Carlos Bracho is a Panamanian 26 years old biotechnologist, who happens to get into photography about 6 years ago. Since he was a kid, Carlos has always been very interested in science. Carlos is very curious, so he guesses that curiosity got in his way when he bought his first camera because since then he felt tremendously hungry about learning everything he could.
Right now Carlos works as a scientist, but he also has a huge passion for creating surrealistic imagery, blending scenarios with elements that couldn’t be together in a natural way. Right now he is into blending portions of the forest with rooms or house elements.
It was a pleasure for us to take an interview with Carlos Bracho who shared some interesting facts of his biography. We wish you a pleasant reading of Carlos Bracho success story and viewing of his surrealistic photography.
The First Steps in Photography
AP: Hi Carlos, thank you so much for finding the time to share your life story with us. That is a great honor for us to take an interview with you. Could please tell us what got you started?
Carlos: My story about how I got started is a kind of sad. I bought my first camera the year my mom passed away. Since that, I was very into doing the most I could to not think about what happened. Since that, I began taking pictures of objects, then move to plants and whatever was around my house, later to portraits and a couple of years later, I felt the call for making surrealistic stories.
I guess I could say that I was born photographically at my 23’s, and I just happened to found the work of this amazing person like Sue Bryce, Alex Stoddard, and Brooke Shaden. I guess I saw their work, and I just could not keep taking just flower photos, I needed more. I’ve always had ideas, so with their influence, I started my way into doing what I love today. I’m also very influenced by music, I tend to listen to Ludovico Einaudi, old songs of Sia, or new groups like London Grammar to get into the state of imagining stories.
AP: Thank you for sharing your way of getting started. Do you have any formal education in photography or were you self-taught?
Carlos: I bought my first camera, a mirrorless Sony A33, started shooting in aperture priority, and I don’t know how I moved to manual. I’ve never been in a photography class actually, but if I wanted to know how I could do something, I searched the internet. Through trials and errors, I figured out how to do it in my own way, therefore, yes, I am completely self-taught.
I like to attend to talks about creativity or alternative events that make me think in a new way, like sound walks or drawing meetings.
AP: What genre are your photos?
Carlos: Well, I started with objects. At that time, I had no intentions of making a career in photography. I wanted actually finish my college degree in Biotechnology, and after I wanted to graduate with Ph.D. degree in Plant Pathology (life is funny).
I started taking pictures of my friends and started working really hard on portraits, so I began as a portrait photographer. Now, I could say I’m a conceptual photographer who approaches surrealism very often. So we could call it fine art, conceptual, surrealism, but well, photography after all.
AP: How would you describe your work?
Carlos: In a few words, I would say a little unusual. I think in a country like Panama, this field of photography is not very well developed, so in here most of what I do looks odd. Of course if we look at it globally, I’m just another one playing with Photoshop. I don’t know, but I guess I take a couple of usual things to create one unusual image.
Equipment and Techniques
AP: We find your photography very beautiful. By the way, what kind of equipment and techniques do you use to take such pictures?
Carlos: Well, sometimes I still use my lovely old Sony A33. This year I won the SWPA [The Sony World Photography Awards] and I got a Sony A6000, so I’m using that more often. I use the kit lens for now, 16-50mm. However, I’m planning on buying a fixed 50mm lens because the quality is a way to better.
Most of the time I use natural light, but lately I wanted to add some more atmosphere and cinematic vision to my images, so I’ve been using constant light with gels.
I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to process all of my images.
The Formula for Success
AP: Carlos, first of all, congratulations on winning SWPA! That’s incredible. Thank you so much for sharing your photography techniques. We are sure our readers will find them handy. What is the formula for success in your activity?
Carlos: First, try to keep working on it. I know that, like millions, I have two separate lives to support. I love working in science, I love being a scientist, but that tend to absorb lots of energies, so I guess, being well organized helps both of my careers.
I tend to plan my shoots weeks before, models (friends), lighting, location… everything, and that makes me always have something to do, something to share.
I guess I spread my work in my social media more often than I do at contests. Last year I started entering contests, I won one (so happy about it), it got me to travel to another country, in another continent for the first time. Now I choose some websites or magazines that fit what I do from time to time.
AP: Who is one person you would like to see interviewed on AstrumPeople?
Carlos: There are so many artists doing their best right now, so I believe Alan Uchoa would be one that I would like to read some more. Also, Brian Oldham is someone that also makes great imagery and I would love to read so more about him too.
AP: Thank you for the reference. We will do our best to get in touch with them. Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
Carlos: Well, my friends are like my family. When I started trying to make my ideas come to life, I was so afraid of failure, of shooting myself. Still, I don’t like it, so I’m incredibly grateful that some of my closest friends gave me their time to start growing. Thanks to them I still do what I love and I want to talk about what I want to do.
Of course, every person (whoever interestd in learning, shooting or just doing what they love) who has ever approached me to say just “hey, can I be your model?”, or just to go out with me for scouting. makes an influence on what I do. I like to talk a lot, even more with people who have a goal.
Three Golden Tips in Photography
AP: Tell us three lessons you believe are really important for every photographer?
- Try everything you want to do. Every idea, every plan, every technique you want to do, try it. If you feel it works, keep doing it, master it, till you feel the need to upgrade yourself again.
- Ask. Whether is for location, someone to model for you, to learn from someone… just ask nicely, don’t let the fear or rejection interfere with your goals.
- Don’t stop. We all have bills to pay, responsibilities and so on. We could put a million excuses to not do what we love. So instead, keep doing what you want. Even if it’s once a month, work as hard to make that one day worthy.
Carlos, it has been a great pleasure for us to take an interview with you. Thank you very much for sharing such motivating success story with us. We wish you brilliant success, more amazing ideas to come up with, and great achievments in photography industry. To learn more about Carlos Bracho photography feel free to visit his personal website with beautiful cinematic and surrealistic photographs.
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