Photographer Caesar Lima interviewed by Agonistica

Minimal Folio Photo-11

This week we’ll have the pleasure of interviewing Caesar Lima, a Brazilian born photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Caesar is Specialized in fashion and beauty – he is one of the winners of the OneEyeland Awards and of the PX3 Awards in Paris.

Agonistica: How did you start your adventure in professional photography?

Caesar Lima: Started as a hobby but when I went to college (for advertising + marketing) I’ve met many professional photographers and start going to their studios, I felt in love with it I had to become a pro.

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Agonistica: You’re Brazilian, has this any effect on your photos? (regarding colors, treatments, etc.)

Caesar Lima: I believe so, my images are very sensual and colorful we (brazilians) are a very happy people and that helps dealing with the crew – getting the best from your models, I always get everybody excited about the shoot, I don’t do it for the money, and I hire people that feels the same way.

Agonistica: With what kind of photographic equipment do you currently work?

Caesar Lima: I am a hardware crazy – I love cameras… I have a Hasselblad H4D (just ordered a H5D) a Canon 5D mark III and a Nikon D800, on the weekends I use my Sony RX-1 (the best) and an Olympus EP3

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Agonistica: Do you prefer to work in studio or on locations? What kind of lights do you use? Profoto?

Caesar Lima: I love the 2 extremes, love to do a studio shoot with a 12 lights set up and sometimes I go on location with only 3 reflectors, I use Speedotron they last forever, I still have my first pack! I’m planning to make a switch to Broncolor lighting right now.

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Agonistica: I’ve noticed that you use a lot of black backgrounds, especially in portraits. Is this a stylistic choice to enhance the subject? Could you explain how do you create the set in this kind of photo?

Caesar Lima: I think the background has to enhance the main subject but has to be secondary, black is like a frame for your image, like on the campaign I’ve shot for T-Mobile I had a brunette model (Carly Foulkes) wearing a black outfit on the black background, I had 9 heads set up and a very dramatic lighting, we show just a little bit of the model and the image is so powerful. Every studio shoot I start with 100% black and I just start lighting what I want to see, what is important, less is more.

Agonistica: I love your approach with liquids. Technically speaking, how do you “lock” the thousands water drops hitting the subject photographed?

Caesar Lima: I’ve used the Broncolor Scoro packs – super fast – water becomes glass, very cool. The set up was huge I had to cover the entire studio with plastic to avoid water to hit the equipment. We had 3 heads back lighting the model so we could get all the detail on the water drops.

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Agonistica: Women portraits represent a large part of your portfolio. It is clear that in the fashion and beauty in the woman plays a vital role. What elements make you choose a model or another?

Caesar Lima: I think attitude is everything, you need to talk to the model get to know her, it has to click, then you need to explore the possibilities, she needs to feel comfortable is very important that she trust you 100% she needs to act, pose and feel confident, most of the times the best shot is one of the last images when the model is very loose and relax.

Agonistica: How is your team made?

Caesar Lima: I have an amazing crew, 2 photo assistants and a digital tech plus we hire amazing creative stylists, make up – hair and wardrobe is so important. Your crew is as important as your models.

Agonistica: Talking about post production, what kind of approach do you have?

Caesar Lima: The post work has to be invisable, not overdone, must be subtle. I do some of my retouching but I have the best retoucher in-house Felipe he is amazing. Skin has to have detail and whatever you add to the image has to look real.

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Agonistica: What kind of future do you see for the photography? Will the photographers of the future be directors also?

Caesar Lima: We are living in crazy times where everybody has a camera, you need to be unique and very creative, I believe that most of us will become directors for sure, video is crossing over, same hardware and like photography is all about lighting and composition.

Agonistica: How important are social networks in the promotion of a photographer? Do you prefer one over in particular? (Facebook, 500px, Behance …)

Caesar Lima: Very important, social networks are crucial these days, each one you will reach a specific crowd so you need to be every where it’s the combination of Facebook, 500px, Behance, Twitter, Workbook, Photoserve, Lookbooks, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and One Eyeland plus you need to keep a interesting blog and have a killer site.

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