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Marcos Credie: photography as a tool for storytelling”

Photos by Marcos Credie

A vocation for photography driven by curiosity. More than that, by the always intriguing opportunity to discover new places and tell different stories. Marcos Credie had a 10-year career as a lawyer, but since childhood photography seduced him: “I remember when I received a Kodak as a birthday present from my father. I was about 8 or 9 years old and taking pictures seemed fascinating,” he says. He then plunged into the new journey now as a photographer. He started with trips and from that emerged a more authorial style, something that follows him to serve corporate clients and special projects. In fact, this is the hallmark of the best photographers, those who blend their visual signature well knowing how to deliver what brands and people yearn for.

Marcos Credie: a decade of experience

With 10 years of experience in photography, Credie has now embarked on a new phase connected with artificial intelligence and blockchain. In this interview, he tells us about his journey and new projects in photography. Check it out:

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Leo Saldanha - How did you get started in photography? Tell us a little about your journey!

Marcos Credie - It’s hard to define the beginning. But I remember when I received a Kodak as a birthday present from my father. I was about 8 or 9 years old and taking pictures seemed fascinating.

But when photography really took over my life, it was on a car expedition I made through South America, precisely to Chile and Peru, in search of the icy waves of the Pacific Ocean.

We were four friends and I didn’t feel comfortable driving the Land Rover Defender on South American roads. So, I was responsible for recording the trip. And that’s when everything changed.

For this record we had a Sony Cybershot with 3.1 MP and also a Pentax K 1000, and it was with her that I really fell in love with the power of telling stories through images. Even with the broken light meter. The photos from this trip became my first photographic exhibition: “South America Expedition”.

The story continues when I entered law school and spent 10 years building a career as a lawyer. Specializations, investments, tie… but after a few years in the profession, getting out of bed became more and more difficult every day. A huge depression hit me for living the day immersed in something that didn’t touch me at all. Until it became unbearable.

When the fear of unhappiness became greater than the fear of changing professions, I launched myself (since I was already photographing very amateurishly) on a 100-day trip to Asia photographing. And that was the kick-off for a new life, still in 2013.

Leo Saldanha - What drives you in this work on this 10-year career journey?

Marcos Credie - My motivation has two foundations: the first is the pleasure generated by creating a photo that I consider - within my conceptions - good. It’s very gratifying. Regardless of whether it’s authorial or commissioned.

The second, and no less important, is to see in photography an immense power to tell stories. I think that’s it: I’m driven by creating images that give me pleasure. And by the power of communication they carry.

Leo Saldanha - What have been the major transformations and challenges you have noticed in your experience in the market?

Marcos Credie - I always considered myself an “outsider” for being a lawyer who left the profession for a passion. I don’t have a technical course or college degree in photography. I learned by making mistakes. So it took me a long time to consider myself a professional in the field. And perhaps that was my big change: first changing the key from within. And then communicating that looking outward.

When I came across the photographic market, I walked intuitively. Selling photos and later films in a very simple way. Service provider even.

Gradually I connected with the universe of agencies and companies that needed more humanized content focused on storytelling, exactly where my gaze ran. And since then I started serving companies with size: Nestlé, Santander, Ypê, Bombril among others.

The pandemic, however, shook everything up. The market felt the impact and turned into a mess. Even today, when I receive a briefing for a budget, I feel both ends lost in relation to any project. Fee, production, timing…

Today the speed of the result is frightening. I practically offer, in addition to the final product for which I am hired, photos and films during its production for clients to post on social networks. The content has to be hot.

And more recently Artificial Intelligence came tearing everything apart. There are many people intimidated by the “n” possibilities that the tool offers. But I still believe that error, the flawed human piece behind the camera, is still fundamental in creating images. And understanding how this intelligence will serve us is the great thrill of this revolution.

Leo Saldanha - Tell us about projects that make you proud. Some of the work you’ve done and really enjoyed.

Marcos Credie - I have some authorial works that I am very proud of. Trips to Asia, Northeast of the country or related to Carnival here in SP itself. But one that I have a fondness for is “Arriba Peru!”. During the 2018 World Cup, I went to see how the Peruvian Andean communities - direct descendants of the original Quechua peoples - watched their national team compete for the first time in the world tournament, after all they had not qualified for the Cup for 36 years.

The result shows a proud nation, full of itself, with united young people with shining eyes and experiencing the magic of football very common to us. It was an incredible project, an unparalleled experience and that in addition to the photos gave me moments that I will never forget.

About São Paulo’s street carnival, which practically exploded in the last decade, I also have extensive work covering some of the city’s big blocks. In addition to photographing all the artistic part, I bring all the evolution of the structure. A narrative that can even be constructed by the municipality’s own perspective for the street event, which became much more occupied after the rebirth of this collective party.

Leo Saldanha - You have an artistic work that is also very important to you. How much does that feed you in photography?

Marcos Credie - My artistic work is my guide, my north. I really miss going out with the camera in hand and exercising my gaze, looking for images that make sense to me. I think it makes it much easier for me to pick up a briefing and understand how I’m going to make it happen. We end up studying so many references and drinking from other sources that it’s often easy to get lost in such an imagistic world. Working on the art is precisely clinging to your own roots.

Leo Saldanha - How do you see the advances of NFTs and artificial intelligence in photography?

