The CFYE / Brazil connection is a special one. We’re not entirely sure why, but part of it must have to do with the amazing people, which is the case with my dear friend Lucas Zappa from Rio de Janeiro. A 30 years old born and raised carioca, son of two photographers, raised amidst a BW lab, piles of negatives, chromes and during the beginning of photoshop and home computing. I had the frequent honour to offer him a couch during his trips in Europe and now he offers us a view inside his head.
What got you into photography and what makes you continue to photograph?
I started a photography business in my early twenties to help clients to create high quality images and also use the spare time to gain experience with old cameras, analog and digital photography work.
Afterwards I started dealing with color negatives, sometimes expired ones, and digitally re-processing the negative after developing at some commercial lab (which is getting harder and harder to find). That process showed me a new world of colors that were not achieved thru regular process.
Is your company still in the photography business, or did it evolved into something else?
Well.. yes.. we’re still in the photography business but we are also making video, web and illustration projects, and whenever possible we bring it all together. Basically we have clients with image and communication related problems and figure out the best way to help them!
You’ve traveled quite a bit allready in your life. What was the most fun destination you’ve visited. How did it shaped you or changed your vision?
Back in 2004 I took an incredible backpacking trip through Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay with plenty of black and white film and a 2 MP kodak digital camera.
The simple way of life was lived and documented. Photography became a special way through which I could experience situations and new locations. Getting home to develop and print them in a a small home based lab was crucial to knowing that the process of doing it myself was one of the things that most instigated me.
Your epic trip through the vast area of South America reminds me a bit of the trip Ernesto Guevara took. Besides nurturing your creative eye and love for photography. Did it changed your views (in anyway) on the social human condition?
Traveling for me has always represented meeting new people and observing different life styles. South America has a lot to teach through the people and their experiences.
“I didn’t need to travel far to find a person who could really impact me.”
What really made a difference in my life was the friendship i developed with an old man who cares for the land at the house my family owns in the countryside. He embodies what a fair relationship between mankind and nature should be: a partnership based on trade and mutual respect.
While shooting, did you have any remarkable encounters or experiences that left you in fear / jump for joy / run for your life situations?
The “Death Train” (from Puerto Quijaro to Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia) back in 2004 was one of those situations…. a 28 hour journey in a very old train that stopped during the night due to brake failure…was one of those situations that you find yourself asking how you ended up there… but i like the fact that I experience things i normally wouldn’t if i hadn’t been there to take pictures.
If you had all the money or time in the world, what big personal project would you take up and execute?
I think I would try to learn more about all of the things I am interested in through real life experiences, and that would involve a lot people and places around the world. Document those people that have beautiful relationships with the nature and spread that knowledge.