GMARO & Interview with the genius photographer Armando Branco.
Photographer Armando Branco (1977 | The Netherlands) is a keen observer of modern life. He takes notice of society’s rapidly changing outlook regarding commerce, brands, western culture & values, thus forgetting the individual artistic voice within. As a result of working in the contemporary fashion world where everything is disposable, or at least replaceable, he decides to follow his intuition.
Armando’s attention to the subtle movements right before a climax is a great inspiration, and his dedication to capture the “in between” moments is celebrated in his work. The delicate emotions that result from interpersonal connections can be found in many forms throughout his repertoire ranging from coquette, commercial inspired images, to raw, personal visions. He is not afraid to show everything, the homosexual facet of his life isn't forgotten.
Armando Branco has been globally publishing for over 15 years in both print (magazines/books) and digital platform. He is also owner and founder of his online male model agency since May 2012 (www.ficmodels.com).
Where are you from Originally?
Originally from Nijmegen (the oldest city in The Netherlands). Due to my study at the Art School of Utrecht (1995-2000), I am currently living in Utrecht.
What is your creative Mantra? Like what do you live by to stay on the cusp as a creative image maker?
My mantra is “Always stay critical, humble and curious”. Plus, a good photograph should always reflect a part of me and the subject’s soul.
How important are early references to fashion, music and other culture to your creative process?
Music is the soundtrack to which I edit my work. On set, I prefer to work without any “distraction”, but in the editing stage of my work, I need music to set the tone, to inspire the color grading (e.g.) and to evoke a certain mindset. A little hobby of mine is collecting albums on CD (not a vinyl junkie) and my collection is rather eclectic. Without music, the editing process wouldn't be any fun.
In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?
In my spare time (away from being Armando Branco) I like to take photos of landscapes and flowers. Nothing serious; just for fun. I avoid people and the critical creative bastard that I can be when I’m taking photos professionally.
What makes an image iconic?
To me, something is iconic when it is a strong image that is the ultimate synthesis of ideas. It doesn't need words/context or an artist to validate its existence.
What is the best way to describe the working relationship between you as a photographer and your stylist on any given project? How important is that related to the success of that project?
Without trust and a great team to create the magic you are nothing. Good work always takes precedence over the team and the artist.
Since the photography techniques and equipment change quickly, it is important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times?
As a person, I am always decades behind others. Every hype/trend only lasts a few weeks or months (or so it seems). In comparison to other photographers, I tend to work with old equipment. Far from the best shit money can buy. Nothing fancy. A good artist should at least be able to create something good with the available means. Equipment is only a tool.
What do you feel ties you in personally to your work?
The constant need to speak through visual images.