Interview with photographer #22: Pedro Henrique Vieira Sandrini (Brazil, Portrait&Travel Photography)Artem Beliaikin
When did you start shooting and how did this love for photography happen? What is your view about photography?
I started shooting for no reason at all, mostly while on family trips, after some time, some friends started asking me to take pictures of them and I did. My true passion grew at a moment of my life when I couldn’t decide on a career path to follow and I noticed that I could turn my hobby into a professional pursuit.
Apart from photography, tell me about your hobbies and interests?
I’m also into filmmaking, with photography, they are my two main hobbies, but I also like to play videogames, watch movies, hang out with friends and travel.
Which genre of photography do you like/practice and why?
I really like minimalist photography. Nowadays everything is always over the top, rushed, packed, so I enjoy the lack of information.
Almost 90% of photographers find it hard to earn money out of photography. Any tips that might help photographers to earn money?
There’s no formula, some like to charge less, do a decent job and work every day of the week, others prefer to wait, practice and earn recognition before money. For me, the most important thing is enjoy what you are doing, if you don’t then it’s no different than any other job.
What mistakes did you make when you started taking pictures?
We all make mistakes and that’s the fun part. I probably still make them, I can only love the last 1000 photos I took, all others feel flawed in some way, and I’m sure the ones I love now will just be ok in a few years.
Which photo are you currently most proud of? Tell us a story about this photo please.
Like I said, I let go pretty fast, this one was taken less than a month ago while crossing the Mojave Desert, I did a roadtrip with the Pexels team through California to shoot some content and we had the most amazing time ever. It doesn’t show crazy visuals, doesn’t show anyone, but the footprint of my boots (which I always wear) is enough to say “I was there”, “I had this experience”.
It’s just like a footprint of the man on the moon, if you know the story, you know how much the photo means, and that’s my relationship with the photos I take, they need to mean something to me or to the ones I care.
What do you do to keep motivated, and not lose your passion for photography?
We have our ups and downs, and I’ve learned to understand myself. It’s a constant search for inspiration. It’s okay to feel bad about your work, hate if you want to, that feeling will make you want to change, and that’s the first step to evolution, you just need the self-discipline to keep going and accept that you’ll reach a new standard, get comfortable and start feeling that you suck again, it’s a cycle.
Remember, make it enjoyable, first it has to make sense to you, than to everyone else.
Why are you giving away your photos on Pexels/Unsplash?
This one is a little bit biased because I work for Pexels, but I used to upload there even before that. I must confess that my relationship with it became way more clearer after meeting the team and understanding what it stands for.
First, it’s a way to make people see your work, posts on other social medias vanish after a few days, not that many people will scroll down your entire profile to see what you have.
Second, I can help people, when I was learning, it was awesome to find songs, fonts, templates, presets for free, I remember how much it meant to me to be able to work with good content even if I didn’t have a single cent to pay for what it was worth.
Third, I can earn a little bit of money from it, I still don’t have the resources to travel to the coolest locations with the highest end equipment to take the best shots and be noticed enough to make a livingfrom paid stock platforms, Pexels donations made me earn more money than from sales on other stock websites.
Fourth, I trust the product and what it stands for, the internet is a path to new opportunities, innovation is the keyword, all the standard markets are facing challenges to keep up with the new way of work.
With Pexels we can give millions of people access to high quality photos and videos for free while working to reward photographers with more perks and professional opportunities. We’re a team of artists ourselves, we know how it is out there, and we want to make the world a better place for everyone.
Light, decisive moment, content, ambiance, a good gear, according to you which is the most essential element in photography?
If you are proposing to your girlfriend or boyfriend at night, empty dark street, with a trash truck behind you, noise of police sirens and just a shitty 2010 cellphone camera in your pocket, would you still take the photo?
I would, because for me, while everything is really important, specially on the professional world, the photo needs to mean something, tell a story.
How do you promote yourself as photographer?
I don’t, and that’s the best thing I did. Of course I was lucky enough to find a steady job that I love and that helped me to really stop and think what my plans were. I stopped taking every low-pay job that came up and started charging what I was worth, with this, people will start to respect you, the jobs get better, and you evolve naturally.
Keep learning, training, improving, follow your principles and sell your art for what it’s worth, take jobs that you love and inspire you.
Share your goal in photography?
See what others don’t and make the world beautiful
Is there a photo you dream of taking?
Right now I just want to find an old muscle car, fill it with smoke, LEDs and have a good time shooting some photos.
Do you know where your next mission or project will be?
2020 is just around the corner and I want to be involved in bigger projects. Larger scale shoots, more travels and shoot at least a couple of short films
Kindly share top five Instagram account everybody should follow?
@pexels (#shameless plug)
@kodak (because anything in film looks perfect)
Final words of wisdom you would like to share?
Your life means nothing when compared to the universe, but it’s the most important gift you have.
So start living for yourself, stop caring about the judgement of others, the expectations of society, go and explore the world, your feelings, live the moment.
It’ll all be erased in less than 100 years and that’s the beauty of it, understand that we are all humans and the only thing we leave behind is our impact on society, be kind and make the world a better place while you’re here.
Thanks a lot Pedro! I wish you the most juicy shots!