Brazil Through the Eyes of Film Photographer Thaís Monteiro

Film photographer Thaís Monteiro's photos embody joy and tranquility. As a concert photographer she captures energy and emotions even in low light. Meanwhile, her photos of her everyday life in Rio da Janeiro evoke a sense of peace.

We recently had a chat with her about her style, what she loves about analogue photography, and the thriving local film community in Brazil.

Credits: Thaís Monteiro

Hi, Thaís! Welcome to the magazine. Can you start by telling us about yourself? How and when did you start with film photography?

My name is Thaís, I'm from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I'm 32 years old and I've been a professional photographer since 2014. My love for film photography dates back even before that. It started in 2012, when I participated in a workshop promoted by Lomography Store located in Copacabana, here in Rio.

I was already curious and wanted to try it, so the workshop gave me the opportunity. I was completely in love and bought my first analogue camera, a Lomo Fisheye One.

Why do you choose to take photos on film and what do you love most about film photography?

Shooting with film allows me to slow down from the daily chaos. In addition to the entire enchanting process of choosing the best film for the photos I'm going to take, taking it out of the box and loading it into the camera, analogue photography is important because it helps me think more before shooting.

This helped a lot to improve the quality of my work, it helps me to work on my vision more and more.

Credits: Thaís Monteiro

You seem to photograph varied subjects. Do you have a philosophy you follow when taking photos, and what do you love to capture the most?

There are two things I love photographing: art/artists, especially music, and everyday life in my city. I love capturing moments of emotion and people living, life happening in front of my lens. At concerts, what I try most is to record the energy of the artist on stage, the feeling and love for music.

In the photos I take around Rio, I always aim to capture an everyday moment that conveys peace and tranquility. This is related to what I feel when I go out with the camera to take photos, so I like to convey this peace through my photos, of people living their moments of peace and tranquility in different parts of the city.

Credits: Thaís Monteiro

When shooting artists in concert, do you always use film?

I do it on film and also on digital. But I prefer it on film! Infinitely cooler on film! I always like to use 100 percent mechanical cameras for this, the one that accompanies me is almost always the Nikon F2. I love the challenge of capturing the right moment in one shot. Analogue concert photos are full of feelings.

What are some of the difficulties you encounter when taking photos during concerts on film and how do you handle them?

The difficulty of finding high ISO films here in Brazil. It's difficult to find an ISO 800 film, for example, around here. When I find it, it's very, very expensive. So I generally use lower ISO films and push. Furthermore, the anxiety to see the film developed!

Credits: Thaís Monteiro

Do you have any tips for other film photographers who would also like to photograph concerts on film?

Take your cameras to concerts and festivals! Here in Brazil it is not allowed to use interchangeable lens cameras at these events when you are in the public eye, but you can use point-and-shoot cameras and that is already really cool! They are small, light and easy to transport cameras. So it will certainly be at least a fun experience and you will have very special recordings.

If possible, try to get closer to the stage and observe the light, use it to your advantage.

Credits: Thaís Monteiro

What are your go-to cameras and film, especially when taking photos in low-light conditions such as concerts?

Nikon F2 with 135mm f/ 2.8 and 55mm f/1.2 or 50mm f/1.8. 24mm f/2.8 its amazing too!

Films: Ilford HP5 pushed to 800 or 1600; Kodak Vision 3 500T and I would love to use Lomography Color Negative ISO 800!

Credits: Thaís Monteiro

What is it like being a film photographer in Brazil? Is there a big community of film photographers where you live or is film more of a "niche" hobby?

There is an analogue community that has been growing more and more in Brazil, especially among younger people. I observe that there are analogue photographers here who emerged at three different moments: those who started with film decades ago, before the emergence of digital photography, and never abandoned it; those who started in the era of Lomography stores here, like me; and those that started from 2019/2020 and are still arriving now.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought a huge increase in people interested in film photography here. And it's incredible to see that more and more people are interested in the topic and producing film photography work.

I am the creator and general director of the Festival Carioca de Fotografia Analógica, which had its second edition in December last year, here in Rio. It's a really cool festival, we bring together camera and film sellers from all over the country, we promote workshops, lectures and meetings between film photographers. The entire festival is a success, but especially the workshops, as people are eager to learn and experience new possibilities within the universe of film photography.

Furthermore, I created Rolé Analógico, which is a photographic outing around the city where we bring together film photographers, it's really cool!

Credits: Thaís Monteiro

Both the Festival and Rolé Analógico are promoted by the Coletivo Analógico de Janeiro, which is a group of more active photographers who began participating in Rolés Analógicos and remain united with the aim of promoting meetings, collective purchases and the exchange of knowledge. When I saw that the group was growing and with people always present, I thought it was important that we create something more concrete, and thus Coletivo Analógico de Janeiro was born.

There are also other movements focused on film photography in Brazil, there is a festival in São Paulo and some groups organize workshops and fairs.

Lastly, are there any other projects you'd like to share with us?

I just mentioned above, which is the Carioca Analogue Photography Festival. Furthermore, I have some ideas that I want to develop with stop motion made from film photography, with interventions on the negatives. Ideas that I will put into practice in 2024!

We'd like to thank Thaís for sharing her images and stories with us! To view more of her work, visit her LomoHome and Instagram Page.

written by sylvann on 2024-03-11 #culture #people #places #brazil #rio-de-janeiro #thais-monteiro #coletivo-analogico-de-janeiro

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