iae aa eia

iae aa eia

Lives in Brazil Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Works as a English school coordinator and EFL teacher
Joined on Jan 13, 2011
About me:

I was born in Brazil, in a city called João Pessoa. I lived in a few other cities in three neighboring states before moving to where I currently live, about 1,300 miles away down south, Belo Horizonte. Back then, photography was not offered at colleges and universities, I didn't want any other courses, and I never got a higher education. I tried to get in the AirForce—they offered the career of aerial photographer (don't know if they still do)—but I could not get in because they detected a health problem. I started working with social photography. I shot a couple of birthday parties and some portraits, but I wasn't successful. I liked the experience, but I had never been a very social person and the few clients I had I got with the help of my mother.

During this time, I was living by myself and in a different city, and I was not able to prospect any clients by myself or get any references from the few folks I had done work for. I was just to shy to ask for references. I had some issues related to lack of perseverance. I was constantly feeling down since my later teenager years. I ended up giving up and working with motorcycle sales, an area in which I was also unsuccessful because I had to be socially more engaged as well, but I thought that it was going to work just because I liked motorcycles. After a while, I got an opportunity to work at those 1-hour photo labs/shops as a minilab operator. Now I was able to do a better job, probably because I didn't have to have high social skills. I worked isolated most of the time. As a minilab operator, I was considered one of the best at all the places I worked at, thanks to the fact that I loved photography, read a lot of technical literature, and learned with two very good folks how to operate and maintain those machines. One of them had worked at a Kodak laboratory for more than a decade and had opened a photo lab along with two other business partners, the first photo lab I worked at. The other guy was a Noritsu consultant/technitian.

I started getting socially more engaged after I got involved with the church of Christ. If I was as socially engaged as I was after 2 or 3 years attending church and doing volunteering work when I started shooting, the story would have been different. Since I got involved with church, I have been often in contact with Americans and my English improved considerably. It was because of that that I had my first opportunity to teach English, helping some classmates at a course I was attending in which to have English was a very important requirement. My classmates noticed that I liked teaching and that I taught well, and they encouraged me to be an English teacher.

After about six years working at at least four English schools, I got the opportunity to have my own business, which is as a master franchisee for an English school specialized in private classes. This opportunity was offered to me by the same company I had been working for two and a half years as an EFL teacher, but only if I moved to a pretty far away city, which is where I live now. I had terrible headaches when I lived in my previous hometown, but my current hometown is cooler and drier, and it's also better for business, a little more developed, the fried and cooked food is amazing (except baked stuff, nothing special), and the accent is among the nicest in Brazil.

The first camera I've ever shot with was my mother's Kodak Instamatic 177XF, in the 80's; I used to disassemble and assemble it quite often. The first contact I've ever had with photography literature was still in the 80's, when the husband of a distant relative of mine gave me a photography guide composed of two magazine-sized and four less-than-letter-sized books. Each one of the magazine-sized books was divided into many sections, like cameras, lenses, flashes, framing, darkroom, techniques, pro-photographers' galleries, etc; and the other four books focused on specific photo subjects. Only photos and commentaries in these. One was about people, the other was about women, another one about nature, and one about architecture. I loved that kit. Decades later, already late 2000's, when I was able to understand English much better, I could compare them with many other guides and I realized that they were quite complete and technically accurate. Really good stuff for Brazilian standards. It was probably the translation of an American guide.

In 1993, I was living in a city called Natal. I was riding a bicycle when I decided to stop at a newsstand located at a supermarket for a quick look at the magazines, as I used to do. I wasn't looking for anything in particular and didn't intend to buy anything, but while I was browsing, I saw that beautiful red glossy cover magazine with lots of SLRs on it, standing on the top shelf. It was the December's 1993 edition of Petersen's PHOTOgraphic magazine. I was in awe, thinking, "Wow, look at that!" (in Portuguese, of course). I had never seen such an appealing cover (uncommon to Brazilian magazines at that time) and that rich content in terms of equipment. I decided to buy a compact Collins Gem Eng-Port Port-Eng dictionary and a calculator in the same week I bought that magazine, and spent the whole month trying to translate most of the magazine's content and converting feet to meters, inches to mili/centimeters, and pounds and ounces to (kilo)grams, and even dollars to royals (our currency, or 'real/reais' in Portuguese)—well, I started doing currency conversion from 1996 onward, as there was no 'real' in 1993, but only a temporary, transitional currency in 1994, and I was still not interested in currency conversions by 1995). I continued to buy issues of that magazine for the next 6 months. At first, equipment ads, gear guides and articles, and shopping catalogs where the sections I read the most.

In 1996, I was living in Guarabira, a small city in the countryside of the State of Paraíba, and the owners of a photo shop in Natal called me and invited me to move back there and work as a minilab operator. That was my first job. I knew the folks there because they didn't have access to that kind of magazines and I used to go there to show them to them and talk about photography, and we enjoyed doing that and became friends.

While I was working there, I had the chance to handle and use some very nice cameras like the Nikon F3 and FM2, the Minolta Maxxum 9xi and X-370, and quite a large variety of Pentaxes, like the K2000, ME, and P30t; There were other cameras from same said brands and other brands, like Vivitar and Yashica. Canons were rare and I don't know why. I can't remember ever seeing one, except compacts. But, two brands I wanted so much to have an opportunity to see live were Contax, Ricoh, and Zeiss. I just drooled over seeing pictures of Contax bodies and Zeiss lenses. Even one or two of Contax compacts. I also wish I had seen more Olympus SLR's. I also drooled over its µ-II.


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