It was in 2000, and by accident, that Puerto Rican photographer Manuel Vélez had his first encounter with a camera -today, his inseparable companion. He was looking for a vehicle that would allow him to constantly be near the sea and bodyboarding, a sport that he has been passionate about since his adolescence. Beyond bringing it closer to the sea in a different way, photography became the ideal way to share his vision of the world.
He does not like labels. Whether showing the majesty of the natural settings of his native Puerto Rico, Iceland, Colombia, Italy or Panama; the intensity of a face, of a look, through a portrait, or the exquisiteness of a subject in a fashionable piece, he seeks to transmit beauty in its diverse manifestations and inspire those who observe his work to do whatever gives them fulfillment and happiness.
He is an incessant adventure seeker. Avid practitioner of cycling, surfing, bodyboarding and climbing, he uses these interests and the places he visits when practicing them to take spectacular photos and show the world from his perspective.
He is always thinking of tomorrow, of what’s next, of the new idea or adventure. This is what moves him and what makes silencing his mind an almost impossible task. Sports and nature help him to be present, to live the moment, and photography allows him to capture that moment lived, that is unique in time.
For 13 years, he worked full time for some of the most important fashion and lifestyle publications from his island - among them, Imagen, Caras and ¡Hola! -, but it is from 2013, when he started freelancing, that his hunger for adventure and the time to give it life have taken his art to another level.
He lives to discover new things and to share what he discovers. He is an adventurer from birth and a visual story-teller by vocation. He does not imagine one thing without the other. The symbiotic relationship between them is what makes his work so interesting, so unique.
Today, the photographer also makes space to work on personal projects, gives life to clients’ visions through commercial campaigns for brands such as Bacardí, Heineken, Medalla, DirecTV, Plaza Las Américas and AT&T, and collaborates with the fashion magazine Mírame siempre.