Caesar Lima is an award-winning fashion and beauty photographer/director with a passion for technology, street photography, ‘futebol’ and urban toys. Born in São Paulo, Brazil and with a Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising, Caesar Lima always had the passion and drive to go against the creative grain. Caesar welcomes and embraces technology as an endless tool to express himself creatively. Caesar has received multiple accolades and awards including the 2015 International Color Awards, 2014 Rangefinder The Shot Award, 2014-13-12-11 IPA Awards, 2013 and 2012 One Eyeland Awards, 2013 and 2012 PX3 in Paris, 2011 Archive 200 Best, and 2009 Addy Award to name a few in recent years.
Q: How would you describe your photography?
A: I shoot stylized fashion and beauty. I started my career as a product photographer and I’ve always spent a lot of time on lighting and prepping the shot. I love to shoot in studio starting from total darkness; it’s like a black canvas and then paint with light, creating shapes and moods.
Q: Can you provide some background information on these images?
A: This was a hair/beauty story for Institute Magazine and my first time shooting with the new Leica S. I wanted to shoot in studio to have more control of the lighting. I invited Michelle Borquez and Nalani Ravelo from Industry Models in Los Angeles, plus the amazing hair and make up artist Manuel Benevides and styling artist Jessica Boal. This was shot at my studio in Calabasas, California.
Q: How would you characterize the images in this portfolio?
A: It’s beauty I guess, but it is so hard for me to lock myself inside a specific category. I love to shoot beautiful people always in an unusual way, something fresh. I’m not a reporter. I like to create something unique/unusual that hasn’t been done before, something appealing.
It’s important to me that the image has a punch, gets your attention, tells you a story, and makes you wonder.
Q: Did you have a specific goal for these images? If so, what was it and do you think you achieved it?
A: My goal was to shoot hair but I wanted something very unusual, something ambiguous – black/white, good/bad, real/fantasy. I don’t like to be obvious or predictable, but I think once you see three or four images you get the yin-yang.
Q: What were your first impressions of the Leica S (Typ 007)?
A: I love it. It feels like a 35 mm and has an amazing grip. The image quality is superb, very responsive. I’m very impressed.
Q: What lens(es) did you use for these and why?
A: I tested the 120 macro because I was doing mostly portraits. I also love the CS lenses and that we can sync flash at high speeds.
Q: You also did some shooting with the Leica Q. Can you tell us about that experience?
A: The Q is one of the best cameras I ever used. It’s super portable with amazing image quality. Every feature and button is in the right place. Everything is so well thought of and very ergonomic: you unlock the focus ring and the camera switches to manual focus mode, built in EVF, the +/- exposure button is right by your thumb. I carry my Q with me 24/7.
Q: How long have you been a full-time photographer?
A: Since 1991.
Q: I see you started as an art director and have a degree in advertising. Do you think this background has influenced or helped you as a photographer? If so, how?
A: Oh yes, it gives me more ground because I know what my job is. At the end of the day I need to create an image that will generate attention to sell the message. I’m telling a story visually. It helps me in dealing with the agency, creative people, and also the client.
Q: Did you have any formal education in photography, with a mentor, or were you self taught. Was there a photographer or type of photography that influenced your work or inspired you?
A: I am 100 percent self taught. My background is in advertising and marketing, but photography I learned by doing it. I grew up watching Mario Testino, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, and Mario Sorrenti.
Q: What genre are your photos?
A: Fashion, beauty and portraits, but lately, because of cameras like the Q, I have been enjoying a lot of travel and street photography. That’s the reason I started Project 365.
Q: How did you first become interested in Leica?
A: Since I started shooting, Leica has always been a reference in camera equipment and I always dreamed of having one. It took a while, but now I own four of them.
Q: What approach do you take with your photography or what does photography mean to you?
A: It means everything because this is my way of expressing myself artistically and I’m always trying to register the way I see things. Photography enables me to bring to life my ideas and dreams. It’s my way to visually showcase my ideas.
I like to shoot the unusual: a unique angle, an amazing wardrobe, unique makeup, talking to the models; it’s the combination of all that that creates a fresh image. Everybody needs to feel important and part of the process.
Thank you for your time, Caesar!
– Leica Internet Team
Connect with Caesar on his website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Caesar’s work will be on display at Leica Camera’s booth at PhotoPlus Expo from October 21 – October 24. Stop by booths 136 and 137 between 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday to Friday and 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Besides Caesar’s images, we’ll unveil the newest addition to the Leica family and will have our full lineup on display.
On display: works by Caesar Lima,
Model: Michelle Borquez and Nalani Ravelo (Industry Models LA)
Hair + Make up by Manuel Benevides
Styling by Jessica Boal
Imaging by Felipe Silva