Maria Ines Peixoto is a Portuguese photographer who is currently finishing her BA in Media Production at Southampton Solent University.
Before moving to Southampton, Ines studied Communication, Design and Media at ETIC (School of Innovation and Creation Technologies) in Lisbon, Portugal, where she created an interesting portfolio mixing picture, sound and video. Ines is a talented photographer and she is willing to learn all the possibilities photography offers – either in analog or digital, but she is keen to include other forms of media in her work and explore all possible creative sides of the media industry.
Ines interest for photography started when she was a child and she used to have disposable cameras, at fourteen and bought her first DSLR that she used to take pictures of her friends. It was then when she realized that she loved creating artistic content and decided to pursue a career within the media industry.
Ines determination to get better pictures compelled her to be self-taught. Later on, she took a step further and signed at ETIC to develop her skill set and improve her artistry.
In this interview, Ines tells us where she finds inspiration for her projects. She also talks about the different approaches in the art industry in Portugal and England and she shares her views on social media as a business tool.
Lucia Vázquez Bonome: What is your favourite type of photography to use in a project?
Maris Ines Peixoto: Is difficult to choose only one type, because I am interested in exploring different things and learning from all the projects that I am involved in, but I must say I really enjoy taking portraits of people. I find people the most interesting thing in terms of pictures.
LVB: I have seen in your portfolio that you frequently take photos of bands or concerts. Is that something you really enjoy?
MIP: Yes, definitely. This is because I have friends that are in bands in Lisbon and I find the whole process extremely interesting; they don’t mind being photographed and they like using their pictures for their social media, so it’s beneficial for them too.
LVB: Talking about social media… we live in an era where many people have Instagram accounts and they share their pictures there. What do you think about this kind of platform?
MIP: Social media can be good, you can share your art there and meet different people that have things in common with you and end up doing a very cool project together.
On the other hand, social media has its downsides; people can get way too into them, use apps to fake expertise in photography and worry too much about likes and followers. So, as everything in life, it has its good and bad things, but I am glad it exists.
LVB: When you are looking for inspiration for your projects, where do you find it?
MIP: I find inspiration in many things and in many different ways; things that are around me; other photographers work… Those are very inspirational things to me and encourage me to be a better photographer. Additionally, I really enjoy when I have a project and I need to think about a concept and how I can translate that into something visual.
LVB: Could you tell me who are your favourite photographers?
MIP: Nan Goldin, Francesca Woodman, Diane Arbus would be some of my favourites, but obviously Henri Cartier-Bresson was an immensely talented photographer and his work inspires me constantly. Ultimately, there are so many, that it is difficult to choose.
LVB: When you take photographs, do you like to edit them in post-production or do you prefer to keep them as they are?
MIP: I love playing with colours and lights, but I’d rather keep them as they are; that way you can truly appreciate them. In my opinion, it is good not to over edit a picture but there are many ways of editing that can also be very interesting.
LVB: You are from Lisbon, but you have been living in England for the last seven months. What can you tell me about the differences in the media industry between Portugal and England?
MIP: So far, what I have experienced is that England might offer more opportunities within the media industry. You can have opportunities in Portugal as well, but some of them – especially when talking about student jobs or internships – are not well paid or not paid at all, which is not good, in particular when you are starting your career and want to develop it further. I think that here they may value your creative work better, but I would need to live and work here a bit longer to compare both countries with more detail.
LVB: In this industry, many people take jobs as freelancers. Do you see yourself working as a freelancer or would you rather work for a magazine or other media company?
MIP: I would like to keep a balance between both things. I like the concept of freelancing: working on several projects, exploring different opportunities and managing your own time. But on the other hand, I really enjoy working with people and being part of a creative team so I guess I would like to try both and see what happens.
LVB: Besides photography, what are your other interests?
MIP: I have developed a deep interest in video and I would love to work in video the same way as I do in photography. Studying media production both at ETIC and at Southampton Solent University has allowed me to explore different sides of media and I am ready to develop my skill set and produce different kinds of media content. I’m also very interested in music in various ways and I like to combine this different interests in my projects.
LVB: Finally, could you tell me if you have any photography projects ready for the near future?
MIP: I am working on something at the moment that I wanted to do for a while; it is a photoshoot mixing colours and sensations. How colours make you feel attracted me as a concept because people react in many different ways to colours.
LVB: Thank you, Ines. Muito obrigada!
Lucia Vázquez Bonome