What are your basic stats and how did you get into photography?
My name is Fabiano Rodrigues, I come from Brazil and I was born and raised in Santos; a city 1 hour from São Paulo. I’m based in São Paulo at the moment. I was interested in photography because of skateboarding, and as a former professional skater, I began photographing a lot at the time. I was fascinated by the equipment and loved the theme of photography in skateboard magazines.
How did you get into skating?
My mother gave me a skateboard when I was 12 years old and I have not stopped since. At this time I was surfing and skateboarding in Santos.
How was it being a Red Bull Illume finalist for the ‘enhance’ category back in 2016?
I was very happy with this; Red Bull Illume has the best photographers on the planet and being among the finalists is great motivation. It is not a matter of competition or being the winner, but an indication of your trajectory and the recognition you get from it.
What have you been up to since?
I now have ten years of photography experience. During this time I had the great opportunity to be a photographer for Volcom Brazil and shoot their skate team which has taught me a lot. Parallel to this, I worked hard on my personal projects which are influenced by contemporary art. My photography work has also been exhibited at many great galleries in Brazil and Europe.
How would you describe your photographic style when it comes to skating?
I try to shoot non-standard photos without following any rules. I look for natural light and where possible, I prefer to photograph simpler tricks with beautiful aesthetics to create a sense of minimalism. I also love black and white!
What inspires you to shoot skating differently to how we see it in the magazines?
Architecture and unconventional places!
You’ve also been shooting self-portrait skate photos right? Where did you get the idea and how did you do it?
I started this project back in 2011 as an experiment. I just wanted to shoot some skateboarding with my own look. It’s a project where architecture comes first. To my surprise, I was invited to art exhibitions, I won many awards and it opened a lot of doors for me. I was invited to galleries and institutions both in Brazil and in other countries like Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, France, Morocco, Jamaica and Japan. The equipment I used was a Hasselblad H4D with an 80mm lens, a 30mm fish eye and a wireless remote control.
Usually skaters go to a spot with a photographer – why the different approach?
This project is not about tricks but rather about a moving body versus architecture, so it was something I needed to do alone. It takes a great deal of research and I do not know other photographers who would understand what I had in mind.
What are the biggest challenges you face when shooting these self-portraits?
The remote is a little delayed when I click, so I needed to think a few thousandths-of-a-second ahead to take the shot at the right time. This was a big headache!
What sort of photography do you shoot outside of skating?
I love shooting portraits and street photography. I also have another project called ’Autocollage’, where I transform myself into a collage using only photography. You can watch a short film about it here.
You’re involved in video work too… tell us about your latest film VPS #1?
This is a personal and independent project focused on skateboarding. It’s a series of portrait videos featuring skaters I identify with. The video is simple and there are no interviews. It’s produced in just one day with one camera, one lens and focuses only on lifestyle and behavior. The idea is to produce 12 films, one each month. You can watch the first episode here.
What are your plans for the future?
I'm developing collages with my film photography negatives but it's still early stages and just an experiment. I want to make more movies and I enjoy doing commercial work as well. There’s also a book in the works.
Any advice for aspiring photographers, artists or skaters?
Just do what moves your heart and what you truly believe in. Find inspiration, but go your own way!
Want see more work from Fabiano? Check out his website.