Can you tell us who you are and what you do for a living?
My name’s Sergio Villalba. Born and raised on the island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. I’m a freelance sports and travel photographer.
Why do you support The Bamboo Brush Society?
When I was a kid I always felt good spending my time with the ‘unpopular' ones of the class. I mean, the one with the really ugly glasses, the fatty one or the immigrant. Time proved that they were the ones that I could learn more from. I just felt good hanging out with them, without all the pressure of being the coolest one. They normally did things for love with a lot of passion and because of that they would become outcasts. To the eyes of the rest of the class, they (we) were the strange guys sitting at the very corner of the class. Nowadays, most of them are successful in their lives. They started building the house on a solid foundation, just being true to themselves. As well as regarding people, I believe in projects done with love (especially those projects that keep our planet in mind). No matter what you do, but do it with passion, and you´ll inspire others to do so! You guys are a great example, and that’s why I support you!
At the British Virgin Islands
What do you think of the Bamboo toothbrush?
It feels great. Imagine your regular toothbrush, but better! The feeling of bamboo in your hand and mouth is super nice. Kids love it too. Nothing beats the joy of a clean mouth and the peace of mind of helping the planet at the same time!
What is the best spot you have brushed your teeth?
As you can imagine, being a travel photographer, I’ve brushed my teeth in quite a few crazy places. Actually, I think I should start a personal project on this! There’s two places that just come to my mind now, and both are similar. Oman and Namibia. Both in the middle of the desert, hours away from the first town. Dark at night, under the stars. Got that tattooed in my mind!
You travel a lot, what essentials do you always bring?
Besides all the camera gear (that’s boring to explain), I always take a knife, a headlamp, a good book, a set of headphones and a little notebook. It happens to me that I go more creative when I have no phone reception nor internet access. Unpolluted mind, I guess.
What’s your best travel story?
The best travel stories are those ones that you don’t really enjoy, but you tell with a laugh afterwards. I did this assignment for Sunday Times Travel to the British Virgin Islands. It was a 20 days sailing trip visiting most of the islands. It was a dream of a trip.
The journalist and I spent the last few days ashore, on a luxury private island for American millionaires. As you can imagine the place was really nice, but as soon as the sun set, the atmosphere would get really sophisticated and that’s when after the second GT I would disappear in the dark to the comfort of my comfy bed. The last night, still on the first GT, somebody introduced me to the general resort manager. It happened that he liked photography too, and sooner than later he grabbed my arm and took me into a separate room. ‘Come have dinner with some friends’, he said. There were art pieces everywhere on the walls, and the place itself felt more like a royal dinner in London, than a dinner in the Caribbean. There was more people sitting at the table. I was in boardshorts and flip flops. All sweaty from the Caribbean sun, it had been a long day shooting the island. The whole situation was weird. I’m glad the journalist was sitting next to me. It really felt like nobody wanted to be there, so we started drinking and had some delicious meals.
What is the last film you watched?
Political situation in Spain is really sad and desperate. My girlfriend and I were over so much negativeness and were looking forward some laughs so we watched The Hangover III!
Share your best photo on your phone
How do you get inspired?
Mainly internet. Other than that, I get inspiration from many things out of photography. I can find inspiration in a good book or even just laying in the sun on the beach. Inspiration needs peace of mind and maximum quietness.
If you can go on a trip tomorrow to any place in the world, where would you go?
Cuba. No doubt. I went there last November and along with Iceland and the Faroe Islands, it’s the only place I’ve been that I’d love to come back to. Cuba’s just different to anything else. It’s pure and virgin.