In Focus: Luís André Guerreiro Carmo

Lynne Booker June 2013

Luís Carmo
Luís Carmo

It is not every young person who has the insight and determination to identify at a young age first what he is good at and second how he aims to make his living. Of course it helps when parents are supportive. Luís André Guerreiro Carmo won his first competition when he was at infant school with a photograph of roof tiles. After his parents gave him a Canon 500D digital camera when he was 12, his exploration of the world of photography began in earnest. He started by taking natural history photographs and, as he enjoyed fashion photography, he moved on to photographing his sister and her friends.

Luís draws inspiration from great photographers of the past, such as Carlos Relvas, Diane Arbus and Rankin (John Rankin Waddell). Chief among these idols is the prize-winning Portuguese photographer, Carlos Relvas. Relvas pioneered the art of photography and photographic portraits in Portugal, and his purpose built studio-house, with its great areas of glass provided daylight illumination for his studio portraits. Golegã may be famous for its horse fair, but as the location of the Relvas revolutionary studio, it is well worth a visit. Diane Arbus´ black and white photographs of dwarfs, giants and circus people encouraged people to look for the harsh truth in photographs. Luís describes Rankin´s photographs of famous people such as Madonna, David Bowie and Cheryl Cole as ´modern and striking´ and he is deeply influenced by this master photographer. Clearly, this young man is interested in capturing in photographs the character and personality of his subjects.

Gypsy Family
Gypsy Family

Fifteen year-old Luís attended a Charity Fashion Show at Bela Romão Croquet Club as assistant to Tony Woods, the official photographer. Tony is a retired professional photographer with a string of awards to his name and he was so impressed by the maturity and insight of this young man that he has become his unofficial mentor. Luís has started to accompany Tony on his photographic assignments and although his main interest is in fashion photography, he feels that he needs to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible in a wide range of subjects. How refreshing to find a young man with both talent and a desire to learn from the older professional.

In his dark and powerful project, Addiction, Luís has attempted to move away from the common, normal perception of people who are seen as addicts: he wanted to show deeper, almost hidden emotionsRather than telling a storyI am trying to capture the story that is already there. For this project, he shot his photographs in black and white because this medium gives more impact. Describing his choice, he said that colour would add another dimension and that would have diminished the images of starkness and the emotion that he wanted to portray. Said Tony Woods, This young man gets to the heart of emotion and captures its image in a way that is beyond his years. This is why I mentor him.

Addiction
Addiction

Luís displays his work on his own website, Behance (www.behance.net): fashion shots, Addiction and his photographs of Ceuta, Tangier and Paris. He is interested in receiving feedback on his work and he asks people to leave comments on the website.

 

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