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About Alberto del Hoyo Mora and Pics 4 Pills – Interview

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Pics 4 Pills - A photograph initiative by Alberto del Hoyo Mora

If you wanna do more than just liking some pictures on Instagram you should probably read this interview and check out the photograph initiative "Pics 4 Pills" by Alberto del Hoyo Mora. Pics 4 Pills is not about likes it is about capturing the beauty of this planet and helping those who need it with sales of the photographs.

I talked to Alberto del Hoyo Mora about his project Pics 4 Pills, the story behind it and his future projects. Check it out!


When did you get really into photography and how did it all start?

My first serious photo report was in India at the age of 22, “Cromofragmentos del Ganges”. My father was a multidisciplinary person with many interests. So I found his old Nikon FM at home and I started to shoot pictures by myself, reading his technical books. I got immediately fascinated!


What is your favorite aspect about being a photographer?

When you contemplate an instant of ephemeral beauty. Capture that magical moment. Share it. Show the rest of the world the beauty of heterogeneity; what differentiates us, what unites us. Protect the cultural identity of each corner of the earth under our globalization inertia.


Most of your pictures (on instagram) are portraits. Why do you mostly focus on that kind of photography?

I normally publish online portraits because I want the audience to emotionally connect with the protagonist of the pictures. The power of the eyes to tell us their truth, to show us their soul.


Where are most of the pictures on your Instagram account taken and how often do you travel there?

My Instagram account is mainly dedicated to the tribes of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia, that is part of the Project Pics 4 Pills. I visit the Omo Valley once a year to distribute and supervise the correct investment of funds collected during the year.


Tell me a little bit more about the project. What is the story behind Pics4Pills?

I was shocked with an image during my fist trip to the Omo Valley. Eleven in the morning. Three 4x4s driven by local guides make a stop in front of a Mursi tribe village in the heart of the Omo Valley. A group of 8 tourists carrying cameras, or the latest version of a last generation mobile phone, descend from the vehicles. They hope to immortalize a picture of Africa that only exists in the imaginary of the western mind. Without saying a word, the shooting happens. A human safari scene turned here into a daily routine. Knowing their irresistible appeal to the western camera lens, tribesmen have spent the whole morning working on their fantastic warrior body paintings. Sporting their finest dishes on the lip and earlobe and their eccentric galas, they are well aware of the visual impact of wearing huge horns on the head, or a bouquet of corncobs. No matter how this is unrelated to their ornamental culture. At that moment an interesting paradox occurs, the western picture hunter is hunted by the the atricality and imagination of a clever Mursi, in search of an economic donation for each photograph he “steals” from the tourist.

This scenario makes me ask myself how can we contribute to the medical needs and social development of the tribes of the Omo Valley, focusing on their ethnographic richness and using photography as a driving vehicle?


Ok, So for what does Pics4Pills stand and what are your main goals with the project?

The modest initiative Pics 4 Pills is part of the website and the Instagram account @albertodelhoyo is a platform for the photographic dissemination of the richness of the Omo Valley with two fundamental objectives: On the one hand, fundraising for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies through the sale of photographs. 100% of the funds raised are devoted to the tribes photographed, essentially in health and education centers. The rule is that protagonists of the photographs must be the sole beneficiaries of the photographs. On the other hand, responsible photographic dissemination is necessary to: show the beauty of heterogeneity and cultural identity; what sets us apart and what unites us.


What is your goal as a photographer?

As a photographer I try to capture the uniqueness of everyday life, time lapses of ephemeral beauty, spontaneity and truthfulness. Magic instants!! The next step will be publishing in March the first Pics 4 Pills book sponsored by the Spanish company “Legumbres Luengo” and designed by the Spanish artist Irene Blanco. I wish and hope that it will have a good acceptance!! There is a lot of energy inside it!


Can you tell a little bit more about the upcoming book?

The book is a new step to get founds for the project Pics 4 Pills. It is a compilation of my pictures of the people from the Omo Valley, histories lived in the area and illustrations of the artist Irene Blanco. I hope people will enjoy it! We put a lot of work into it and even more passion! 100% of the benefits from the books sold will be invested in the people of the Omo Valley. The book will be available at the end of March and for sale on my Instagram and on my website.


One last question: What was your best experience as a photographer so far?

The first experiences are the ones that have the greatest echo in my memory. My first photo-tribal experience in Africa was in Namibia, and after spending 5 days alone sleeping in a bushman tribe we were attacked in the middle of the night by a herd of elephants wanting to steal the water from the village deposit. I remember spending the night with a torch helping to drive them away and protect the water. The sound remained etched in my memory, but the feeling of being one more in the tribe was just magical.


If you guys want to find out more about Alberto del Hoyo Mora and his project check out his website or Instagram account.

All pics by Alberto del Hoyo Mora

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