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Interview with street photographer Fabiolla Loureiro

Based in São Paulo/BR, Fabiolla Loureiro has been working as a photographer since 2010. First as a hobby, a Nikon D50 and only one lens, she ended up discovering within the photography herself. She developed her skills in studio with her sister (Studio Loureiro), where she mainly explored portraits and nude. But in the last few years, she became obsessed with travels (over 30 countries), and found herself involved with this freedom and opportunity that this kind of photography allows. With minimum use of Photoshop, we realize in her street photography the practice of natural light, rain, cold nights and an abundance of black and white. Her inspiration comes from names like Brassaï, Robert Capa, Robert Doisneau, Saul Leiter, Elliott Erwitt, Sabine Weiss, plus lifestyle and the period earlier and post WWII. In addition, Fabiolla is one of the permanent artists of Andreus Gallery/SP and currently participates in an architecture/design project with Casa Portoro. In this project, she has more than 40 photos in exhibition, different measures, that are part of a few ambiences in the house in collaboration with some of the biggest names of architecture in Brazil. In the past year, she had 3 exhibitions that happened in London, São Paulo and Bologna. Her first 3 individuals happened in 2016. In January 2018, she was selected as one of the members of Contemporary Art Curator, an online contemporary art magazine, where it covers visual arts events and connects artists from all over and also now is part of Art Productions New York, a network of representation for artists with prestigious standards and vision. She studied in Focus Fotografia in São Paulo, BR.


When did you first work on Street Photography? What is your style?

It all happened because I was not having financial profit in studio, although I loved it I was not seeing future in that area for me. So I thought, why not link my travel passion with my photography, plus the freedom that allows me to be anywhere at anytime? Freedom, curiosity, passion are factors which drives me to street photography and I as I don’t like to plan that much, fits perfectly to me, even if I have an assignment. I like to react to what I see, feel the moment, the energy, the environment... I like to be in places where I feel connected. So Europe has become my dearest corner in the world. Old places Like Paris, Venice and Budapest are completely personal to me. One thing I always avoid is to act like a tourist. I love to walk around as a flaneur, especially at night, which feels to me as if I’m awakening my inner voice. Of course I love to photograph monuments, buildings, lights, cityscape itself, but also people, meaning life, emotions, sadness, melancholy, happiness, excitement! The more raw the moment is, the more I love. Therefore, slowly my style evolved as a street photographer focused in travel. Another thing is, if I can, and my current assignment allows it, I will always travel in winter time. Winter and rainy nights have become my rapture. Since I live in a hot tropical country, whenever I can, I’m traveling to the opposite. The weather is an important element to my photograph switching that present time into a visual narrative. I love to be able to capture the intimacy of a city casting light into the darkness.


Which is your greatest accomplishment in photography?

It’s been 9 years now that I’m photographing, and since the moment I stopped working with models and studio (5 years ago), that moment was a massive point in my career. Why? As I mentioned before, freedom is not only important to me in photography, but also in my life. And as a street photographer, it’s fundamental to me that I can chose to photograph indoors, outdoors, winter, summer, day, night, building or people. Even if I’m in a assignment, I still have the freedom to take the pictures as I want, not as told as in a studio. Another point, I changed my website to almost 100% black and white and will continue. My photos are completely artistic and not so commercial anymore. Is not that I don’t like colors (love my Blue Serie), it’s just it comes a time when you have to define yourself, and black and white is who I’m. I see life and drama in it. Rainy nights, silhouettes, perspective, shapes, blurs and people are my highlights and a meaningful part of my work. These moments are my freedom artistic expression and provides also the mysterious noir storytelling for my public interpretation. The power of a photo can allows us to elucidate different senses about the present time.


What inspires you? Who inspires you the most?

The 20’s, 30’s, Art Deco era and 2nd World War have a big influence in my creative process of photographing. Add to that the photographers Brassaï, Robert Capa, André Kertész, Cornell Capa, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Doisneau, René Burri, Marc Riboud, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Saul Leiter and Sabine Weiss. I have tons of books of them, which I read and study constantly. All of them had a special phase with Paris and travels, but what I love about their pictures is the period they were taken. It’s a period it will never come back, where people used to be so elegant, had so much value and everything were so special and not take for granted, I go crazy sometimes thinking about it, and that I would do anything to live a brief moment with one of them, holding a vintage Leica in my hands and sharing a bottle of wine with Robert Capa listening to his war memories, or wandering around in Paris with Brassaï from bar to bar, capturing the essence of bohemian Parisian nights. I think Woody Allen captured brilliantly in Midnight in Paris what a lot of people would like to experience. I’m a completely nostalgic person, and this period has everything to do with my work and my life, and also because of that, Europe is my obsession since I know myself as a person.


How did you discover photography? What would your advice be for a wanna-be Street Photographer?

I love photography since I was a child, and always wanted to take photos of every moment of my life, but the first time I hold a Nikon in my hands was 9 years ago at a friend’s house. Firstly it was a hobby, but then the hobby became a strong passion and when I mixed my travels with street photography I realized that was exactly the photographer I was longing to be. So based on my experience, my advice to whoever want to be a street photographer is: NEVER GIVE UP. Try all kind of photos until discover yourself. It may take years, or not, but never give up. Practice always, read about the great masters, discover about them and their techniques so you can develop your own style, there’s room for everyone out there. Don’t take photos only of people, sometimes the best street photos are the ones who have no people. Don’t plan that much, feel your instinct and go for it. Embrace what you love, be patient and observe a lot. And, last but not least, start to shooting in black and white. Why? Because it will help you to focus in composition and simplification.


In regards to Art, what do you hope you can create/make in the near future?

I always like to think that my audience, as soon as they see my work, they become part of it, get curious and immediately want to be in that place. I also like to think that it provokes knowledge and emotions, that people don’t just see my photo and walk away. They stop, reflect, see the beauty of it, the drama, the allure or even the sadness. I want the public captured by my images and be confused about that date it was taken. I don’t want the public to know it was 5 years ago or last month. I want them to look at it and think: this picture looks like in another time.... I deeply hope my pictures carry a message against all the stupidity that happens in photography today, that people can be able to see again a bit of real life, passion, kindness, culture, grace. My photography is not only to press the shutter. It carries my soul, my love, a lifetime that I worked for so I could live it. People nowadays are obsessed with selfies, cameras, lens, cell phones and shooting everything at any cost (like damage a work of art in a museum or prejudice some animal). I’m completely against it. But people in general do not see things. And for me in order to be a good photographer, you have to be respectful, patience and be willing to learn and how to see things. It’s important to stop and notice facts we usually don’t see. And, focus on what you love, be real, disregard what others think, people believe in photography, don’t be a fake on it.


This year I already photographed a different style of my usual chaotic urban environment. I went to Alto Paraíso, Goiás/BR, a place that allowed me to live a completely different experience of what I’m used to. Waterfalls, savannas, storms, heat, rivers and an abundance of fauna and flora species are already in my website and shows that one of my goals is from now on to be in all kind of places, not only urban cityscapes, but also nature. A new challenge for myself. I also plan to launch a book in a year or so about my favorite cities. And of course, always follow my instincts and curiosity. My curiosity keep me alive and has led me to so many places and drives me hungry for more, which in a sense, makes me feel like an amateur seeing endless possibilities and always in love with my work.


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Interview with street photographer Fabiolla Loureiro Reviewed by JaamZIN on 5:08:00 PM Rating: 5
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