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Meet Isabela, Brazilian Photojournalist

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

-By Anshul Raj Khurana

Isabella is a Brazil-based photojournalist and a contributor to Getty Images Latin America. Her work has won numerous awards and has exhibited in various exhibitions. She talks about her journey and her approach to photography.

Anshul- It's great to have you on BOYC Isabela. Tell our readers something about yourself. Isabella- I am thrilled and would like to thank you for an opportunity to be part of BOYC. I am Brazilian, 35-years-old, and currently working as a photo reporter for Santos city Administration in São Paulo State. I usually follow the Mayor's agenda, and this has earned me many unique opportunities, such as photographing various public figures, events of international repercussion like the delivery of the Olympic medal to the soccer player Pele, in an official event of Fifa, the stay and the training of the Mexico and Costa Rica national teams that were hosted in the City during the World Cup; and others with national repercussions such as the tragic air accident of Brazil's presidential candidate Eduardo Campos, which took place in Santos in 2014 and in 2015 the fire of Ultracargo Terminal at the Port of Santos, one of the most significant of its kind in the country.

Anshul- How did photography happen to you. What made you choose photojournalism among all the other streams of photography? Isabella- I am the fifth generation of my family's photographers, so photography is an integral part of my life. When I was a kid, I got a point-and-shoot camera and started recording all the moments of my life, whether at school or at parties at home. Later I decided to do Journalism, following my mother's profession. I think that photojournalism deals with the unexpected, the snapshot. I feel comfortable with improvisation. I always preferred to photograph on the street being than being in a studio. I also like the adrenaline of photojournalism, the concept of the decisive instant created by the Cartier-Bresson icon.

Anshul- Photojournalism looks quite glamorous from the far, but it has its own struggles and challenges. Would you want to talk about them? Isabella- The professional who chooses photojournalism and ends up living it, knows that although some news coverage seems glamorous, we often stay up for hours without being able to eat or drink. We carry heavy equipment on hot or rainy days, on long walks, and we have to be prepared for any occasion, whether the governor's visit to a natural disaster.

Anshul- How would you define your photography style?

Isabella- In my personal work, I take the language of photojournalism, but I try to show a more attentive and sensitive relationship to other aspects. Colors also play an essential role in my photography, I can increase the intensity of it or take it out to give a better understanding of what I am trying to show.

Anshul- Where do you get your inspiration from? Any photographers or books you follow? Isabella- I love the loneliness in the paintings of Edward Hopper and the irony of Martin Parr and Marcel Duchamp. Also, the innovative work of Lázsló Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray. In Brazil, I really love the work of Boris Kossoy, Geraldo de Barros, Luiz Braga, among others.

Anshul- Tell us something about your favorite project and how it happened? Isabella- I'm very interested in shooting behind the scenes. For two years, I photographed the workers renovating the historic tourist trams that run through the city. It was an incredible experience to be able to tell the story of these people and their relationship to the work.

Anshul- Tell us about your gear? What camera do you use and any favorite lens? Isabella- I use the Canon Mark III, and my favorite lenses are the wide-angle 24mm F/2.8. I have preferred lenses with more aperture where I can frame more context in the photos. But I use the equipment at hand, so I often use my cell phone to record what I find unusual.

Anshul- I know many photographers who want to get into photojournalism. What are your suggestions for them? How should they curate the project and move forward? Isabella- The photographer should do what he or she loves, even when sometimes it seems very difficult to get into that profession or that someone has already photographed the theme you chose. When I did a workshop with Corine Noordembus she asked us to answer three questions. What I always try to ask myself is why am I the best person to tell this story? Also, ask your friends what they perceive in your picture, try to seek other perceptions than yours and be open to criticism.

You can see more of Isabela's work here.



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