ARTISTIC VIGILANTE –What is your full name and how long have you been shooting for?
BARATA – Long name, short time shooting … Pedro Manuel Beltrão Giraldes Barata is my full name . I started taking photography more seriously, about just one and a half years ago, when I got my first Dslr. First 6 months I spend learning the basics and when I got comfortable in manual mode, upgraded to full frame.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – How did you get into boudoir /nude photography? What are your inspirations?
BARATA – I´ve always been an appreciator of nude and erotic art, in it´s many forms. From classic arts like painting and sculpture, to comic books / graphic novels, movies and, of course, photography. I started drawing at an early age, and the human body has always been a regular subject. My professional life has been kind of errant as I ´ve worked and been interested in several different fields, some out of necessity, but others turned out to be directions I wanted to pursue. Today I make a living in architecture and, even in this area, the connection between space and sexuality is one of my main interests. I guess the quest for eroticism and sexuality has always been present. In photography it´s just a natural direction for me.
BARATA – Regarding nude photography, it´s not just the human form and aesthetics in the human body that drives me , as what really engages me are the emotional aspects of the moment. That´s what I try to capture and that´s what I intent to be perceived by the viewer.
The photos that are part of this interview , are actually my beginning. These are the result of my first 3 private sessions .These are much more about experimenting, than actually trying achieve any other goal .
Like I said before, I find inspiration in different art mediums, but also in real life, moments in our daily lifes, in our wishes and fantasies. As for photographers that I appreciate ( in this genre ), just to name a few I could say, Helmut Newton, Marc Lagrange, Guido Argentini, Steve Diet Goedde, Vlastimil Kula, and just recently discovered Marat Safin . this is an unfair list I can´t remember the large majority of photographers I get inspired by.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Do you charge for photo session or are they free? If you do charge how much is a session with you?
BARATA – Not yet,as I answer this interview, I haven´t got any sort of payment for my photography. I plan to change that next year, but due to my lack of experience, it´s not fair to charge yet, as I´m still struggling with some aspects of artificial lighting, post production and printing accurately, to name a few. I have no degree in photography, and I learn from online courses and attend workshops, and events for photographers. Eventually , my own mistakes have been the most reliable source of learning.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – How do you get models to shoot nude with you?
BARATA – Just being direct and straight forward. When a contact for a shooting is made, from the first moment, I´m clear about the nudity issue. It´s not a possibility to ask someone to undress in the middle of a shooting. It needs to be done before we even meet. I just describe exactly what are my plans for shooting with that person, and even send a written description and images that illustrate the context, my objectives with that shoot, and the kind of exposure the resulting photos are intended for.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Are you married or in a relationship? If yes, what does your spouse think about nude photography?
BARATA –Yes , I’ve been married for 18 years and we have 2 daughters .
What does Elisabete ( my wife ) think , only she can answer that .
What I can tell you is that we’ve always been open about sexuality and nudity. She´s the one who introduced me to Jan Saudek, the Czech photographer, before we even got married .We’ve both been appreciating and consuming erotic art from the start and we even got a reasonable collection of erotic photography books that sit proudly in our living room shelves. Nudity and eroticism aren’t issues but common interests. Fact is she was my first, and for a long time, only subject. Before I took photography seriously, we’ve always made nude photos just for fun and just for us. We still do.
Today she´s the first to see the results of my shootings … and the only one to see it before editing. Her feedback is the first I get.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – What are the challenges of shooting professional photography in your Country? How have been able to overcome those challenges?
BARATA – Well , this is not an easy question for an amateur, as I can´t really talk from experience, about shooting professionally. In this moment one of my main concerns is how do I start to make a living out of this… Portugal´s case may have it´s singularities regarding general low incomes, and some cultural aspects that don´t value the artistic professionals, but Internet and social media are big game changers in this industry, and in my opinion that’s the main adaptation we face.
BARATA – Photography has evolved, not only technologically, but also the way we express through photography has. Print is no longer the most common final medium for photography. Nowadays, you need to learn not only photography, and all its technical aspects, so that you can express yourself, but also have post production skills and you even need to know something on social marketing, build online portfolios, etc…
Education is not limited as before, as physical presence is not a requirement anymore. You can now get tailored education on the subjects that interest you most and do it at your own pace. Of course, one may argue about the quality of online education, but as in every field, there are all kinds, and quality learning can be found online.
Self-promotion, if you´re not solidly established, is totally dependant on social media. Even if you are established, to maintain a certain level of interest on what you do, you need to promote yourself on social media.
For those of us , who explore the nudity and boudoir genre this is particularly difficult, with all the censorship that dominate the main stream social networks. Unless your interest is photojournalism, ( and mine isn´t ) I don´t even know how someone who just entered this path is supposed to get started without social media …
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Where do you see your photography in 5years? What are you doing to ensure your works are seen by a wider audience?
BARATA – For now what’s important is to get more solid in my skills and then starting to get paid. Opening a studio is something I plan to be able to do, maybe next year. 5 years is too long term to make plans and the fact is with internet and social media we’re not limited to our country for getting noticed and hired.
Initiatives like Artistic Vigilante are important for those just starting, but I believe it can still be improved, as, in my case, ( and guess many other´s ) it’s not really about getting a wider audience, but a targeted one, that would make a difference.
Thanks a lot for sharing with us Barata. we hope you continue to publish with artistic vigilante magazine.
You can find more of Barata’ works and contact him directly here