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Artist of the Week– Allexandre Ferreira

June 14, 2011 by · 3 comments

Interview by Violeta Petkova with Allexandre Ferreira

Allexandre Ferreira

Allexandre Ferreira:”Beauty I believe isn’t in the eyes of the beholder; it’s in your mind.”

What does it mean to be a citizen of the world, as you say?

I always loved to travel and I generally feel comfortable to be in any country. I seldom get home sick and I adapt to new places quickly. Whether I’d be drinking chai in India or having a mint tea in the desert with Bedouins, I enjoyed both experiences equally. There is no recipe to being a world citizen; it’s more like a state of being.


Congratulations! You have been to many different continents and countries. Many photographers dream of having this opportunity. How did you manage to visit so many places in 15 months?

I didn’t plan anything. My only intention was to visit Thailand starting in North Africa and through the Middle East. Buses, trains, guesthouses and only three cheap flights are all it took for me to do it.


Travelling the world isn’t as expensive as everyone thinks. One can go from Bangkok all the way to Kunming China, through Laos for about 150 Euros. Asia was a big part of the trip thanks to the cheap cost of living, friendly people, relative safety and how easy it was to get around. Above all, I had a lot of time, which allowed me to visit so many places.


How did all that travelling influence your photography skills? Which place, moment or event had the biggest impact on you?

The entire trip was about people, the friends I made along the way and how they affected me. I believe that this is one of the reasons why I like to do portraits so much.


The moment, which had the biggest impact on me, was when I photographed in black and white a beautiful Swedish girl, half Italian and half Turkish during a train journey from Chiang Mai to Bangkok in Thailand. The train journey was long, our conversation was engaging and on the top of that I was in love with her beauty and the person that she is. It was non-stop shot after shot.

Desert, Rajhastan

The pictures were for me a special moment that I was able to capture. Needless to say the 240 pictures I took of her were awesome and helped me to become the photographer that I am today. I can honestly say this is when I became hooked on photography. I wasn’t even thinking about being a photographer before that moment.

Desert, Rajhastan

What attracted you the most in portrait photography? Can you find in it the beauty, which we all seek in some form?

To be honest, I don’t really know what attracted me to portraits. I love to make the eye contact through the lens, the lighting, and the shades all within a moment. Being able to compose all these elements within a frame and freeze that moment forever gives me a great deal of satisfaction.


Beauty I believe isn’t in the eyes of the beholder; it’s in your mind. The image is formed in the mind somewhere, and it is also in your mind that allows us to have the feeling to contemplate and admire beauty.

Cambodia Phnom Penh

What else would you do if you weren’t a photographer or if you didn’t travel so much?

Today, a physicist or a scientist.


What was the most unusual place that you took a picture of?

The Rat Temple or the Karni Mata temple at Deshnoke, 30 km from Bikaner in India. It was difficult to be there. There were rats everywhere; the smell of rat’s urine was incredibly strong. It was disgusting. To make matters worse I had to enter the temple bare foot.


Could you be a good photographer without expensive equipment, but with great sense, a little bit of luck and some persistency?

Yes indeed, you just have to think back to the old photographers or the masters. They didn’t have half of the equipment we have today, yet they still excelled. Being good takes time, talent and persistence; with a bit of luck too.


Is intuition important for your work as a photographer?

I don’t believe in intuition, but I can tell you something. You must visualise the picture in your head first before taking the shot. It’s a bit like making music. For me, taking pictures is the same thing.


Night places

How do you feel in Sao Paulo? How do you get inspired? Does your work make you feel happy and satisfied?

I was born in Sao Paulo and this is my town. It’s the place where all my old friends live and also my family. I am happy to be back here after so many years in England, but I don’t feel like going out on streets to take shots. I don’t feel very inspired here. It seems a bit sad, but it isn’t.

Body move

I will feel more satisfied when I get recognition here (Brazil) from the work I do. Brazilians don’t value the arts very much; so many artists have to live abroad to get the recognition that they deserve.

Body move

What have you heard about Bulgaria? Would you like to take pictures on Bulgarian land?

I had a girlfriend from Bulgaria when I was in London and she was beautiful. She told me quite few things about Bulgaria. I would love to take pictures of the land, but I would be keener to do portraits of the people.

Body move



Photos: Allexandre Ferreira

Thank you for this interview. I wish you success and never ending enthusiasm!

“I never thought I’d wind up being a photographer, I always considered myself a traveler, a citizen of the world. After having lived in London for 11 years and seeing vast amounts of Europe whilst doing a variety of different things, I was surprised to discover a deep pleasure I gained from photography, one that eventually turned into a passion.

After having returned to my home, Brazil, I decided to embark on another trip, but this time I wanted to take on the world. The following 15 months saw me cross continents; Africa, Middle East and Asia, a total of 13 countries; a truly life changing experience.

I captured countless experiences through the eye of my camera during this trip, after which I came to understand that photography would stay with me for good. I experimented with various photography techniques, such as portraits, landscapes, and many different light settings.

I now currently reside in Sao Paulo, Brazil a year after my trip finished and I work as a freelance portrait photographer with a reputable newspaper whilst also working on a book documenting my trip. I am very pleased with the choice that I made to become a photographer and I look forward to continuing this new journey!”

Allex 2501 – Around the world on my way

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