Claudia Guimaraes

Sao Paulo/ Brazil

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This letter is to introduce my work as a documental photographer.

I’ve been working as a Professional photographer since the early 90’S, when I finished my undergraduate studies at the Art Departmet of Faculdade Armando Alvares Penteado, in São Paulo , Brazil. At that time, I got a Job as a photographer’s assistant and didn’t have much time to develop my own work. So I started taking my camera with me to nightclubs, parties and bars, where I felt at ease taking pictures, I was ( and I am) interested in taking pictures of people the way I saw them, without thinking too much before the shoot. I worked in black and white and developed the material late night at home.

Once I did a series of documental photographs of transvestites during an annual party called “Bones Burial”, which takes place right after Brazilian Carnaval. At that moment I knew the underground and gay scenes would my subject matter because I felt that through its images I was able to Express my personal view of the world I lived in.

A couple of months later I was invited to work a major Brazilian newspaper, “Folha de São Paulo”. They had created a gay oriented social column ande were having trouble to find a photographer willing to do the work. My greatest challenge then was to develop a language that could differentiate that section from the tradicional social columns in Brazil.

I worked at “Folha de São Paulo” for five years. There, I had the opportunity to document an alternative scene, bringing to the forefront anonymous characters such as drag queens, drug addicts, DJs, marginalized artists, and clubbers. All the photos from that period, even the portraits, were in colou rand taken at night, in the clubs, motels, and streets of São Paulo.

As a photojournalist working at newspaper I was able to develope my technical skills, which have been very helpful in my personal work.

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