Interview & Celso Diniz
GMARO Magazine MAY 2019 ISSUE #06 Cover photographed by Celso Diniz.
Photographer: Celso Diniz @CelsoDinizPhoto
Model: Amanda Simoes @amandatsimoes
Model Agency: Wilhelmina Miami
Where are you from Originally?
I was born in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil .
Give me a brief description of your career trajectory – professionally trained or not, opportunities that led to breakthroughs.
I am originally a Bachelor in Computer Science who ended up traveling to many parts of the world, moved from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in Brazil, then later to San Francisco, California. And finally to Miami, Florida. And all that traveling led me to become a landscape photographer, contributing with around 5,000 images to Adobe Stock Images and iStock by Getty Images among others. Already in Miami I became interested in working with models and shooting fashion, and I was told by some Model Agencies in Miami that “hey, this is Miami, don’t do studio, take the girls to the beach, that’s the kind of images our clients look for”, and so I did it. As far as training goes I have attended quite a few workshops with people like J.R.Duran, and I was part of the Mastered 2015 program by Nick Knight.
How does your background affect your work?
I grew up two blocks away from the beach in Rio de Janeiro, spent my whole childhood and adolescence at the beach, sometimes from 7 am to 7 pm playing soccer, watching surfers, catching waves, people watching, well, mainly girls watching, and stuff like that. So, when it came to going back to the beach for shooting fashion and models in Miami, it all felt very natural to me. It is my element, I simply love the environment, the sun, the sand, the wind, the sea, and I feel very comfortable shooting on locations like this.
What is your creative Mantra? Like what do you live by to stay on the cusp as a creative image maker?
Be curious, experiment new things, and never stop shooting could be a nice Mantra.
How important are early references to fashion, music and other culture to your creative process?
Very important. Being someone who has lived in different countries and places within those countries, traveled so much, worked with so many different people from all backgrounds, that makes you like such a broad variety of things. I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese and I like a lot of different styles of music. I’ve seen and experienced a lot of styles of fashion. I’ve lived in different melting pots, and lately, I’ve visited Asia three times to add to it all. So, that makes me appreciate beauty everywhere, and want to shoot it, record it, share it. And all that affects the way I see things and how I approach them when creating images.
Who’s work inspires you to push the envelope creatively and why?
As a teenager, it was my dream to grow up to be J.R.Duran who is a Spanish born Brazilian photographer whose work has been published by magazines such as Vogue, Elle Brazil, and Harper's Bazaar USA. He has also displayed an exhibit of his work at the Brazilian Museum of Art. Then I became really addicted to Helmut Newton and still am. On the landscape side o things, Ansel Adams is a master, and I have a love relationship with his main subject anyway, the Yosemite National Park.
What is the single most important outcome of an image when creating a campaign or editorial story for a client?
When working for others the most important is to produce images that convey the message they wanted for their product, campaign or story.
In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?
I tend to avoid the ones that I usually shoot for others. I have been focusing my free time on shooting more editorials lately.
How do you feel fashion is influenced by our culture and or vice versa if you feel culture is influenced by fashion and entertainment, how?
As everything influence also goes both ways. Fashion from different countries is heavily influenced by the local culture and how people live, etc. Oriental fashion is heavily influenced by their culture when compared to accidental. On the other hand, more closed oriental cultures, for instance, can be rapidly impacted and influenced by occidental fashion and entertainment when they become exposed to it.
What makes an image iconic?
When it sticks to your mind, like forever, and even if you forget the details of that particular image, you still remember the feel of it, the shape of it, how shocking or surprising it was. A lot of Helmut Newton’s images are iconic to me. Not all images will be iconic to everybody. But some have that power over so many people that end up being an icon of the time, decade or generation.