5 Questions with Teresa Freitas
We’re back with another Creator Spotlight, and this time, we had the honor of speaking with Teresa Freitas (AKA @teresacfreitas)! Teresa has been a creator we’ve worked with often — you’ll notice she has both Desktop presets and an in-app filter pack available through A Color Story — and we love her work! We’re excited for you to get to know her a little better through the following Q&A.
Please share a little about how you got into photography
Although my plan before and during fine arts college was to become a multimedia designer, I kept resorting to photography as the chosen medium to develop all my personal and yearly projects. Funny enough, even when this was happening, I didn’t accept that photography was going to or could be my future – but instead of focusing on other media and techniques that could benefit my initial plan, I couldn’t resist photographing, and kept going back to it at each opportunity. In my 3rd year of college, I installed Instagram. Instagram allowed me to explore photography in an informal and experimental way that didn’t have the artistic pressure and seriousness I was getting from college. I was shooting with my phone on a daily basis, without giving it any special thought. Eventually, I got attracted to the world of editing and colour, and how it could quickly shape our perception of an image. I ended up being noticed by brands for my compositions and colour-work in still life scenes, and about 3 years ago I realised I could be a full-time photographer. Content creation for brands helps me support my – at last accepted – passion for photography.
We are obsessed with your bright, candy-colored editing style. It’s so unique! How did you decide to go in that direction, and how long did it take to develop your style?
Thank you! It wasn’t a conscious decision from one moment to the next. My taste was guiding me along the way as I experimented with different approaches to colour. I went through different editing stages, but eventually found myself in amidst of pastel and softer tones, but wasn’t quite satisfied. From that point, I knew I wanted to develop a style that would have pastels as the starting-point, but with a twist, something different in colourization. It took me around 2 years to finally reach a point where I’m happy with my colour-palette, although it’s still an ongoing process. I like to edit each of my images from scratch in Lightroom and understand what each picture needs to be able to recognize myself in it. Sometimes it doesn’t happen on my first try, and I often only go back to an image after some I’ve spent some time apart from it.
What are your biggest artistic influences?
It’s curious to think that, when I was developing my work and creative identity (which is ever-evolving), I wasn’t recalling specific references to work on top of and create something new from. At least in my case, I was only able to pin-point my references after I developed a style I could immediately relate to. I guess, because I went through so many inspirations and influences when I was taking Painting and Multimedia Art, it was hard to understand which artists influenced me, and which ones inspired me. Inspiration is endless, and happens daily, but influences stay forever, and can be traced to the timeline of your evolution as an artist. In painting, I think of painting masters like Van Gogh, Matisse and Magritte and their own approach to colour. In photography, I like to recall Fan Ho’s colour photographs, William Eggleston visual diaries and Nguan, more recently. In Cinematography, animation movies played a big part in my development of visual taste when I was growing up. I like art that is beautiful, that provides a moment of visual pleasure, without expecting to receive more from it. That’s something my references gave me, and what I want to convey in my own images too.
How have you adapted during isolation? Any tips on staying creative in uncertain times?
Not travelling (and not leaving my house) has been hard, since I can’t go out and shoot. My first tip is to try not being too hard on ourselves and giving into the pressure we feel that we need to create. I’ve been going through the archives of past travels and re-discovering places and images I disregarded before. Because I like to shoot in natural light, outside, winter is a slower season for me in terms of creating still-life shots. I’ve dedicated this time to a new project, one that I hope that will transform my audience on Instagram into a community of those who follow me more closely. I’ve been reading more, and taking online courses. I’m trying to not let this time feel like it went “to waste”, and exploring other creative outlets that can eventually contribute to my work.
If you had to choose one of your filters you’ve created with A Color Story, which would you choose and why?
On Desktop, I love Bristly Buttercup from the Wildflower Meadow pack. It takes me to the peaceful flower fields in Alentejo during spring, with pops of red and orange. It’s my favourite place to go back every year. Because of COVID-19, I wasn’t able to go last year and I’m missing it terribly. I’m hoping lockdown ends before May in Lisbon where I live, and I can escape for a few days to restore the feel-good sensation that scenario gives me. For a favorite filter in the app, I’d pick Razzle Dazzle from my Palette pack. It’s great for a color punch. See Razzle Dazzle in action below.