Every now and then, someone’s photographic work really stands out and catches your eye. Hailing from Portugal, Pedro Afonso is one of those people. Operating in two very divergent fields: landscape and fashion, his images are carefully crafted and masterfully executed. Read on below and take a look at his beautiful pictures…
Name: Pedro Afonso
Hometown: São João da Madeira
Tell us about yourself: I’m a freelancer photographer based in São João da Madeira – Portugal.
I studied sociology and anthropology and worked in different associations/organizations, which I enjoyed. I am a regular person that lovest sports, especially mountain biking and running. And I have a passion for photography challenges.
How did you get started in photography?
Well to be honest and now looking back since the early days of my life, I always remember my father with a camera and how much I hated waiting for him to take a pic, and never experienced the feeling of handling a camera myself. Well, after I had finished the university (2004), my father sent me my first DLSR and to this day I can not stop taking pictures.
One thing that I take for granted now were that those little moments that I hated waiting for my father to get the shot, can now be remembered by memories, but most important of all by a frame.
What’s your favorite camera and lens?
It’s just a tool and you’ll realize that when you get deeper on photography and its techniques like aperture and shutter speed, but obviously when you have good glass and camera bodies it’s a step further.
For my work I use Nikon full-frame cameras and lenses. The away I manage those tools depends of what type of requested work I have in hands. But now I start to falling in love with the prime lenses.
What’s the difference in taking nature photos vs beautiful women? Which do you enjoy more?
For sure the big difference is that on nature you work with time and other variables, and if you can’t get those beautiful images of sunrise or a sunset for instance in one day for sure the next day will be better and so on. Instead when you’re shooting people…you’re shooting people with feelings, emotions, aims, etc. They talk, they express their feelings and moods and you have to guarantee a good result. I think my background on nature photography gave me some how a great lessons how to deal with those kind of situations.
And to be honest the greatest thing on nature photography is that it’s only you in the field waiting for right moment instead of a pressure during an editorial, fashion or nude shoot, without engage in issues of profitability.
What were you doing before you became a freelance photographer? How has life changed since then?
When I finished my Sociology degree I was working mostly in social projects for different associations and companies. Today I still work on those same projects but not full-time like in the beginning. The reason for that is photography.
When you start to pay more attention and dedicate most of your available time studying, reading and breathing photography, you end up on a tightrope making choices. Well, I abdicated my full time job as sociologist to become a freelancing sociologist and photographer, and till now things have gone well.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you during a photo shoot?
I had one funny situation that still is recorded in my mind till now. After shooting the great light of the sunset in the highest region of Portugal – Serra da Estrela, on my way back home I spotted a little river that could be interesting to do some shoots in the early morning hours. So I decided to check the place with all my equipment in my hands and suddenly I was face-to-face with a huge boar and its cubs. My heart starts to bump so fast and my body was trembling, which didn’t stop until I got home. After a loud grunting from the boar, I had no other solution but to run out fast. On that moment my equipment (cameras, tripod, bag) lost all its weight!
You have Flickr and a Blogspot page, but no dedicated website. Why is this?
Well, that’s going to change in the next few two months or maybe less. Until now I’ve been working by myself as freelancer but things started to change when I felt the need to improve the away I presented the final work to my clients. And that’s the point that you realize that you need to have space for other professionals like graphic designers. So that’s the road I should take.
And step-by-step I was looking for related professionals that fill a gap and also want to embrace a project.
So, here I am now with my team that decided to settle and mix our knowledge and create a project/company. Two months of work have passed to raise our studio and now we’re in the final stretch, preparing the official website and of course the official opening.
We felt by gathering graphical design, photography, styling, make-up, and marketing can not only promote everyone’s work but also to build a concept and a solid team under the same space.
Which Aputure product do you use and how do you use it?
I use the Aputure Trigmaster Versatile Trigger most of all for my on-location shoots. Easy to set up and has a good distance range. Plus it has a very low battery consumption. Till now I am very glad with the results and the product itself.
If you could shoot anything, what would it be?
It’s hard to say exactly what theme/subject to shoot. But what I can really say right now is to still enlarge/improve my capability of shooting different subjects.
All my photography challenges led to not shut doors, on the contrary. Thus, instead of following a specific work area, whether it be fashion, advertising, weddings, landscape etc, I chose to develop a bit of everything. This allowed me to acquire a deeper understanding of photography in general.
Fail, fail again, fail better.
A few more shots from Pedro…