Miguel do Canto Soll’s images offer a valuable insight into today’s Brazil. From Porto Alegre, his pictures burst with the energy, ecstasy and expectation of youth, but in the background are the mass protests that have gripped the country during the past year. Young Brazilians have been at the heart of the struggle to create a more free and open society and the demonstrations have forever changed the country’s political landscape. Miguel captures the people around him who are trying to understand their own existence, while at the same time playing a part in the larger debate as their country also asks itself who it wants to be.
When and why did you start shooting pictures?
As we live in the most image dominated era in history, photography is just the easiest and most natural form through which to express myself. All I need is the world in front of me and a camera. Today everybody is somehow a potential photographer. I used to shoot boring landscape pictures and macro shots until I turned 16 and took photography classes that my school was running at the time. It was there that I learned the basics of composition, and I’ve started so shoot like a maniac since then.
What is it you love about film photography?
Everything. Film is much more personal and human than digital. You don’t have a perfect image, you have an imperfect and believable piece of the world. I think every photographer who shoots in film shares the same passion. Analogue photography has a ritual, it makes you think before each shot. It’s unpredictable, it’s beautifully grainy, the contrast, the colours… I could go on.
What are you passionate about – interests, hobbies outside of photography – and how does this inform the images you take?
I work as an intern at a digital advertising agency, so my work is not quite exciting and does nothing to help my photography (except for making easier to search for references). I just sit in front of a computer all day. But I’m a doer, so I’m always thinking about new projects and ideas. During my free time I like to go out in the streets hang out with my friends, which I find very inspiring. I also love any kind of art, especially cinema, so I try to watch one movie each day. I think that since I was little, that has helped me to educate my eye and to think in a more artistic way.
Who or what inspires your work? Any other photographers?
I think everything you do affects the way you see the world and go about your life, so I’m constantly influenced by everything. Poems, friends, movies, books, music, the streets, television, internet. Photographers that I find really inspiring, not only for their photos, but also because of their vision and lifestyle, are Weegee, William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, Juergen Teller, Ryan McGinley, Diane Arbus and a bunch of other people from Flickr and the Porto Alegre photographic scene.
What do you do for a living and how does photography fit into your life?
I’m an advertising student, an intern at a social media agency, and social media and fashion photographer for a creative collective called Volt Project. I also occasionally photograph professionally for some local brands and model agencies. Photography is my life, so I have a camera with me all the time to be ready for any sight that inspires me.
How do you share your work? Zines, books, exhibitions, blog etc? And what’s the editing process like for you? Are you trying to tell stories with your images? What are those stories?
Most of my work is shared online, through my Flickr and tumblr. I’ve also edited a zine called FCMag, and I try to participate on some independent publications through the web.
Are your photos staged/posed or documentary? Can you describe why you choose to shoot in this way?
Everything you can see here is documentary but as I work as a fashion photographer, I have no problem with posed pictures. I think photography is a way to remind myself that life isn’t always boring or uninteresting. I then try to capture those awesome moments on ordinary life.
If you had to take one photo that summed up your view on life, what would it capture?
An unfocused or blurry image, almost abstract. You somehow know what your looking at but in a way you can’t recognize everything.
You can see more of Miguel’s work at his Flickr profile.
Are you a film photography fan? To be considered for a slot on the Huck site, send a folio of 10 analogue images to email@example.com using the subject line MY LIFE IN ANALOGUE.
Submissions made before December 20, 2013, will be entered into a competition to win a Lomography camera. See competition for further details.