I am very excited to be launching a new section of my blog: Interviews with photographers. Travel photographer Nuno Lobito kicks off the action of what I hope is a series of useful and informative chats with important professionals. Got any suggestions for photographers to feature? Drop me an email.
How did you get started in photography?
I got started in photography because I had a great need to spread information about what seemed like injustices in the world, not only today but from 30 or 40 years ago. When I started, I noticed there were many injustices, and nothing better than to use the powerful tool a camera is, and show the world a reality that it is sometimes not ready to see.
Does one need to have formal training?
Yes. It is important to master the technical aspects. If you don’t, you’ll never be a good photographer. Sometimes we want to produce good ‘clicks’, but it becomes difficult because we don’t master the camera. Until we do, it is difficult do have good images.
What were the main obstacles you faced along your career?
I faced, face, and will face obstacles. A photographer struggles always. This is because there are seven, eight magazines in my field. And it becomes harder, with competition growing tighter and tighter. After I left Ar.Co in 1983, I struggled for about ten years to sell my work, and to find a foothold in the marketplace.
What are the ingredients for success as a photographer?
To succeed as a photographer you need to really love doing it. You need to understand what the market wants. you need to always be shooting. you also need to know what magazines are looking for. It is a long journey. To succeed in anything, you have to give it your all. That’s why I always say: We are what we believe in. That’s a quote I remind myself of to be successful.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration by doing what I love. When you really love something, we get inspiration from ourselves, using our own likings, applying at the same time a big dose of happiness. To me, photographing is happiness.
What photographers (if any) do you consider a reference in your field?
My work is a bit of everyone. There’s a bit of Henri Cartier Bresson, a bit of Robert Capa, a bit of Sebastião Salgado. Things like composition, strong situations, and at the same time the human element.
Do you post produce your images? Are there limits?
I believe we should do a minimum work on our images, but no HDR. I think that’s a bit too much photographically. We should retouch our images, but with moderation.
What advice would you give to someone making a start in photography?
Not to give up, to be strong, and to believe. Because usually what happens when you hear one, two, three ‘no’s, is you tend to give up. So keep strong, get inspiration from photographers you like, but don’t give up, because photography needs you.
Nuno Lobito is an adventurer, specializing in photojournalism and travel photography. On 11/11/11 he reached a major milestone in his life, having visited and photographed every country in the World. He appears regularly on TV, sharing his experience and images. He also teaches at several schools. He has several books out, the most recent being “The World through my eyes”. This book features over 100 countries in 150 images. If you want to grab a copy (29,90€), email firstname.lastname@example.org for details