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Latin American Fotografia: Tomas Arthuzzi

By David Schonauer   Wednesday January 20, 2016


Sometimes the only way to create a photo is to get messy.

To illustrate a story for the Brazilian magazine Vida Simples about learning to cook, photographer Tomas Arthuzzi  had to capture a scene of disarray.

The magazine, whose name translates to English as “Simple Life,” features articles about how to make its readers’ lives better and easier with practical solutions to common challenges, notes Arthuzzi. “They came to me with the idea of a girl trying to cook and making a mess, but getting a great result anyway,” he says. He ended up shooting a series of three images that told the story with humor and visual clarity. The work was later named a winner of the Latin American Fotografia 4  competition.

“What I really like about the photographs is the calm environment and colors, mixed with the splash. For me they mean something like, "It's a chaos, but it's all right,’” Arthuzzi says.

Difficult food assignments are something of a specialty for Arthuzzi. In 2014, Brazil’s Superinteressante magazine approached the São Paulo-based photographer about shooting a demanding image for an upcoming special issue on healthy diets. The magazine’s art director wanted to show a variety of foods floating together in a virtual “stack” of nutrition. The photograph that Arthuzzi created was named a winner of the LAF 3 contest.

“I didn’t know if I could really could [create the image], but I said ‘yes’ and started thinking about how to do it,” Arthuzzi told DFLA  last year.

Arthuzzi was born in Belo Horizonte, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, and came to photography when he was 16. “A friend said that his uncle was looking for someone to help in a photo studio. So I went there and this guy taught me my first steps,” Arthuzzi says. “I started shooting graduation ceremonies back in 2005 with a Praktica MTL 3, a fixed 50mm lens and a battery-powered shoulder flash. I kept doing that for some time, until I quit and started working in an advertising and fashion photography studio as an assistant.”

He later spent two years working as a photographer in Ireland, before returning to Brazil in 2012 and settling in São Paulo — a move he calls “the best decision I ever made.”

“Everything happened really fast for me here, and I started working for big magazines on a daily basis, shooting everything from still lifes to celebrity portraits,” says Arthuzzi. “Even with that success, I decided a year ago that it was time to learn more, so I flew to US to work in another photo studio, assisting one more time. Learning is always a good idea, and assisting is the best way to learn photography from someone.”

He returned to Brazil last July and, he says, “set up a new and really nice studio.”

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