Brazilian photographer Edu Rodrigues: “The good picture must talk to you. It needs to get your attention”
28 dez, 2016
Im from Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil. I did ten years of modeling. I was invited to join the casting of the Elite Model Look Contest in 1995 in my hometown,i was 21yrs at that time.
In my career as a model I had the chance to work with some of the worldwide best photographers like Bruce Webber, Mario Testino, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Hamid Bechiri ,MIchael Comte ,Michel Sedan, Rankin, Just to name a few!
i started to develop a passion for photography watching these guys working. After modeling for ten years ,i started to feel like doing my next step in life and photography was my focus.
Then I started doing books for some friends to get experienced ,and also a lot of assistance for photographers such as Soren Mork, Michael Roberts, Hamid Bechiri , Jr Duran ,Paschoal Domingos ,Rankin, All really experienced professionals with such unique styles.
I believe they all helped me to develop my own style, but i like a lot this Italian guy named Settimio Benedusi. I love his beachwear portfolio and i hope i could someday assist him in a shooting. Peter Lindemberg is a God of photography and some times inspire my work.
I wouldn’t say i have only one style,i like to experiment. I like to get crazy sometimes and create new sets of lightning. Using different materials, getting myself out of the comfort zone. It’s a good practicing.
The digital era helping out the photographers
For sure, technology turned out photography really close and accessible for billions of people around the world. Smartphones nowadays are amazing and produce high resolution images with great quality and sharpness, with also a lots of plugins and tools that makes really easy for anyone to retouch and increase their imagens in a blow mind photos..And thats is really cool.
I miss film, but Digital makes the progress much faster . It definitly made photographers life easier and cheaper.
Perfect moments making special pics
The good picture must talk to you. It needs to get your attention, Sometimes when i’m choosing them in Adobe Bridge quickly passing a several frames in a row, suddenly one of them attracts my eyes, but its not always..
To be honest i think I shoot a lot. Sometimes i do too many frames when i’m shooting a beginner, but also because i want them to move and experience the most expressions and poses they can ,so they will gonna be ready to do it by their own in their first jobs.
I usualy only decide when i’m alone,checking them in my computer a couple of days after the shooting. The problem is that i always choose too many good ones in the beginning, then after filtering a little more, i just send it to their bookers and managers to help me out. Feels more confident if i have extra good ones.
Pictures can touch people differently , it s a very particular thing , some pictures that i like not necessary are the ones the agency or the client will choose. So i prefer to send some several options.
Sharing experiences with models
I love to share my experience as a model and also as a photographer to them.I feel like a big brother. Things I believe i did right ,things i did wrong,how they should behave and act in a casting ,we discuss about the market.
Some of them are very young like 15 years and even less sometimes,so it s very delicate to deal with, They all have a lot of expectations in this career ,so the most information i can give to them and to their parents ,the better.
Its very important that they must consider doing something else like studying or working while they are modeling in the begining cause for sure it’s not an easy market.
There’s no guarantee. its all about being in the right place in the right time ,and being ready at the time and luck. We ve got to be careful and i always tell them to keep their feet in the ground,O ne single and expressive job can change everything in a very good way from the night to the day after…The magic job..
The funny and unusual backstages´ moments
Hmmm…i was shooting Sao Paulo Fashion Week backstage for some magazine and the journalist in charge told me to join her at the end of Ellus show, if i’m not wrong, so we could try to get a picture with Alessandra Ambrosio holding the magazine.
When we got there the backstage was so crowded with photographers all around her. The journalist was little short and could barely see her and then she told me “Lets give up. We will never gonna reach her there. Lets go back”.Then i said “Let me try”..I just waved my arm to Alessandra and said “Ale,Ale, Its me Edu” .Then she just started to push every photographer in front of her to come where I was , then she hugs me and asked how I was. I asked her to make one single shot with the magazine and she said : Of course ,as long as you take one with me tôo”
Alessandra and I started toghether in the Elite Contest in 1995, so we new each other ever since and we used to hang out together sometimes much before that. IIt was funny cause every one started to look at me like..Who was that guy??The journalist and the magazine got so happy that we made the shot.
Top cool places for a hooting
Definitly Paris ,Milan,Barcelona,NY and of course Posto 6 in Barra da Tijuca ,my backyard..
Well..Paris is just one of the most beautiful cities around the the world, New York is so square,so full of angles. We Just can basically point the camera for wherever and shot and for sure we will gonna have some really nice images. Also because of security. Carrying my equipment across those cities with no fear of being robbed its great.
I shot in a park in Milan last month with some heavy equipment and nobody bothered us at all. Barra da Tijuca (Rio) is so big and empty
sometimes that i can shoot models and make them look like they were alone in the beach. For those who are doing their first test in their lives its very helpful and it gets better to focus in a good picture.
IMAGE worth a THOUSAND WORDS?
Hmmm. Nowadays we must be careful because image is just an angle of something that happened, its a short frame of time. And also because there is photoshop in the word and it’s not a taboo. So there’s a lot that can be fake by some editor, like putting or replacing people that are not really there. Some images really need some explanation cause it can have many means ..Depending on spectator´s point of view or who is watching.
The Projects and the Models
i ve been shooting a lot of new faces in these last 2 months. Girls and boys that are facing a professional photographer and a studio for the very first time.
It’s really challenging explaining poses ,directing and giving tips, but after almost 15 years shooting gets easier with the time.
Watching new aces shot by me getting jobs such as catalogs, campaigns and editorials makes me more confident that i am going to the right direction. It means my photos wore useful for them and i feel pleased for that.
Some models get here really raw, with no attitude or confidence at all,and after a good conversation and some brain washing and practicing they get to look like if they have made that for years in their pictures.
Also I ve been asked to do some lightning ,models directions ,and retouching workshops in my studio, and recently i had the opportunity to teach some technics and i loved. So i ve just discovered a new passion..Giving classes.
Thank you all so much for the opportunity , Its been an honor to share with you guys..
All the best.
Interview by Ed, the brazilian editor