Chasing highlights and sunshine from Spain to LA, with photographer Pia Riverola

Pia’s acute eye for detail and complimentary color palettes throughout each photo makes you feel like you’ve been instantly sent a postcard from another time. The hues captivate your attention and send you to you re-live the exact moment with her all over again. It’s one of the reasons we fell in love with her work for our Spain and Barcelona features in goop on paper (you can get a copy here). 

Photo credit: Pia Riverola @piariverola

We could not stop fawning over your photos in the Spain feature of goop’s “In Deep” print issue. The country is filled with such beautiful architecture. Did any of the properties standout to you?

Hacienda de San Rafael, right outside of Seville. It was super charming, low-key and romantic. It felt very different from all of the other properties I was fortunate to visit during this trip.

Was there a defining moment in your early career that encourages you into photography?

My grandfather gave me a camera, that later got stolen from my house. This was the first film camera that I was given and I was around 12 years old.

You are originally from Barcelona, Spain. How did you wind up based in LA full time?

I was able to attain a US visa because of the increasing amount of jobs that were US-based, however, I never sought to live here full-time. I was scared to make the move, until the earthquake in Mexico City. The building next door was completely destroyed and was leaning into our building and therefore I was not able to live in my apartment in Mexico until they demolished the next door one. This kind forced me to find the courage to finally make the move to Los Angeles.

Goop Pia Riverola photo 3

Goop Pia Riverola photo 4
Goop Pia Riverola photo 5

Wow, we cannot even imagine going through something like that. Since landing in LA you’ve traveled to some pretty incredible destinations around the world. What’s the one place that will stay with you forever?

Iceland was a really special place. I’ve never seen so much beauty as I did on that trip.

We get it, Iceland is other-worldly. What’s next for you? What are you hoping to achieve later this year?

I’ve been thinking for a long time that I want to make a book and an exhibition that goes together with it. I would love to do it Mexico and then later, bring it to Los Angeles.

Can you share a little bit about each of your photos?

Yeah, the first photo I took yesterday of one of the windows at my new house in Echo Park. It is really amazing when you move into a new place finding the little things, shadows, lights, where the sun hits and when it does… it’s just very magical.

room in echo park by photographer Pia Riverola

I shot this second one on the early morning of my 29th birthday in Downtown Los Angeles. I’m not a fan of my own birthday but this for sure made it a bit more special.

los angeles 29th bday photographer Pia Riverola

Any of my “for u” series, which are different flowers found in different places in the world. The below are in LA and Barcelona.

los angeles by photographer Pia Riverola
los angeles 2 photographer Pia Riverola

What’s your one dream destination that you haven’t been able to reach yet?

I want to plan a trip around the dead sea and another one around Patagonia, those are my dream trips right now.

For long-haul flights, what’s your go-to?

I’m super into any kind documentary.. the last ones that I’ve seen that completely blew my mind are Holly Hell, Wild Wild Country and probably Evil Genius (not for all people…)