As an ex photographer myself, I am quite critical to my colleagues and it is often a challenge to find someone both professional and creative, whether for a personal or professional shoot. This is why I was happy to come across Adriana.s profile on Instagram. I liked her style and she was super friendly and easy to work with for my personal shoot. Naturally, I was curious to know her story and fine out the inspiration behind so many beautiful portraits taken in Dubai.
What inspired you to start photography and specialize in fashion and portrait photography in Dubai?
I always liked photography since I was a child, but I never had that opportunity in Brazil, upon relocating to Dubai, I seized the chance to immerse myself in the world of dance. I bought my first camera in 2014 and I did some courses with a Filipino teacher jay Alonzo and my first model was a Turkish American dancer and from that time on I never stopped, I want help the dancers to get the best portraits and because my dance background I know the poses and movements and I call these photos as a artistic portraits, I photographed dancers from several countries, such as: Argentina, Germany, France, US, Colombia, Mexico. Also, I do commercial photos, maternity, however my main goal is to get more involved in fashion photography.
Can you share some of the unique challenges and opportunities you’ve encountered as a female photographer working in Dubai’s diverse cultural environment?
Nowadays I see photography as a very unbiased profession regarding the opportunities for men and women, however take in consideration the diverse environment we live in, it is clear to see there are some challenges. Being a female photographer, most women in general feel more comfortable to pose and be coached by another female in the studio. For example, many Arabic women would not let a male photographer take their picture. Challenges apply for men and women in Dubai due to some rules and cultural restrictions regarding taking photos outdoors, another common challenge we face is regarding the summer months the heat can be very ruthless, there isn’t much time to get a great picture outdoors without getting very sweaty.
Do you prefer indoor our outdoor shoots?
I definitely prefer indoor shootings as they afford me greater control over the lighting environment, this control empowers me to unleash my creativity and I can use colour gels, different backdrops etc.
How do you ensure your models and subjects are comfortable and expressive during your photoshoots ? What is the creative process like?
I make a point to get to know them weeks prior the shootings, we talk about their lives, family, I also talk about me so they can know me as well, I also like to know about the styling we are going to do during the session, what we are going to use, clothes, accessories, because I believe those things are important for the creative process.
Can you name some of your favorite locations in Dubai for fashion and portrait photography, and what makes them special to you?
The Dubai desert is the first one that comes to my mind! The sunset is unique and there’s a good energy over there.
Another favourite spot is by the beach in Burj El Arab, this is an iconic view you can’t miss.
Are there any cultural nuances or customs in Dubai that you’ve had to consider when working on your projects, especially in portrait photography?
We have to respect the culture, religion and traditions in the land, I consider is part of my responsibility to educate foreigners clients about these cultural practices.
Tell us about your favorite fashion or portrait project in Dubai and the story behind it.
There are so many favourite ones, but there’s one that I was request to photograph one of the previous miss Finland in Dubai, I woke up really early, I went to her home to do makeup and hair, it was in the middle of summer, it was very challenging, she was very kind and beautiful and I have my pictures in a finish magazine in the end.
How has your Brazilian background influenced your photography style in Dubai, and do you see any cross-cultural influences in your work?
I love my native culture of Brazilian background because is very happy, colourful and vibrant, I use a lot of colours when I shoot Brazilian dancers, especially samba dancers, (traditional Brazilian dance), but also, I applied these vibrant ideas in different photoshoots.
What advice would you give to aspiring fashion and portrait photographers who are interested in working in a city as dynamic as Dubai?
I believe that there are opportunities for everyone in this career, photography is very dynamic profession so you can never stop learning, invest in courses of photographers who serves as a source of inspiration and the most important is to have your unique style to captivate people, but I believe the art of photography comes from the heart. Dubai is growing day by day and there’s place for everyone!
Interview by Slava Noor