Earlier in the year OBRA Co-founder Arnaud Delecolle came across Fernando Mendes' upbeat photography depicting his surroundings and friends in São Paulo—Brazil's largest metropolis. OBRA is happy to introduce you to his work and inspiring story of hard work and artistry.
I try to shoot as much as I can.
I like to focus on simple subjects and through these I try to express my vision. What inspires me the most to photograph are my friends. They are the biggest reference in my work.
The light I prefer is from overexposed flash. Since I started shooting, it was always a feature that I liked the most. Not that I don’t love to photograph in natural light either—or black and white—but this technique is what I can most identify with and with which I can best communicate my vision. The burst flash light always has an air of fun. With flat light, because it takes away the depth of things, it gives the impression of a great drawing, and that pleases me.
On the other hand, my photos in natural light always remind me of a certain melancholy. I think it’s the two moods of the human being, right? You are either sad or happy.
In 2010 I started to skate and soon found myself surrounded by music, design, architecture and photography. That was when this interest in photography arose within me.
In 2014, I started working for a clothing brand in São Paulo. I served in the store’s cafe and took care of the stock. Finally, in October 2017, I decided to invest in a camera and soon started to photograph and register my friends. At the time I was already working in the brand’s communication department, and I decided to do some tests and take my first photos of the store. I haven’t stopped since and here we are!
My name is Fernando Mendes, I am 26 years old and I live in São Paulo.