On the same topic of some of my previous shoots (athlete’s portraits), it was Carolina’s turn to show me an intimidating side of herself… could almost see her in Assassin's Creed, right?
What happens when friends invite you to shoot them in a sailing boat, on a fabulous afternoon on the Tagus?… Well, this happens!
Been interested in photographing horses for a long time and recently I met some great people that are totally into this lifestyle. One thing led to another and I found myself shooting the show jumping competition at the Golegã High Performance Center for Equestrian Sports (after spending all morning at their amazing property watching horse training).
Technically, this wasn’t the first time I’ve shot this sport, but let’s say that this time I took it a little more seriously…
I’m very happy with the results, love the way that man (or woman) and horse flow together in a mass of elegant power.
For one of the most recent sessions of my ongoing project of athlete’s portraits, I invited Sofia who, among many other things, is a fanatical kitesurfer.
We were still warming up, you know: “so this is what were going to do today”, when she pulls off this twist that turns her poncho into a big black disk! A few takes later, to adjust leg position, facial expression and the shape of the disk and we had what ended up being my favorite shot of the whole session!
Sure, it has nothing to do with kitesurf, but it has everything to do with Sofia...
In some cases, personality just doesn’t fit into one single image…!
1, 2, 3, breathe… 1, 2, 3 breathe
Barely awake, but already training in the water. For triathlon athletes, the question is not “why?”, but “why not?”
1, 2, 3, breathe… 1, 2, 3 breathe
"How fast do you want to go?”
Step 1: dig up an old (and boring!) photo taken at Marvão (Portugal)
Step 3: photograph a cool biker
Step 4: join them together and… BAM!
Horror story for photographers.
A few years ago, I was shooting for a commercial client, when I heard a snap inside the camera and felt like something had come loose. The shutter seemed to work, but there was no image, something very wrong had happened!
One of the components inside my Canon 5D, the mirror, had come off and was literally jingling in there!
I carefully removed the lens and it fell onto my hand! At the time my only thought was “this can’t be good…"
With a smile on my face but trembling inside, I asked my subjects for a minute. (“My camera’s gone, my camera’s gone…! Well, no one here cares, deal with it later!”)
Went over to my bag, grabbed my backup camera et voilà, the session continued.
I found out later that it was a product defect that Canon had already acknowledged and they were repairing these cases for free. Whew!
“But why don’t you have your equipment insured, Gonçalo?”
Because, amazingly, there is no company in Portugal that will do it! (Please let me know if I’m wrong)
To this day my client doesn’t know any of this happened. What he does know is that everything worked out and he got the photos he needed.
Being a professional photographer isn’t just about making great pictures, it’s about solving problems. Better yet, anticipating them. It’s not cheap having two cameras instead of one, but it can save your skin!
One of the things that makes an athlete a special breed of model is the ability to bring intensity to an image.
Besides having a sculptural body (which is something many other models have), they can pull off poses of such elegance and power that I have a hard time believing we're even from the same species…
And if I need to fine tune their expression, all I have to do is ask them to remember their last training session or the final stretch of a competition… determination will become written all over their face!
It’s not by chance that a lot of the sports stars become photographic models, take Cristiano Ronaldo and Nelson Évora, for example.
Raquel used to be a high class gymnast and although it’s been a while since her last competition, and she’s a bit “rusty” (her words, not mine!), she still looks absolutely superhuman to anyone who can’t take their nose to their toes!
I know, I know… I was supposed to be shooting the action, that’s why I came down to Carcavelos on the first day of Capítulo perfeito by Billabong… but check out this sky and this ocean! (in my defense, there are two riders coming out of that break, one to the left, and another to the right!)
And this is actually the upside of shooting on my own time, I can change plans anytime I want! :)
Sometimes, photographing someone is so much easier if you can add something that is a part of their life. Like a motorbike.
Bruno is a great chef and I’ve shot him in the kitchen several times, but when he told me that he rode a beautiful white Ducati… well, you know… it just had to happen!
By the way, he works at QB Essence in Oeiras, you should really check it out! ;)
About 1 year ago we wandered around in the streets of Póvoa...
I love Alan Watts's lecture "What if Money Was No Object?"
And every once in a while, I ask myself the difficult question: “if time and money (or any other thing) were no object, what would you like to do in the next few years?”
To make it easier, I sometimes narrow it down: "if time and money (or any other thing) were no object, what would you like to photograph in the next few years?”
When we take out of the way whatever is blocking our dreams (at least in our mind), we’re left with the responsibility to take control over our happiness. Maybe that’s why we always have so many "obstacles"...
Last, but certainly not least, my favorite portraits from 2013!
Looking back at my photos from this past year... Too many favorites for just one post, so I'll spread them along a few!
If you haven't been to the Planet Ocean exhibition at Oceanário de Lisboa you have until Jan 6 (2014).
These beautiful photos by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Brian Skerry are a unique aerial and underwater perspective of the world's oceans, focusing on the (not always peaceful...) human interaction with these ecosystems.
I strongly recommend it!