Pia Riverola is a Barcelona-born photographer struck by wanderlust. She took a leap of faith and moved to the United States, and then to Mexico. During this time, she has travelled North America, camera in hand, documenting her travels. Her newest collection is from her trip to Los Angeles. When we saw her work, we just knew we had to speak with her and get to know the girl behind the lens.
Lola Who: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started taking pictures?
Pia: Hi! Im from Barcelona. I moved to go live in NYC three years ago, and then, last year I moved to Mexico City. Maybe next year Ill be living somewhere else. I really like travelling and taking pictures. Im not sure when or how it started, but probably just like any other person that wants to keep memories of what happens in their life. As a child, I liked carrying disposable cameras and keeping the photo albums, so I guess that continued until now.
Lola Who: What prompted you to move from Barcelona to America?
Pia: I wanted to see new places so much. I finished studying in Barcelona and I wanted to travel and learn and see different things. America has always captured my eye, especially North America, in terms of colours and lights. I think its what I like the most, every place is different but has its own beauty. Since I moved to Mexico, Ive discovered this amazing country too. I have been travelling around a bit and have seen the most incredible landscapes, cultures and people.
Lola Who: Why did you decide to visit Los Angeles?
Pia: My older brother was playing at a music festival there in August, and a few friends from Barcelona and him were travelling to L.A. so we decided to meet there since its really close to Mexico City, and I hadnt seen them for a while. It wasnt my first trip to L.A. but it was the first time for me to get to know the city and people, and I loved everything about it! We stayed in very nice places and met great people so I returned a couple of months later to visit everything again.
Lola Who: What was your favourite site to see in L.A.?
Pia:The last time I was there, I was staying close to Echo Park and a friend recommended that I go up the hill and see the sunset from there. It was a really nice walk with my headphones on and seeing all the beautiful houses and gardens. The warm light made everything even better. When I was up on the hill, I got to see the sunset over all L.A. and it was a pretty amazing onewith all those blues and purples, and palm trees.
Lola Who: Where else did you go while you were there?
Pia: I was very lucky and I got to stay with two of my best friends at some amazing hotels. Chateau Marmont was my favourite one, such a nice place. I had the most amazing time and did some crazy stuff, too. I totally felt like I didnt belong there because the Emmy Awards were happening, but it was a really fun experience. I got to see many famous actors having breakfast or getting drunk. Also, Aaron Paul had just won an Emmy the night before, and while I was outside the hotel waiting for a friend to arrive, he arrived at 10:00 am all dressed up, with his Emmy in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other one. He asked me if he could borrow my pool key for a second. I got to have a fan moment and took a photo of it. It was very dumb but it made my day.
Lola Who: Can you tell us about some of your hobbies?
Pia: I like spending time with Science, my dog, and buying plants. I started living in this not-so-big apartment in Mexico City and I just skipped buying furniture and went straight to filling my house with plants. Now I just have everything on the floor; books, magazines, lamps, and a bunch of plants growing bigger every day. I also like going to this greenhouse five minutes away and see how orchids never bloom despite the greenhouse man telling me soon, soon. So I just go and see the cactus plants over again.
Lola Who: What type of camera did you use for this trip?
Pia: I always carry with me my two Contax, the T2 and the G1. Depending on the moment, I use the point and shoot one that also has the flash and is easy to carry, but I love to use the G1 and changing lenses Although its not always the most practical and quick thing to use.
Lola Who: What has been your favourite place in the world to visit so far?
Pia: I went back to California in December, and I did a route around Big Sur, Lake Tahoe and Death Valley. I just stayed in the desert for one night but its actually one of my favourite places in the world. I still have so much to see and Im planning on returning very soon. The light there and the size and scope of the place were something I had never seen until then; I loved the mountains, the roads I just kept taking photos from the window while I was in the car, and my friend who was driving didnt stop asking me Are you taking the same photo over and over again? And then I developed the rolls and it was amazing all the different textures, shapes and colors in the mountains which came out from that same road trip.
Lola Who: When is your next adventure, and to where?
In two weeks, I will be taking photos at this music festival called the ”Carnaval de Bahidora” two hours away from Mexico City. The location is the amazing part of it. Its at the source of a river that looks like a Mexican cenote, with clear blue water and lots of vegetation. People will be listening to the bands in the water.. such good vibes! I cant wait!
By Hillary Loucks