Marcos Credie - Artificial intelligence is already a reality. We barely recovered from the shock of its arrival and I have already used Midjourney as a platform for producing references, shooting boards and scenarios. It’s an innovation, no doubt.

Recently I designed a shooting where half of the photos are mixed “reality” with artificial intelligence and the result was incredible.

Learning to guide and direct the platform for the best results is the big catch. And I confess I’m not afraid of the revolution. I don’t think it will replace the human machine, full of feelings, behind the camera. It’s knowing how to use and understand technology as an ally. The point is: it serves you, not the other way around.

And NFTs enter this field of innovation. If 10 years ago we thought that people would pay for the ownership of a digital work people would laugh. Only they forgot that they paid to buy lots and animals on Farmville… rs

Digital property is a reality. And more than that, it’s huge and growing every day. I entered the NFT market because I understood it to be much broader than the print market, for example. The possibilities were not limited to a work on the wall. And large companies are already looking at this. Whether collecting or producing NFT content for their clients.

With creativity it is possible to create incredible campaigns between the two universes.

Leo Saldanha - What would you say to someone who is starting out in photography now?

Marcos Credie - I’m very biased to give advice on photography. I love what I do. But the advice is actually the touch I give to my students when I do my seasonal digital photography course: if you like photography, grab a camera - whether it’s a cell phone or not - and think before taking a picture, you’re already a photographer. Now it’s up to you to understand the platform you want to invest in and learn to evolve your gaze.

Leo Saldanha - The pandemic period was very challenging. What is your assessment of this?

Marcos Credie - The pandemic was challenging for planet earth. The fact is that we are no longer the same. The universe has changed, civilization has changed because people have changed.

In my case, the challenge begins with a market paralyzed by the impossibility of presence - and which coincided with the arrival of my son João, born in the first week of lockdown. In other words, my monthly cost tripled and my source of income dried up. It was quite desperate.

And in a second moment the impossibility of going out with the camera under my arm. The photographer-photographed connection was impossible for a long time. The exercise of clicking and composing became atrophied. And I missed photographing outside my apartment space a lot.

Leo Saldanha - What do you like most about your work and what equipment have you been using to create?

Marcos Credie - Photography has allowed me to meet places and people that were previously inconceivable. For almost a decade I have been photographing personalities that I have great admiration for. An example: during the pandemic I made a Documentary about Alceu Valença’s process in creating and recording his albums created under lockdown and which earned him a Grammy. This became possible through the relationship created through photography.

Going further, working I went to very interesting places: Bangladesh, India, Nepal…

About my equipment, my set of camera and lenses for photography is very basic: bodies and some Canon Prime lenses. For films, however, I work with a camera with a very high bit rate, and my set of lenses, although very well preserved, is older than me. The result is a cinematic language.

Also, the range of diffusers and lighting that cannot be missing. We Brazilian photographers start with a high investment to work with quality. I would say that clients rarely see all this added value in a proposal and final result of the work. A pity.

Leo Saldanha - You not only photograph, but also film and direct. Does the visual artist and image professional need to be more complete?

Marcos Credie - My journey with films also started very early. However, through a parallel path.

As I said, I have an easy time writing. But mainly about creating narratives. And way back, still testing and trying to find myself in the audiovisual universe, I started writing advertising and content scripts for a production company.

For photographing, it didn’t take long for them to start letting me loose on some jobs with a camera in hand. From this, precisely because of the ability to think and bring an idea to the image, I started directing some smaller content. In a personal process, still very experimental and intuitive.

Today, some (many) years later, I direct larger films, with robust teams and large clients. But I also make smaller films. Often just me and an assistant. The market has changed and we have to adapt.

I really wanted to just photograph. The photographic process is faster. We tell the whole story in one click, or in a dozen at most. But filming is also very enjoyable. And I don’t believe that a photographer today can only limit himself to the click in an imagistic world, where digital possibilities for communication never stop reinventing and expanding.

I feel that having a 360 view of all areas: photography, film, editing, finishing, different content platforms puts me ahead. I wouldn’t be the same photographer if I didn’t have the eye for twenty-four frames per second.

Today, with Artificial Intelligence, it is unimaginable to sit down and watch the band pass by. I cling to new formats and am always offering ways to work in accordance with what the market is looking for.

Leo Saldanha - What are you preparing for 2023 in terms of projects?

Marcos Credie - 2023 is the year I complete a decade in the profession of photographer. A decade that flew by and I barely noticed.

When I look back and see the journey it gives me an itch in my body and a voice inside me screams: “you can’t let this go unnoticed! Don’t let it!” So, in the whirlwind of ideas I start to sketch some content to release very soon. Some exhibition or publication, digital or not, celebrating this decade, I still don’t know… but it won’t go unnoticed.

Leo Saldanha - What is your big dream?

Marcos Credie - My big dream is a great question. I don’t even know. But once, I was in a village in the middle of the Himalayas looking in front of me at one of the largest mountains on Planet Earth. My insignificance in the face of that put me in seconds into a deep feeling of presence. Suddenly, I was part of that scenery and felt extremely complete.

Maybe my dream is to be lucky enough to feel that sensation more often. To put my hand to my head and feel the penny drop in a state of grace. Moments that only real connections can provide us.

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