Andre Magarao

Where are you currently located / living?

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I was born and raised here.

How old are you and how long have you been involved with photography?

I’m 32. I got involved in photography when I was pretty young. My dad had this Pentax K1000 and I started to play with it when I was 15 or so back in the film days. I did a few photography courses back then but for some reason I kind of drifted away from it for a while. And then maybe 4 or 5 years ago I found photography again and have been really stoked on it ever since.

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What type of camera do you shoot with?

I shoot with Canon cameras. I have a 1DX nowadays but that wasn’t really a choice I went after. Canon is a lot more present in Brazil than any other brand so it’s easier to have Canon gear here. And even more so when you are starting because more people have it so you can try your friend’s lenses and so on. I hope to add a Hasselblad to my camera bag soon.

What is your favorite photography accessory other than your camera?

I’m really into flashes. I would say that I only shoot without flashes if I really have to. But more often than not I try to put myself in situations where I can use them. Flashes are really cool because there are so many brands and different accessories you can use and those are definitely going to shape up your style. But I would say the Pocket Wizard trigging system is my favorite photography accessory.

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If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

I shoot a lot of different things. I actually go out of my way to shoot something different sometimes. And different subjects end up asking for different lenses. With time I kind of found out that those different subjects ended up complimenting each other. I used to think my wide lens game was a bit weak and that was one of the things that made me go after shooting skateboarding more often. So for skateboarding I’ve been using the Canon 8-15mm f4 a lot. But over all I tend to use the 24-105mm f4 a lot as well. And I’m looking to get a Canon 85mm f1.2. I can see myself really hooked on that one.

What makes a skate photograph original and unique: basically what is your idea of a good photo?

I joke around that before being a photographer I am a nerd. So I’m always studying photography and I find myself getting really hooked on some really technical lighting stuff. But when you are shooting in the streets there are so many things you can’t control. At the end of the day, on those situations, a well balance shot stands out so much.

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Name the first photographer that comes to your mind and why?

There are so many good skateboarding photographers. It’s hard to pick just one. Can I pick 3? I will go with Oliver Barton and Jake Darwen for the amazing lighting skills and Arto Saari for the versatility. That guy can shoot anything and it will look amazing!

What do you feel is the most challenging thing about skateboard photography?

Everything is pretty tricky. But that’s why it is so cool. Here in Rio the spots are pretty rough. Even proper skateparks looks like were built with the least amount of concrete possible and you as the photographer always end up cramped against the fence so you can put the entire feature in frame.

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References you have (past and present photography work) and your relation to skateboarding

Skateboarding is such a rich culture. There are so many talented photographers out there. And so many different styles. I really dig going through the work of the guys that do things in a different way than what I would do. Like the stuff French Fred does. But I find important to look for references and new ideas on other fields of photography. Just to keep in the “board sports” field, the stuff Chris Garrison does with wakeboarding, or the stuff Pasi Salminen does with snowboarding, just to name a few. Those dudes’ work are awesome to look at.

Contact information

Instagram: @andre_magarao
Email: andremagarao@gmail.com

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