YOU ARE NOW A RENOWNED BRAZILIAN-BORN PHOTOGRAPHER LIVING IN LONDON. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
Restlessness, cluelessness, a lot of work, luck and an immense amount of support from my family and friends.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER? WAS THERE AN EXACT MOMENT YOU CAN REMEMBER?
Yes!! When I was 19 I went on holiday to a lovely, very wild island in Brazil. It's a big nature reserve with a small fishermen's village, one little B&B that let me camp on their garden and not much else. I spent days just wandering around by myself and started "seeing" pictures everywhere. When I got home I convinced my mum to buy me my first camera and got a friend to show me how to use it. I then rushed back to the island and returned saying "Mum, I'm going to be a photographer!".
BEST PART OF YOUR JOB...
Travelling and having access to people and places I most likely wouldn't otherwise. It can be a factory, a Michelin starred kitchen, an artist's studio. Whatever it is, I am normally very curious about things. I love to see how they are made, how all sorts of people live and work. I also like the way it often holds up a mirror to parts of myself, good and bad, I don't realise or sometimes forget.
LEAST EXCITING PART OF YOUR JOB...
Processing files, although I can't complain much, as I tend to do that at home in my pyjamas with a cup of tea in hand. It can still be very very boring. Then there's chasing people for payment and the uncertainty of where the next job will come from and when, but that's just normal on any freelancer's life.
Cover of British Airways magazine
YOU HAVE WORKED IN SO MANY DIFFERENT AREAS, FROM CELEBRITY CHEFS TO AMAZING ALMOST UNDISCOVERED PLACES IN THE WORLD. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT?
Very hard to choose just one, as they change all the time and I am very fortunate to work with amazing people on amazing shoots. But one that's been in my heart for a while and refuses to leave is a book I shot for Krug champagne last year. It was pressure, high stakes and hard work blended with just as much travel, high indulgence, the perfect partners in crime and, as a result, pictures I love and am proud of.
WHO'S YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE?
Oh, simply too many to do them all justice, some I probably don't even realise on a conscious level. I can tell you some long lasting crushes though: writers Martha Gellhorn and Dervla Murphy, singer Karin Dreijer, of Fever Ray and The Knife, photographers Alex Webb and Joseph Koudelka.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING CURVE?
As a naive and, frankly, slightly stupid young creative, at the beginning of my career I had this idea that one gets "discovered" and "explodes" into the scene and if only that happened to me, I would be set for life. What I found instead was the obvious: that for most of us mortals this doesn't really happen. And that's perfectly ok. It's instead a lot of hard work, a heavy dose of heartbreak, many learning curves, all mixed with a lot of opportunities from places I never expected. There was no big break for me, but countless little ones and even when I still fell into the trap of thinking "Right, if I shoot for that client I will have made it", you get there and realise it's an important step, often a lovely landmark to acknowledge, enjoy and celebrate, but it's never - hopefully - the last one.
Seu Jorge for Wallpaper Magazine
FOR SOMEONE STARTING IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD NOW, WHAT'S ONE IMPORTANT ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE?
I would repeat an advice I was given in my early twenties: "Don't worry about careerism just yet, first develop your own style, your own language, your own art." Also, of course, be nice!
SOMEONE PEOPLE DON'T USUALLY KNOW ABOUT YOU!
I try to keep it together most of the time, so unless you know me intimately, or get unlucky, most people don't know (and sometimes can't believe) that I can get WILDLY angry.
Myanmar for YCN Magazine
THINGS THAT NEVER FAIL TO BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE...
Animals! Not all of them, I truly dislike monkeys, for example, but I'd say most, even the more creepy ones like bats, snakes and spiders.
YOU TRAVEL SO MUCH, HOW DO YOU MANAGE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PARTNER?
I don't! hahaha Well, I do keep a healthy relationship with my partner, but I find that this is not despite my travelling. For starters, travel makes me happy, so I'm nicer to be around than if I didn't do it. But I also find the distance itself quite healthy for a couple, we have time to ourselves, to be alone, to miss each other and not take each other for granted as much as if we were never ever apart. It's important for us that we remain individuals, that we honour each other's need for space, each other's unique tastes and interests that the other doesn't necessarily share, and that's ok. It's also a lovely feeling missing someone when you know they'll be waiting for you at home when you return and that you can't wait to get back to. He's always incredibly supportive of and excited about my adventures. We have our little rituals the night before I travel, which is sometimes a little fraught with anxiety (which he helps to placate), and the night I get back, full of stories and excitement and ideas - or frustration and murderous feelings, depending on the trip. As for a healthy lifestyle, I try to be good at home, but when I am away I pretend it's not my problem.
IF YOU COULD SEND A NOTE TO YOUR 25 YEAR OLD SELF..
"For goodness' sake chill! No need to agonise so much, this ride will be a much wilder one than we expected, but it will be beautiful and we'll be fine." I guess I need to say that to my 35 year old self too!
Charlotte Casiraghi for GCT Magazine
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING A WOMAN TODAY?
So many incredibly bad ass girls, women and gender variant in all areas fighting the fight and trying to change things, support each other and right the wrongs we are still put through today.
WHAT'S COMING UP NEXT?
The biggest thing I think I've ever tried to do, which will be to cycle on a tandem bike with my partner from Japan back to London, over the course of a year or two. 😨