting yourself a challenge can often lead to great success, and I believe ONE WEEK is a perfect example of this. Another would be Rik Groenland's #52rollsproject (which we’ll have an article on soon - watch this space).

The narrative of this zine is simple, yet brilliant. ONE WEEK tells us so much about Rafa. Not only does is demonstrate what he gets up to in this selected week, but it also shares what he chooses to share about it. It’s wonderfully insightful into who Rafa is, and what stands out to him. I would love to see more people creating a ONE WEEK zine. I’d love to see how your’s differs to Rafa’s.

I really like the presentation of this project. Not only is a small A5 zine a good way to present this narrative, but the lightweight, yet premium paper used gives the zine a playful feel. It feels like a zine, but less weighty than the average zine. I normally like a zine that’s thicker; I think it’s the sign of a premium product. In this case, however, I think having a lightweight zine perfectly echoes the narrative of the zine. I’d expect ONE WEEK to be light, whilst ONE MONTH or ONE YEAR would be a weightier zine. I think Rafa’s deliberate use of this paper is genius, and it is only right that I draw your attention to that.

I can’t really talk about the presentation of the zine without referencing the cleanness of the cover. Some of you might know that I value a good cover - it’s one of the things I was complimented most for when I published my debut zine: LIFELESS. I love the image featured, and the typography used for the title work well. It’s crisp and to the point. Also, can we take a minute to appreciate the cover photo? Utterly gorgeous.

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Now the images themselves are excellent and varied. If you’ve read the articles I’ve produced on Jason Brewer’s Oddments Volume One, you’ll know I appreciate a zine with a bit of variety, and ONE WEEK certainly has that. There’s colour, black and white, landscapes, candid shots, an image taken from the height of a plane, an image taken close to the ground, images that are taken at speed, images taken standing still, and more. There’s an unpredictability to what you might be greeted with once you turn the page, and it makes for a refreshing collation of images. It’s accurate to what I’d expect to see from an unfiltered “week in the life of” project.

The zine itself has an unconventional flow to it; or rather unexpected would be more appropriate. As the average zine has a more precise narrative, the flow of images tends to be more natural. As ONE WEEK is more broad, there’s a different pacing to the images. I actually find this to be really refreshing. For example, you have these little sub-stories forming on double page spreads, but they rarely evolve when you turn the page. It’s different, but I think that is another merit of Rafa’s ONE WEEK. A great example of this is the spread that features the buses. There’s an obvious evolution in the scene, and I think it makes for an interesting spread. It takes something extraordinary for me to recognise a zine as unique, but I think Rafa’s achieved that here. 

Now before I close, I want to highlight a few pages that particularly caught my attention. The first is the following image of what appears to be a hall in a café. The composition is just super. I think the manner in which Rafa has captured it, particularly from the chosen angle, makes for a really interesting image. Everything seems so grand, which is unusual for something like a café. It leaves me with more questions that answers.

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This next image also stood out to me, for the simple reason that it is aesthetically pleasing. The lines are satisfying, and I particularly like the balance of the composition. I think it works well having the figure in the foreground in focus on one page, and the event he’s spectating on the other page of the spread. This is a good demonstration of the sort of work one can expect from Rafa.

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In closing, I think ONE WEEK is wonderful. Not only is the concept behind it unique and playful, but the execution is also excellent. There’s many reasons to pick up this zine: the materials used, the one-of-a-kind narrative, the charming spreads, great imagery and unpredictable narrative - to name a few.

Fortunately, Rafa still has a number of copies of ONE WEEK available, so what’re you waiting for? You can purchase your copy of Rafa’s zine here. Also, make sure you’re following him here to keep up to date with all of the work he is producing. You can follow him on Instagram here.

Lastly, if you enjoyed this article, there’s a number of ways you can support us. The first is by purchasing a copy of Rafa’s zine. We live to serve the community, so we’d be thrilled if you supported it too. The second is by sharing this article with someone. The third is by checking out more of our A LOOK AT articles here. The last is by going out an shooting yourself! We at YOUR EXHIBITION are here to serve you and the wider film community. We love seeing your work, so use the #YOUREXHIBITION hashtag, and tag us in your images (@YOUR_EXHIBITION).