The book also features a list of more than 50 artists who use photography, even if combined with other media like painting, video and installation or as a means of making their performances known, for example. We cannot call them photographers but it is important to include them for reference. The Dictionary of Spanish Photographers traces the history of Spanish photography as a whole from its beginnings to the present. It includes a long list of nineteenth-century photographers. For this century it features a number of foreign photographers – especially English and French – who travelled around Spain and photographed it on account of their importance in promoting the country, as some of their works were the first to become known and are among the most noteworthy photographs of nineteenth-century Spain; some of these photographers even lived in the country and established their studios there. As for the twentieth century, the long list of photographers featured reflects the various periods in Spanish photography: late pictorialism, the Spanish Civil War, the renewal of the fifties and sixties, the rise of documentalism, photo essays and fiction photography in the seventies and eighties and the new documentalism of the recent decades. The book also includes a few young photographers who look set to become important names in the future.
A group of historians, curators, researchers and photographers from all over Spain and hailing from the world of archive and library management, universities and various fields of photography have brought their opinions and lists of names to this project. When it came to making the final selection of photographers, the dictionary thus benefited from the invaluable contributions of a whole host of professionals such as Antonio Ansón, David Balsells, Alejandro Castellote, Chema Conesa, Enrique Corrales, Ramón Esparza, Horacio Fernández, Pepe Font de Mora, José Gómez Isla, Juan Naranjo, Jorge Ribalta, Bernardo Riego, Paco Salinas, Manuel Sendón, Jordi Serchs, Laura Terré and Valentín Vallhonrat. The aim was to avoid excessive centralism and include photographers who might otherwise have been overlooked.
The dictionary features a biography of each photographer written by university lecturers specialised in different subjects and a selection of his or her works. Professionals from various universities and researchers specialised in studying photography were entrusted with writing the biographies, the great majority of which have been approved by the photographers themselves, their heirs or the people in charge of their archives.