Taking to the Streets of São Paulo with Rodrigo Vieira
By Cherrie - 5 min read
Brazil-based Rodrigo chats street photography with The Phoblographer
Brazilian art directorRodgrigo Vieirahas, in his own words, ‘always been a little bit of a photographer’, capturing snapshotsof life in the capitalSão Paulo.He’s amassed quite a following on EyeEm, catchingthe eye of Chris Gampat, founder of famed photography blog The Phoblographer, in the process.
Chris loved Rodrigo’s work so much that he interviewed him for a spotlight on The Phoblographer – we are delighted to now bring it tothe EyeEm blog! Read on for the stories behind his images, his secret to capturing strangers on the street, and his journey to becoming a celebrated street photographer.
What made you get into street photography?
I was in France photographing for a while. When I came back to São Paulo, I was facing the so called “creator’s block”. Paris was so beautiful, everything inspired me. São Paulo is not that easy – you have to work hard to see the beauty in these streets.
This change of place forced me to change my photography – I discovered the format of street photography and most important of all, I discovered people! We always want to get people out of the way to photograph. Why? Photographing people is much harder and so more interesting! When I realized that; Bam! I was already in love with street photography.
The mobile photography and the iPhone also played a key role in the birth of my street photography.
What attracts you to the subjects that you photograph? That is, what makes you actually think to yourself that you should go ahead and snap a photo of that person?
It is a mix of things. I love unique characters and expressive faces. I love hats and old people too. Sometimes I take the pictures only for the risk of it. When the situation is risky, you will hardly see a picture similar to yours. Placing the camera in someone’s face and taking a good picture is one of the most pleasurable things in life. I also look for timeless photos – I avoid logos, brands, ads that indicates that the photo is current. I like when people can’t tell if the photo was taken today or in the 70’s for example.
Has anyone in Brazil ever given you a tough time while taking their picture? How do you deal with it?
Only a few times. Especially in the beginning. I never stop. I am always walking and moving. And I smile a lot–that’s my secret.
You have a healthy mix of black and white and color. What makes you decide whether you’ll choose one or the other when sharing an image on EyeEm?
Light. I find very hard to get a good color picture if the light is not good. When I go out and the light is good, I already know that I am looking for a situation of light and shadow – this is what attracts me in colorful photography.
Black and white is easier and sometimes is more powerful too. You can think only in the subjects, the people. It doesn’t matter so much if the light is perfect.
Besides having great work, how did you go about accumulating the following that you have on EyeEm?
EyeEm is the most powerful application for sharing serious photography. It is really mesmerizing the quality you can find in EyeEm. I think I achieved so many followers because I started very soon when it began – I can’t remember other Brazilian photographer in the EyeEm Community at that time. And I never stop posting. Consistency is a key factor. Besides, EyeEm put me in the list of recommended photographers for months. It is really amazing having such an audience.
How do you feel you have evolved as a photographer over the past year? How have you become better and what steps did you take to get there?
Books and more books. To get a good photo, first you have to know what a good photo looks like. I think that when someone engages in any activity with passion, the results begin to emerge and your technique will be improving. Often, the work evolves based on mistakes and successes we achieved in life. Last year, I started to dedicate myself to longer projects and stopped bothering to have immediate results. I Think that makes all the difference.
Header image by @rodrigomcv