My work has mainly been inspired by a series of incidents and coincidences. Shooting in a new and different situation, like in the dark, doesn't have to be complicated. Especially nowadays, in a time when you can take a picture with your phone in most situations even if there's no light. I simply need to expose longer and the pictures will turn out.
I was wandering through a very posh neighborhood in Luxembourg City called Belair, and my night blindness didn't make my work easier. Thus, I focused on every little light I saw on the street. Most of the time, I was interested in a specific light in a window - that's what caught my attention. When you're looking at a house at night with its lights on, you immediately imagine the people inside. The inside literally steps outside through that light.
I've always wondered what was actually going on in these flats or houses, as if it was my place. As a portraitist, I feel like I'm taking pictures of places that are actually about people because I feel a human presence.
I see differently in the dark. Night is a quiet time without much going on - the world moves much more slowly and lot of things disappear in the darkness.
Although being of Portuguese origin, the country, its society as well as its culture and values used to be practically unknown to me for most part of my life. As I, however, wanted to understand my heritage, I could not resist exploring my homeland to get a more personal perception of 'my' community, which has also become an integral part of Luxembourg, my second home.
Going back to my hometown in 2016, I only intended to take pictures of landscapes and interiors - however, during the process it felt like a natural progression to also portray people as this seemed to give my collection a more personal and elaborate touch. Capturing a moment in a person's life can be very powerful as a picture paints a thousand words: a subtle hand gesture, a facial expression or a certain look in a person's eyes is what fascinated me because the slightest movement can alter the meaning of a picture. 'Orgulho' means pride and this is exactly what I saw in those people's eyes: they have so little, yet so much and therefore I can say that they are my biggest inspiration.
'This is where my roots are, this is where I was born: Santa Maria Da Feira - Portugal'.
Saudade' is a Portuguese word expressing a certain kind of melancholy imbued with nostalgia and this is exactly what I feel when I think of my second collection. It flows seamlessly into 'Orgulho' since it has the same original idea but in a different context: the Portuguese community in Luxembourg. While accompanying immigrants in their daily routine as well as their journey to Portugal, I was awed by the fact that it is now difficult to say in which country my pictures were actually taken, Portugal or Luxembourg - a sign which should make everyone become aware of the fact that home is where the heart is.