When I first started to photograph, I used to do studio. Mainly fashion, portraits and nude. Since kid I loved to see Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar magazines. I loved to see all the production behind the photos, the make up, the glamour, the amazing bodies and hair of the models. I used to have such admiration for it. The golden age in my opinion was the age of the super models: Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer , Linda Evangelista, Naomi, Kate Moss, Gisele. My favorite photographers at that time were Helmut Newton (if you have the chance, visit his museum foundation in Berlin, amazing), Ellen von Unwerth (her earlier works, like the books Revenge and Fräulein) and Peter Lindbergh (his black and white portraits are pure beauty). All my work was based on them. I used to work with my sister Polyanna, she was the producer and makeup artist. We were quite a good team. It was a very good start for me, but as you know, to photograph people is not easy, and when it comes to vanity, lust, bodies, self esteem, is even worse. To deal with people’s ego is hard. I mean, very hard. And this was like 10 years ago. Instagram has just been launched and was not the disease it is today. People at that time didn’t change their lives for social media yet.
Why am I telling you all that? Because as in everything, it takes time for us to find the real essence of our art. The real me in my photography work is what I publish today. It is purely fine art street travel black and white photography.
Paris as I love it: dark, noir, full of silhouettes and mystery.
It also took a long time for me to understand and realize that the real me is fine art street/travel, but mainly, 99% black and white. When you are able to find your identity within your photography, that is the moment when your work starts to work and when you are ready to fly and be detached from everything else.
White nights in Berlin: it has my heart and soul.
It is not always easy to explain something that it is natural and comes from the soul. You don’t get to choose it. It chooses you.
After my studio period, I started to link my travels with my photography. All of the sudden I was photographing streets and cities in such free state of mind that I couldn’t believe it took me so long to understand that I needed freedom to photograph, not to be inside a studio, telling people what angles and faces they should do. I needed to breath, I needed air, space, freedom. But this was my first step. At that time, I still used to shoot also in colors.
Gloomy nights around Dublin.
In this new phase I explored the cities and the streets, but mostly in colors. I sensed that something was still missing. Something yet was not right to me. I was taking photos exactly as I do today, I see my street photos from 10 years ago and the ones I take today, and I can gladly say my look is the same. But the colors, oh the colors, they were not right to me. They were a distraction to me.
It was only in 2016, the year I had 3 solo exhibitions in São Paulo (and all of them only with black and white photos), that I realized that black and white was my real photography. I finally had found my identity.
Sophisticated London, fantastic city for street photography.
I remember when I was choosing the pictures for the exhibitions, I instinctively wanted only black and white. Not for a moment I thought of choosing color. And when I saw Paris pictures printed in a beautiful photo rag paper, I came to my senses and was when everything suddenly became so clear. All my journey lead me to that moment. And from that moment on, I started harshly to work in black and white. Each day more and more, until the black and white become my signature. From early 2017 until now, I started to study endlessly all masters of photography that influences my work: Robert Capa, Daido Moriyama, Brassaï, Saul Leiter, Elliott Erwitt, André Kertész, etc. And my photography finally took the form that I always wanted. Sometimes it takes a lifetime for anyone to find out what makes one happy, but I can say I was blessed, lucky, whatever, to find my own identity within in less than 7 years.
The Black and White
I have nothing against colors. I still have a few color galleries in my website. And sometimes I like to play with colors (check Blue Series, Caribbean, Miami and Greece). But when it comes to black and white, then I am speaking of my true colors. Black is part of me. 99% of the days of the year I wear black. My bed sheets are black. My tattoos are black (the exception are my red roses, but also black roses). My shoes are black. I like everything black. Therefore, my photos could only end up as black and white. It is a natural thing in me.
When I am in the streets photographing, I never do black and white directly in the camera. But in my head, everything I see is black and white already. I picture the scenes in a noir atmosphere. Strong contrasts. Silhouettes dancing in the night or wandering during the day light. Ghosts, shadows, enigmas, situations. The black and white give each scene a history behind it. It gives magic, allure, mystery, fascination. It drives you into a whole different world. A fine art world. I like to pull my public to my mind and bring them into my world. My black and white world. It is another world. A more vibrant world. A different one. Like a hypnotic trance.