The pictures that are presented here today were taken during a workshop about analog photography in July 2017. Our teacher was Neto Macedo, a well known Brazilian photographer who carries his smile and a Pentax 67 with him everywhere.

I’d been following his work for a while, and at that point, I didn’t have the money to participate, so I asked him about the possibility of being there for half of the money and to my surprise, he said yes. During the two-day workshop, I met many people who I admire as photographers and models, sitting right next to me and sharing the same jokes and questions about the analog process.

That was also my first time shooting a model, something that I’d never done before. Renata showed up in the middle of the first day, ready for the practice. Just as ready as my Pentax K1000, loaded with a roll of Arista EDU-ULTRA 200 was.

I wasn’t trying to make Vogue-level pictures on that day, instead, I wanted to learn about directing the model and translating my feelings and ideas through her, and I couldn’t. A while ago, after staring the negatives for a couple of minutes, something came to my mind: the pictures I like the most weren’t the ones where she got a request for a particular pose or a face, not even the ones I took while someone was directing.

I only liked the frames where I was able to talk, make jokes or get to know more about the model’s life and opinion. Even the picture of the cigarette was taken after a long conversation with another photographer, one of my references when I think about portraits now.

This situation gave me something that I could use to connect with other situations in my photographic life: the truth about me and my clicks are not searching for art, for beauty or for a consistent body of work. I’m searching for a connection. I only photograph what makes me feel connected with ideas, contexts and people, something that now is burned into my heart and in my way of constructing my ideas and decisions both in and out of photography.

In the end, photography showed to me its ways of helping my mind to find clearness about my heart and behaving, serving as a diagnosis of my inner self.

~ Manoel

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