Each Monday, we’ll highlight one indie photographer whose body of work deserves special recognition. Please enjoy their photography here, and make it a point to enjoy the rest of their work on their website.

This week the Indie Spotlight shines on Vinícius Maffei, a student and photographer from the Brazilian city, Sorocaba. His interest in photography stems from watching many Ingmar Bergman movies.


Vinícius is fascinated by the many films that Bergman and Sven Nykvist collaborated on to create iconic black and white scenes.  With this love as his base Vinícius started developing his own style, of black and white photography making express use of high contrast and brightness.


Vinícius has two cameras of choice,  a Pentax Spotmatic F and a Sony Alpha A230.  He uses the Sony more often because it’s easier to use and cheaper than a film camera, however, he loves the results from analog equipment and uses his Pentax on occasion.  His favorite lens is a Sony ALC-SH102 55-200mm, he doesn’t often use  zoom in his photographs, but when he does, often for portraiture he finds that 200mm more than enough.  Though he finds this lens isn’t very efficient at night, it works within his modus because he normally takes his photographs using daylight.


Vinícius takes the majority of his photographs when he travels, but does on occasion venture out in his own city. While he doesn’t use any artificial light, he utilizes the sun to achieve his trademark high contrast. When he get home after spending an afternoon shooting he selects his best shots and then edits them on his iPad using Aviary and then further post them on Instagram.  Vinícius  uses simple editing to achieve his result often adding contrast and reducing or adding brightness, after that he just crops the photo for posting.

Tips, Tricks and Techniques:

Vinícius has an enduring appreciation for the sky is beautiful and often uses it to complement his photographs.  Where possible he includes amazing clouds formations in his images and believes that it really sets his portraits and landscapes apart. Vinícius loves shooting portraits, but due to his discerning eye he don’t have many that he is completely in love with, as he believes that to have a good portrait you need to capture the perfect moment, an amazing body and face expression with a great background.

Vinícius considers that in shooting landscapes two details become particularly important, high contrast, reduced brightness.  He also believes that in shooting architecture, one should try to capture  texture, if photographing only part of a structure combine it with other elements for a captivating image.

Vinícius believes in black and white because it doesn’t encourage the viewers eye to wander.  In black and white photography the viewer approaches the images with a more balanced approach for a fuller interpretation of the image in its entirety.

He does however also believe that outstanding images can be shot with color photography and this requires very careful framing by the photographer and a full understanding of the color palate and the viewers perceptions of color in order to make the images great.

Lessons Learned:

Although Vinícius doesn’t have any techniques that he accidentally discovered that he uses currently he did recently shoot a series of photographs that he has a particular affinity to in an experiment where he used  random apertures and shutter speeds.


Naturally, Vinícius draws inspiration from a famous film director, Win Wenders, who is also an accomplished photographer who has published an intriguing photography book called Places Strange and Quiet, it has helped Vinícius to develop his sense of space and has had enormous influence on his photography. Vinícius also learned from studying the work of one of the worlds most famous photographers, Man Ray.  He loves Man Ray’s surrealism, they made him appreciate how beautiful and simple BW photography can be, especially in Man Ray’s book Photographs by Man Ray to this day Vinícius  still gains inspiration from his photographs.

What’s Next?

Vinícius  would love to visit Cuba, he has a strong desire to see a communist country and try to catch what he feels/encounters through his lenses in the most beautiful way possible, He believes Cuba abounds with stunning portraits and amazing landscapes. One of his dreams to photograph an iconic place while travelling recently came to pass on a January 2011 trip to New York.

Vinícius also has a strong desire to master minimalism. to paraphrase him “I would be lying if I said that I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think i have succeeded at minimalist photography, I really admire it and I would like to start doing minimalist pictures.”


Instagram: vin_smith

Instacanvas: vin_smith

email: vinimaffei@uol.com.br

kik: vin_smith

Jeremy is a consultant, educator and photographer based in the Caribbean. He shoots an eclectic range of material, but his favorite subjects are urban and seascapes, people and aircraft. He mixes his love of technology and travel with photography. Following a brief post college hiatus he picked up a camera again in 2003 and has been shooting ever since. You may view his work on his website

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This