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Tiago Ribeiro: “The hardest part is capturing the soul, the essence of people!”

July 17, 2009 by · 4 comments

An interview with Tiago Ribeiro by Ani Vasileva

His name is Tiago Ribeiro and he is 25 years old. He has a Master in Informatics and he is the co-founder of Seegno. He’s also still very involved with student communities through Lappiz.

A little over a year ago, with the academic life a bit past behind him, he decided he needed a life, and that included getting a hobby. So he bought his Canon 400D and started shooting everything that moved, and then everything that stood still, and then just everything.

After a while he started getting a grip on the camera, so he tried setting some goals that would allow him to evolve, and the idea for Project365 was born. Initially he’d try and take a picture of the most relevant things for him throughout the day, but eventually realized that wasn’t really what he wanted. So he started trying to take a daily photo that he liked, without repeating his self too much.

Within the project, a couple subsets were born, such as “Phobias” and “Addictions and Bad Habits”. These provide a never ending stream of inspiration, at the cost of having to spend quite some time in preparing the sets. After a while, he realized that what he liked most – as in everyday activity – was People and everything about them.

So in the end, Project365 turned from being a self-centered project to being about the People that surround him and make his life as interesting and eventful as it is.

As we can see from your biography you are person with many-sided interests, do you already have your next step on mind? May be painting or … medicine?

There are lots of stuff I’m interested in. I’m an avid music listener, but I think I just found my passion in photography, which I intend to keep on exploring. The idea behind Project 365 was to make me learn, now I just want to enjoy it as an art, less quantity and more quality. As for other forms of art, well, my father is a painter, but my first attempts were so bad that I decided to spare the world.

What is the greatest challenge for you in your developing as a photographer?

The hardest part is capturing the soul, the essence of people. It’s something I’m just beginning to tap into.

I can say that your projects are really ambitious and amazing. You are trying to show us human fears and addictions, this work is connected with people, tell us how do you set them at ease for looking so nature?

I’m very lucky to have friends who are willing to engage in funny and serious challenges. Also, being my friends, it’s a much closer relationship and it’s easier for me to explain what I want to capture in the photo.

What is the most important trait in a model you are looking for?

Charismatic faces. In older people I like capturing the wrinkles – they always seem to have the story of a lifetime to tell.

And now – which is your greatest fear and are you addicted to something?

This one’s easy. I’m totally addicted to Flickr, and when I don’t have a computer I check it regularly over the iPhone. I also have a sizable fear of heights.

Name some of the best and unforgettable moment(s) you have had as a photographer so far.

My first decent photo, buying a kilo of fish, filling a jacuzzi with popcorns, or covering my face with hot chocolate. On the down side, when my camera fell off its tripod and I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the project.

What is necessary to get an amazing shot?

I would say anticipation, ideas and luck are important requirements.
Sometimes I see myself thinking days straight for the right photo set in my mind, building up those last very details. But some of my favorite photos were taken in just a matter of seconds too, which reflect a lucky moment and a continuous camera-ready state of mind.

Your dream picture is…

Chronophobia – Fear of time. I need a room full of clocks to do that one.

What brings you inspiration, ideas and influences?

I’d say the environment. I’m lucky enough to share different cultural backgrounds with those around me, and personally I think that largely contributes to some kind of brain training. Over this year, I’ve felt a constant pressure to accomplish my daily goal, and that routine just tends to get easier by the time. It is this same pressure that convinces me and the people I photograph to go way beyond my original sketch. And that’s the amazing part of this project – to involve people, either from a casual unknown couple, family, friends and, of course, the remarkable and distinct Flickr community, with whom I’ve built an enormous relationship.

Some of my main influences from Flickr are:
Frederico Erra
Benoit Paille
Rui Palha

And, please, tell us your secret about being successful in the things you’re doing.

There’re no secrets, I’m a pretty simple person. I really, really like what I do and I always commit myself 100%. Also, pretty important is the support of my friends, my family and the community.

Now, if you have something else you want to share with our readers…

In my opinion, if you’re new to photography, pick up a cheap DSLR camera from your local store. There are plenty of models out there with an accessible price and superb results.

Practice a lot and keep asking for your friends and family to comment your results, so you can keep improving. Get involved on stimulating projects that will challenge your skills, or else you want develop as much as you would.
For experienced photographers … well, I’m the one who would like to know what do you want to share with us, readers 🙂

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