I came across these images of writers on Unplggd last week. It’s not often you find such beautiful images of people at work in their homes. The lighting reminds me of a Rembrandt but the subjects, all bloggers, are thoroughly modern. I immediately emailed Gabriela to see if we could post them on Lifework. She agreed. So here’s a selection of the series and a short interview from the New York-based photographer.
1. How long have you been working as a photographer? I like to think of my experience with photography as a puzzle where I’m constantly adding new pieces to form a collective whole. I started in high school, where I would spend most of my afternoons slaving away in the darkroom, jamming to my Discman. When in college at Wesleyan University, I began shooting for the school newspaper and working as a darkroom assistant. While studying abroad, I broadened my knowledge adding more pieces to the puzzle. I moved to Mexico for a semester and was introduced to the color darkroom. In São Paulo, I learned the history of photography from an old Brazilian master. In Salvador, Bahia, I turned to documentary work. After college I moved to Sao Paulo and it was there that I decided to pursue a career in the field. From that moment I have completely invested myself in that pursuit. After working with several acclaimed Brazilian photographers I made the move to New York and started again from scratch. It has now been three and a half years that I have been living as a freelance photographer in the city.
2. What inspired the blogger portraits? I blog and I read blogs. A lot of them. Blogs have become my go-to source for information; they feed and comfort me. Today, bloggers are widely respected within their industries and have become our new decision makers as they showcase, analyze and filter information for us.
While it is heavily debated how modern technology can isolate us, there are undeniably many upsides to this online evolution. I believe bloggers are connecting us, bringing us closer. In some ways, bloggers are helping create a reverse wave in our technological age by forming an authentic exchange between blogger and reader. Bloggers allow for an interactive platform, a dialogue that allows for both online and offline relationships to form.
It is through our screens, these beacons of light, that the world opens up and we become literally linked to one another. I began photographing bloggers with this idea in mind, giving the viewer a peek into their intimate worlds by using their screens as the sole light source.
3. You’ve worked all over the world. Tell us about your favorite shoot? Ohh that’s a tough one! My favorite shoots are the ones where I come out of them with a new friend. Just yesterday, for example, I was sent down to Vero Beach, FL for an assignment shooting a couple who runs a boot camp and this morning we have been sending facebook messages and texts non-stop!
4. What draws you to portrait work? Since I began photographing, I have always insisted on being in front of the lens, becoming part of the construction of my images. Photography has become my therapy, an exclusive dialogue between myself and the camera where we push each other to a point of exhaustion, both emotionally and physically. My work reveals this intimate process which I invite the viewer to partake in. In my portraiture, as I approach other subjects, I take this comfort with me and try to recreate the same intimate setting. This process from subject to intimate confidant is what drives me to keep creating.