Interview: Miquel Veit, photographer
Miquel was born in Brazil and his heart is shared between Santa Catarina (Brazil) and Catalunya (Spain). Since being a child, he was inspired by nature and was influenced by his parents’ passion about photography. He moved to Barcelona and since his early childhood Miquel decided to become a photographer. Now he is an Image Technician and holds a postgraduate degree in Photojournalism by Universtat Autónoma de Barcelona.
While pursuing his career, in 2003 Miquel travelled back to Brazil with the intention of learning more about photography through the lenses of human life and social interactions. During two years he captured hundreds of pictures across the country, including remote locations in the Amazonas – where he collaborated with the Guajará political campaign.
Currently, he works as fashion photographer attending fashion week events in several capitals across the globe and working also as a photojournalist in special social coverages.
You can find him here:
- Hi Miquel, how long have you been working as a photographer now?
My first official job was in Madrid by 2009 for a press agency as event photographer. My first assignments were photocalls and covering awards events and TV shows. That experience helped me to know the context of this job and to learn how to find my way in such a hectic world.
- What inspired you to become a photographer? What were your first steps?
My inspiration comes straight from my family. My grandfather, who loved photography and cinema, taught valuable lessons to my dad who became a photojournalist during most part of his life. I inherited that passion and learnings from my parents while they worked for a newspaper. That included black and white photo development since I was child! When I had my first digital camera it became the right opportunity to exploit all the knowledge acquired before. During my journey through South America, with a compact camera in my hands I covered the political campaign of the mayor candidate in Guajará (Acre, Brazil). It took me several weeks to visit all the villages, side by side with the political group while documenting their engagement with the inhabitants. This modest and raw experience inspired me and consolidated the idea of making photography my way of living.
- Are you a professional or an amateur photographer?
I work as a professional photographer. I have more than 10 years of experience in several fields. Besides, I’ve become a specialist on fashion photography since 2013 when I started working for the fashion agency l’Estrop Produccions. I normally cover shows and backstages at the fashion weeks in major cities such as New York, London, Milan, Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona.
- What is your favorite subject to photograph?
My central topic is humans. Despite fashion photography is about posing and taking portraits, what I love is to capture moments, those that require to be at the precise location and time: the smile between a bride and her mother, the anxiety at backstage before the catwalk, or intense emotions from protesters in the street. These moments of complicity and true expression are the essence of the picture itself.
- What kit do you shoot with?
Since my first Canon A1, inherited from my grandfather, I’m a Canon photographer. I use the Canon 5D Mark IV and also the Canon 1DX Mark II at work. Regarding lenses, I’m used to working a lot with zoom. Certainly, the most versatile for me are the 24-70 f2.8 and the 100-400 f4.5-5.6.
- How would you define your photographic style?
I would define my style as a reality photographer. My style tries to capture spontaneity and authenticity. Learning from others is important, however discovering how you want to express through photography, is actually a genuine style… because it will come from within you!
- Which editing software do you usually use?
I use Lightroom, which has mostly everything I need. And eventually I also use Photoshop for more advanced editing.
- John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
As marketing channels I use my web and social networks. But I have to confess that I am not very active on social networks. In my opinion, nowadays it is not a problem to showcase your portfolio on the Internet. It’s really easy. However, the problem lies in standing out among the many providers that exist. To me, the best certification on photography is your daily work. You may invest money in marketizing yourself but it will be your work that ultimately will speak on behalf of you. My best customer creation mechanism is the worth of mouth from my satisfied customers.
- How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working? What do you do in your free time?
It depends on the type of assignment. I usually travel a lot, and it’s inevitable to be waiting for hours until the moment of shooting. This time is worth dedicated to anticipate and find the right place, check the environment, do some settings, and engage with people. When I am at my studio, I’m always busy editing and finishing pending work.
In my free time I love to dedicat it fully to my family.
- What would you do differently if you would start again?
I would try not to waste my time and probably I would start my studies earlier.
- A professional photographer is also an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have many things in common. They read a lot. What about you? What are your favorite books?
My reference books are:
- The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman, and
- Lights of Africa by Gabriel Brau Gelabert
which are books about editing and photography development. At a personal level I love books about adventures and science fiction. And, without any doubt, I like to reread the:
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
especially when travelling.
- What was the best advice you have ever received as a photographer? Do you have any advice for other photographers?
“Do something else for a living”. I’m not joking, really. Since my beginnings I’ve heard one thousand times that the place to take the shot is more important than the equipment itself. In my opinion, editing softwares are overused. Indeed there are many different styles of photography, however many corrections and improvements can be done in situ rather than in your computer. For example, to me capturing the majestic light of the sunrise with my camera is not the same as having to postprocess the picture digitally in order to recreate that wonderful light. My final tip: don’t let computer do what your eye can do through the camera.
- Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
I use mainly:
- Top 3 websites?
As a photojournalist I check webs from several newspapers and magazines, and also blogs from great photographers. And as a hobby I love websites about astronomy and space exploration.
- Your last vacation?
My last holidays were in India. A very intense, chaotic, and overwhelming experience where I took wonderful pictures of moments I will never forget.