Carlos Vaz is a photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He has been doing photography for about four years with a focus on fashion photography. His entire work focuses on displaying his subjects as larger than life, while at the same time letting the viewer feel that the subject is still within reach wrapping all that up to tie into a story with the elements around us.
We talked to Carlos about his career as a photographer, and what inspired him.
From where you get your inspiration:
A lot of my inspiration comes from personal emotions and experiences. When I am not looking within myself I draw inspiration from elements around me and this could be anything from architecture, different mediums of art and current events.
How do you look for the perfect spots?
When I am out, my eyes are always scouting, searching and paying attention to how the light falls on buildings or objects during different times of the day. I take into consideration color, textures and at times size. A “location” or “scene” is very crucial to my work and I try to tie in the location to each image as much as possible. While my subject is the main focus, I try to make it known that my subject is also part of a much larger environment and this helps me tie everything together.
Describe a typical shoot:
My approach to a photoshoot is a bit out of the ordinary, if a team is involved I communicate with the team closely and provide a moodboard. I then work with each artist to bring their part to life (hair, makeup, styling) while allowing them creative freedom to interpret my vision. Connecting with my model is key and every photographer will tell you this. I often feel the best images are created when there is a strong connection between the model and myself. Perhaps key points of the vision are discussed briefly with the model but i allow them to freely express and interpret my moodboard as they see fit via their emotions and their physical movements. My sole purpose is to capture that moment when the model breaks from posing and expresses an emotion rarely seen.
Were you educated in photography, or are you self-taught?
I am self taught, with the help of many models that allowed me to develop my personal style.
What camera do you use most of the time?
my workhorses currently include my Leica SL2 and Hasselblad 500cm
Which photo are you currently most proud of?
It is perhaps one that i swoon over every time i take a look but i do not give enough public praise to and that would be my “Reconstruct” Image with designer Kate Hannah. Theres a few fun facts about this shoot which i wont go into everyone of them, I found it interesting that every single creative from our team was from a different country and we had about 7 creatives on board. The designer had this beautiful colorful piece made out of pom poms that just stood out at you and demanded you give it attention, my concern was that the piece would over power the model and it would end up wearing the model and not the other way around. One of our models Rocky was fantastic and just absolutely brought so much personality to the shoot that you could tell when looking at the image shes wearing such a strong statement piece but the look in her eyes give everything a nice balance.
Comparing where you are now with where you are when you first started, what could you have done differently to get to where you are sooner?
If i were to do anything different i would say not hold back on my creative visions. Many artists struggle to balance on the fine line of being creative and also being commercial, and for many artists it works. Ultimately, nowadays the majority of my clients reach out to me looking for a unique angle or my creative visions and I intend to continue and grow on that path.
Favorite photography book?
favorite photography book has got to be “Story Teller” by Tim Walker. By far one of the most influential people to my photography work/career and possibly responsible for my interest in photography.
For more information, please visit: Carlos Vaz