Chatting with: RAWPHOTOLOGY

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RAWPHOTOLOGY has it’s Virtual Office at LACS Conde D’Óbidos and we went to find out more about their day-to-day work.

I only remember that RAWPHOTOLOGY is a company, when I have to pass and pay the bills. In everything else, it is a mission made with passion: to help people (as individuals and professionals) to tell the best version of their story, to find the most striking angle of their personality and to find out what their value proposition and positioning is, either through photography or words.
Working for more than 25 years in strategic marketing and advertising, with great intensity, helped me with the most useful of certainties, when I created RAWPHOTOLOGY: any person or company can have a badge, but there is only one brand who is relevant to someone’s life: the one that has value to propose. And it’s that relevance that I like to find, photograph and tell.

We spoke with Ricardo Pereira da Silva.

Describe your work in three words. 

Storytelling of Value.

What is best about your job? 

People. What they give me, when they are available to do their best.

Describe your typical day.

The fact that there is nothing typical in my day, except choosing what I’m going to have for dinner on that day (even when I’m alone), going to buy the ingredients and preparing dinner as if it were the most important thing in life, always with music and an aperitif close by.

What music do you listen to while working? 

I like music too much, on the one hand; and, on the other, I already passed the stage of using music to affirm my identity…So I listen to many types of music, depending on what I’m doing and on the mood. I can either hear Mahler, Thelonious Monk, The Killers, Piazzolla, Carminho, Zambujo or Chavela Vargas. But above all, I spend the day singing.

How did RAWPHOTOLOGY? What’s the main idea behind RAWPHOTOLOGY?

It started with the challenge of a great photojournalist (Ulet Ifansasti), who made me promise that I would stop being a marketeer to become a professional photographer; later, it was confirmed when I was invited to be the photographer for Human documentary and during a conversation with photographer Steve McCurry, who, without knowing it, helped me realize that I already had found my own path; and it came out on the day that, for the first time in my career, I received a Christmas gift from a…customer (and not a supplier), to thank me for having changed his life, in a ‘simple’ photographic session. This episode and all the acts of gratitude and generosity, coated with courage, that clients have with me and with themselves, when facing a camera, facing their fears, their dreams and life itself, is no longer an ‘idea behind’ a business, but a ‘mission that gave a new meaning to my own life’: making people like themselves as they are and with everything they have and lack.

What do you like most about LACS? 

I could say so many things, but as I am given to details and for what speaks for the whole, I will choose one and only one that (says) everything about LACS: the smiling emoji that they put in all emails, when they notify me that I have mail 😊

When you were a child, what did you want to be? 

Grown-up. And when I was a grown-up, I wanted to be a Formula 1 driver (I ended up being one, but on 2 wheels); Fighter Pilot (I never exceeded 320 km/h, but on asphalt) and…Photographer!

What was your first job? 

I employed myself when I founded an Advertising agency in Braga, at the age of 21, while studying Marketing.

Someone who inspires you and why?

In Photography, Platon and Peter Lindbergh, because, like me, they do not conceive the existence of Beauty, where there’s no Truth and Humanism. In other areas, Valentino Rossi and Zinedine Zidane, for the way they make the difficult look easy and the fast look slow; José Mujica, for being the only politician I know, who defends Sobriety, as an essential value; and, in broader terms, I am inspired by all those who made a symphony on a sheet of paper and also all those who perform, with pride and humility, functions that almost nobody would like to have, but without which we cannot live: the cantoniers, plumbers or coroners, among many others.

What is the secret to success? 

Always start from what the market needs or desires and never from what we need or desire. And knowing how to turn problems and shortcomings (starting with our own) into opportunities. If cut sheets were not a problem, the clip and staple would never exist.

Advice for someone just starting a business? 

Knowing and being able to say No to what is outside our main competence. I did not become recognized, as a People photographer, for the number of people I have photographed, but for all the times that I declined invitations to take another type of Photography, no matter how much I like to make money. It is better to find another occupation, to earn money, until we reach the recognition we want, and be faithful to our purpose and skills, charging the right price; than ‘going after all’ and not being recognized for ‘nothing’, harming those who do it and ourselves.

What are your favorite places in Lisbon? 

Praça das Flores and Jardim das Amoreiras, for a coffee with a book. The alleys with the smell of jasmine of Santa Catarina, Alfama and Chiado, in the late afternoon. To photograph, contrary to what people think, I prefer the more ‘gray’ and mysterious light of Porto: the light of Lisbon, during the day, is highly contrasted, which is a headache for photographers. But it is wonderful in the late afternoon and at dawn.

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