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About Fernando De Santis
What first drew you to photography and what inspires you, and when did you first begin your journey behind the camera?
Photography is the act of making something eternal. It attracts me. I started shooting in 2009 when I made a trip to Peru.
What do you think makes your work memorable?
I transform women’s self-esteem. Many women leave my photo session transformed into new women. It motivates me.
What does photography mean to you?
photography is the best way I can express myself. Today, in addition to being my job, it’s my fun. I’m lucky to have that in my life.
Are you always in photographer mode?
all the time I am photographing and thinking about photography. I walk down the street, imagining compositions and scenes, I always have a camera close by, so I can shot something. I think it is inevitable for those who like photography.
How does black and white vs. color play into your work?
I like black and white when I want to give to the viewer of the photo greater subjectivity. Removing the colors makes the observer think only of the message and the contrasts. And I think black and white photos bring more drama.
How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with his subjects to bring out their true self?
I photograph women most of the time. I need them to feel comfortable with me. So I need to know the history of each one, the pain of each one, the desires of each woman who poses for my camera. Without that connection, it would be difficult to get the real expression out of models.
Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect of a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?
We cannot be in control of everything, unfortunately. In fact, in our life, we have no control over anything, things happen and we are passengers. Rain, cold, heat, we can’t control it. Most of the time I just adapt to what’s going on. But eventually, when a session needs a certain climate, like a session on the beach, for example, which needs sunshine, all that remains is to wait for a sunny day.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
Respect for women. Men have to understand that women have a free spirit, to do what they want, women are free, they rule their own lives and all we men have to do is applaud them. I hope my photos will convey that message.
What were the difficulties you encountered when you first started photography?
Women’s confidence. I didn’t have a portfolio with many photos, it was difficult for any woman to trust my work to come and pose. I had to start photographing friends so that other women would know my work and I would gain their trust.
What are your thoughts on working on single images versus projects?
Both works are valid. In projects, we were able to pass on complete information to those who look at the photos, with a beginning, middle, and end. Unique images are just drops of what happens, however, these images have the ability to touch people’s hearts.
What are the disadvantages you face as a photographer, in this industry?
Brazil is a third world country. We have many difficulties, many problems, we have a president who does not govern the country, with ministers who do not know what they are doing in power. To charge fair prices for art in a country in crisis is very difficult and at the same time unfair. And I can’t blame it, people are victims of a country that is adrift.
What is one question nobody has ever asked you which you wish they would ask?
Does photography have the power to change people’s lives? And I would say yes, photography from the beginning has this role of recording history, events … and speaking now, specifically of the area I work in, I would say that yes, photography can change for the better, the life of many women. Many women are able to reconnect with their own body and happiness through photos.
As a photographer, can you explain the difference between beauty and vulgarity when it comes to modeling?
I think beauty is tied to something more delicate. I like to take photos that take to this more delicate side, with more casualness, showing the beauty of women in their daily lives. Vulgarity goes hand in hand with eroticism, when the photo has a more explicit sexual connotation when there is no mystery, when all parts are exposed in the photo, without any plausible reason.
Which style of photography do you prefer, high fashion or eye candy?
High Fashion, definitely. But at the same time, I like the casual, I like to bring (and see) something closer to the real, with simpler productions, but that refers to the real.
How has the “Game” changed in your opinion?
We truly appreciate you allowing us to interview you, what’s in store for you in the future?
I hope first of all that humanity will be able to get out of this pandemic, that all that happened in the last year will teach us to value the people we love. After that, with life back to normal, I hope to continue my projects, giving prestige to female beauty, I hope (who knows?) To see some photo session of me circulating in national and international magazines. I would be very happy with these events. Thank you so much for the opportunity, I’m sorry for the bad English!
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