Portrait photography is something I’ve always enjoyed exploring, and I think the main reason for that is because as the photographer you can project so much of yourself when shooting people. That’s probably why I find it easier and much more interesting to photograph women too.
Besides photography, I’ve always had a passion for drawing and painting, and when I started shooting film back in 2011, I was at a time of my life where I was obsessed with faces.
I’d draw faces and facial features to practice my drawing skills all the time, and I’d also study how the face changes depending on the lighting and how the lights and shadows could add shape and dimension to a face. That interest led me to the beginning of my experimentation with portrait photography.
I started off with self-portraits and photographing a few close friends, and I still find it really fun to shoot people I feel I have a connection with and get to know more about them when shooting. I like to have conversations with the person I’m shooting; finding out about their interests, what interests we have in common, and make them feel free to contribute to the creative process.
I like to feel like I’m entering into a collaboration with someone, and I love it when people suggest specific poses, want to bring their pets to be photographed as well, pick outfits they really like, etc. In these conversations and other moments of interaction, you can get some really candid and unexpected photos which often turn out to be great.
I like to build an atmosphere of trust, it’s not only important to make people feel safe and comfortable but also because since I shoot film, people can’t see the photos I’ve taken straightaway. We need to wait until the film has been developed. I feel like everyone who poses for me, or who feels interested in having any photos taken by someone who shoots film must really trust that person, and be very patient as well. After all, they’ll have to wait a little longer than usual to see the photos.
My favorite places to photograph people are in their own homes or in nature, probably because in their own homes they can feel very comfortable and I feel like I’m getting to see a very personal and special place of their life. I want my photography to be very personal, to show how I perceive things and how I feel about the world.
When it comes to nature, it’s simply because I want to show how we are part of the earth and connected to it. I want to show a connection that’s both natural and mystical.
Thanks for reading.
~ Clara Araujo
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