Photographer Spotlight: Roberto Araujo
New York City
When did you first pick up a camera and start taking photos that were beyond family or vacation photos?
In 2009, I was on tour in China with the musical Fame. Before flying out, my parents gave me my camera as a birthday present. Once I was there, I wasn’t able to put the camera down. I realized that more than photographing landscape and architecture, I liked photographing faces, people and capturing the stories they tell. I also started working with my fellow actors.
What is your favorite subject to shoot?
I love storytelling and movement. I think that is why I enjoy working with actors and dancers. It might even be a very abstract concept and let the viewer fill in the blanks and create their own story.
Where do you get new shoot ideas from?
I have two people who are very important to me in the creative process. My fiancé Brett and my dear friend Chava have always acted as creative consultants. Movies, theatre, life experiences, music videos, museums – [all are] always a great source of creativity.
As creative professionals, you have to be adaptable to what may happen during the shoot. Give us an example of a shoot that didn’t exactly go as planned and how you made it work.
I was doing a shoot with Mexican actress Monica Huarte. It was during the winter months, and she was having a makeover done. That makeover took longer than what I expected and we were supposed to shoot outside with natural light. It was probably 5pm and we were losing light. I was so nervous and anxious. It also started snowing heavily, which actually worked in our favor because the white clean snow acted as a reflector. So we had beautiful soft light being reflected from cars and street lights. The pictures turned out stunning.
With all of the self-professed photographers with digital cameras, how do you continue to hone your skill and your eye to keep what you’re doing special and professional?
It’s difficult. I think we all have different voices and we are entitled to express them in the different ways the artform allows us to. For me, I’m always looking for new faces, new lighting designs, new stories, and new sources of inspiration.
How does social media, specifically Instagram, affect how you get your work to people?
Thanks to social media, I can get my work around the world in a matter of seconds. Recently in my current exhibit, a few people said to me that even though they had seen the work on Instagram, seeing it printed in large format made a huge difference in the perception and the appreciation they had for it.
Describe the style of your photography in five words.
Bright, Fun, Sexy, Vibrant, Clean.
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