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Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and what it is you do.

I’m a self-taught landscape and documentary photographer from Brazil. I split my time between my motion design and photography career.

How did you first get into photography?

It came naturally, from travelling and wanting to depict the places I’ve been. But it wasn’t until my thirties that I started to take it more seriously. 

How has travel influenced the way you make your work?

I’ve learnt how to look. My way of shooting is quite slow; I like to be in a place, sit down, relax, observe everything and slowly get to know this new world. I don’t have my camera hanging around my neck all the time. I don’t think we have to photograph everything, sometimes I don’t even take the photograph. I don’t know if this disqualifies me as a photographer, but that’s the way I like itno rush, and no obligation to return home with a good photograph. But please bear in mind we are talking about personal projects here. Commissions are different.

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What is your favourite place to visit?

I love to travel, to see myself in a different place, but if I had to pick just one place, it would be the south of Chile the Chilean Patagonia – my favourite corner of the world. 

What is your favourite place to photograph?

It’s hard to answer, but in general I like places that are distant from the big cities. Small communities, rural areas and wilderness places where I can have some peace of mind and inspiration. I struggle when I try to shoot in the city, but, as you can see in my website, I do sometimes shoot street photography. It feels like it’s my evil twin out there during these urban incursions, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Which photographers influence you visually?

Good question. There’s a big mix of style here. Rinko Kawauchi, Joel Sternfeld, Willian Eggleston, Robert Frank, Martin Parr and Alexander Gronsky, just to name a few. But maybe my photography has been influenced by other disciplines, like painting – I’m a big Edward Hopper fan and cinema; especially Tarkovsky.

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You seem to use photography as a way of working through things. Does this happen organically, or do you set out with an idea of how to represent what you are going through?

For my project Before That Look of Joy and Sorrow it came naturally. I’ve been through some complicated times, full of mixed feelings, and after a couple of years, looking back at some photographs, I was able to visualise the project. It’s really personal, I was reluctant to show the project to other people.

On the other hand, my other project, I’m Fine Thanks, was planned. I was moving abroad, and I wanted to preserve my impressions of my new life. Both projects are autobiographical.

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When do you see a project as complete, or successful?

I don’t follow any rule. It’s hard to know when a project is complete, I often have to abandon it for a while and then return to it with a fresh mind, free from all previous thoughts. However, for a project to be successful, it has to speak to other people, grab their attention and make them ask questions.

What and who inspires you to create?

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to answer that. Everything can be inspiring, the only constant is my curiosity.

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What’s been the best part about your creative journey?

The possibility to go to distant places and get to know all kinds of people, and also the chance to stay away from my computer. After ten years working all day in front of the monitor, photography has saved me.

Where do you see your photography going next?

I have no idea. I’m still working on two long-term projects, so I’ll be pretty busy for the next couple of years. I’d rather not think about it.

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See more of Ricardo’s work at www.ricardokumpphotography.com