Pro Team Joao Carlos

Published on January 11th, 2019 | by Alison Barclay


Pro Team: Joao Carlos

Our Pro Team are a fantastic group of talented photographers, many of whom have used 3 Legged Thing tripods and accessories for several years. Each month we introduce you to different members of the team, using short Q&As to give you some insight into how they work, what equipment they use, and how they became professional photographers.

Next in the series is Joao Carlos, a fine art, advertising and fashion photographer and the winner of the Hasselblad Masters in 2010, who original hails from Portugal, but works across the globe.

What is your earliest memory of handling a camera?

“My earliest memory of having a camera was at the camera club in high school. However, my mother recently told me a story how when I was six years old, the first present that I ever asked for was a camera, seems like I used to always grab my parents Polaroid camera and I would go snapping away. That Christmas she has given me a disposable camera, but it hasn’t had a flash, so I’ve said thank you, mommy, but I want a real camera.”

Dancers photo by Joao Carlos

Was there a single event that made you decide to become a professional photographer?

“I’ve always wanted to be an artist, I remember how, as a kid, was spending hours and hours driving toy cars or reading comic books. As I got older I majored in fine arts and painting with a minor in art history. When I was preparing an exhibition of my paintings I asked a friend of mine to photograph my art. He did an amazing job! Taking the pictures with the large format camera, the reproductions of the slides were incredible and all, however, he also charged me a small fortune. At school, I started using more and more photography techniques so I decided to switch my major and sell my Fender guitar… oh yeah I also wanted to be a rock star, but I was terrible so I sold my Stratocaster and purchased my first camera.

“Then I started working for a local newspaper on weekends. The money that would they would pay me was just enough to buy film and get it developed, and from that point on I was hooked.”

Photo by Joao Carlos

What is your favourite location to capture?

“I’m very lucky that photography has given me the opportunity to travel the world, so much so that one of my favorite clients is an in-flight magazine for an airline company! In the last five years and also give me a chance to fly to some incredible places. Still, I have to say that my hometown of Lisbon, Portugal or Portugal, in general, is my favorite location to shoot. The country offers a large variety of landscapes from desolate extraordinary beaches to incredible mountains. The cities are rich in color and history and everything you need to create some awesome images.”

Photo by Joao Carlos

Social media – love it or hate it?

“I have to say it really depends on social media I’m kind of over Facebook I never got into Snapchat and Twitter is really not my thing but I do love Instagram and Pinterest, to me both are very powerful tools that the contemporary photographer can use. If you follow my stories on Instagram I’ll take you into the behind-the-scenes of my every day and any ins and outs of my shoots. This is definitely been a way for me to more closely connect with my audience and to create new followers at the same time.”

Favourite camera you have ever used or owned, and why?

“I think my favorite camera is the camera that I take with me everywhere, that would be my Fujifilm X100F. This is a small compact fixed lens camera and it’s really brought back the passion for photography for me. I’d take it with me everywhere I go. It’s about the size of my cell phone but the quality is insane and I really love the retro look and feel of the camera itself.”

Photo by Joao Carlos

What’s in your kit bag?

“Well my kit is as diverse as my subject matter, over the last couple of years I have focused more on commercial and advertising jobs but I also shoot a lot of video content. At the moment of responding to these questions I was flying from New York City to California, I was in New York shooting some corporate headshots, so here is the kit I have with me on the plane, let’s start with my camera bag, which is the ThinkTank Naked ShapeShifter V2.0.

“My current workhorse camera is the Fujifilm GFX 50S, the lenses are the versatile Fujifilm GF 32-64mm and the awesome  GF 120mm macro (the detail and sharpness of this lens are exceptional). With only two lenses I’m able to photograph just about anything that comes on my way. I love using the ThinkTank photo modular system. I fill my memory card slots with fast Sandisk SD cards and I back up my content to G-technology hard drives.

“In terms of lighting, I am bringing a Profoto B10 and A1 flashes with dedicated Fuji Air TTL remote. Because I needed to keep my kit as portable as possible I’m using the monopod leg from my 3 Legged Thing Albert tripod, with 3LT Docz and a 3LT AirHed. To keep the monopod as stable as possible even for vertical images I use the 3LT QR11-FB L-bracket. 

“My kit still has room for a Westcott Rapid Box plus a 6 in 1 reflector from Westcott.

“When I’m not using a tripod or a monopod, I use the BlackRapid Breathe camera strap. I have some other little extra goodies in my bag, like the polarizer/2in1 ND filter from Miview. I carry a 13” Macbook Pro and TetherTools cable for tethering and I can’t forget my Fujifilm x100F.”

Photo by Joao Carlos

Name 5 essential items in your photography bag.

“The five essential pieces of kit are my camera and lenses, memory cards, off camera strobe and trigger, and a laptop, with these five things I can always get the job done.”

Are there any strange/unusual items in your photo bag? Household bits?

“I tried to keep my kit to the bare minimum on this trip, normally I will bring everything including the kitchen sink, I don’t like the feeling of wanting something from my kit and not having it with me.

“My assistants sometimes complain because they know I am capable of only using 20% of the gear I bring on set, but like I usually say, It’s better to take everything and not use anything than to want something and not have it.”

Photo by Joao Carlos

What is one question you’d like to be asked and never have been?

“Not a question but my tip for any beginner photographer get a Business degree instead of photography degree.”

All photos: ©Joao Carlos

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