We discovered Beatriz Mariano online and loved her photos so much that we decided we had to have her on the indieberlin site. Beatriz Mariano is an extremely talented Portuguese photographer with an unerring eye and a very particular style – Beatriz was nice enough to answer a bunch of our questions, but first we’ll let Beatriz introduce herself:
“I myself am strange and unusual”
My name is Beatriz Mariano. I was born in the September 9th in 1994 (so I’m now 21) and I’m Portuguese.
Well, I can tell you that I’m a very weird person, “I myself am strange and unusual” (quoting Beetle-juice). I love everything around creativity. I love to create; I love to be able to express myself through something I can make with my own bare hands. I love to read, I love to learn, and I love to acquire facts and knowledge about anything I can lay my mind on. I love putting my hands into that and transmit it all together with my influences in my art. I also am I great music lover – do I need to specify heavy metal? – I love to close my eyes and just create an entire universe of imagery all-around of how music makes me feel. And those are the things that motivate me the most to become the artist that I am, and that I’m still yet to be.
I guess that kind of resumes it all. I’m just a weird looking heavy metal fanatic with an unusual and bizarre taste, but I might just surprise you.
indieberlin: How much of your photography is pre-arranged and how much is spontaneous?
Beatriz Mariano: Well, some shootings are pre-arranged in the sense that, I have an idea and a concept, and I create art around it. And in that case, I arrange the whole shooting to the finest detail. But many of the pictures that I post are spontaneous! Usually when it comes to editing, I always end up picking the pictures where the model is not posing. Those are the most beautiful and appealing shots to me, and will certainly turn out to be the best and more impactful images.
indieberlin: Does there need to be a story of some kind behind each picture?
Beatriz Mariano:It doesn’t necessarily need to be a story behind it, some pictures are built around their composition, like an illustration. But I have to admit that I do have a meaning/story/concept behind 90% of them!
“There are no such things as mistakes, only shifts of circuntances”
indieberlin: Do you sometimes fear that it doesn’t work out with a particular model. or that you don’t get what you’re after from a shoot?
Beatriz Mariano: Well of course! But once in a conversation with really close friends of mine I was told “there are no such things as mistakes, only shifts of circuntances”, and that’s exacly what happens! If it’s not looking the way I initially wanted to, then I’ll find a way to make it work, one way or another! And it always works.
indieberlin: Do you think it’s important to have studied photography or can you learn just as much as an autodidact – learning by doing?
Beatriz Mariano: To be really honest, the best way to learn is through experience. Schools, classes, or whatever, will never be able to teach you something that only you can go through. You will only get the full experience by doing it, and getting to it, and that’s the most fulfilling and complete way to learn! I’ve done that since I was a teen, and things like that can never be taught. Sure, studies can give you a hand in it, but no one will ever be able to “teach” you something that only you can live and absorve pure and raw knowledge from! I’ve learnt that way, and with all the memories and living experiences it’s more than useful, it’s priceless!
You can’t get the full photographic experience without going through analogue
indieberlin: Analogue or digital? Or both? Or it doesn’t matter?
Beatriz Mariano: Definitely both! You can’t get the full photographic experience without going through analog! Even though I do a lot of digital, I have at the same time many on-going projects with analog film. And it’s a very warm feeling being able to capture and predict the pictures, and then get the results in an even more surprisingl form.
indieberlin: Content or form – which is most important to you?
Beatriz Mariano: Well it really depends on the images we’re looking at! If it’s something that you meant to create like a specific composition, and if it looks the way you wanted to, or, if there’s a message that you want to get through the audience. They’re both incredibly powerful in the right context.
All shootings are exciting in their own way
indieberlin: Did you ever have a shoot where it didn’t gel from the personal side of things, and how do you work with that if there is a problem?
Beatriz Mariano: Well, if by that you mean creating things that aren’t really my personal style, that’s never a problem. All shootings are exciting in their own way. Even if they’re not my kind of thing, it’s always nice to be able to explore new fields, and to get out of my comfort zone. You can only learn from that!
indieberlin: What camera / gear / software do you use?
Beatriz Mariano: Currently I’m using a 7D, and I mostly use a 50mm f/1.4 lens, and Photoshop of course, even though I know how to use other types of software.
indieberlin: How did you become a photographer – what was your initial inspiration…how did you get into it?
Beatriz Mariano: You see, I’ve always liked taking pictures and filming. My mum has videos of me as a todler getting extremely frustated because I wanted to be the one holding the camera haha. But it all took a different step when I was in high school and my teacher (Ana Paula Xavier) made my class do a project using photography and photoshop, etc. and since then it became an obcession, and I coulnd’t let go off the cameras ever since!
indieberlin: Do you dream in colour or black and white?
Beatriz Mariano: I see everything in black in white! It’s a really big struggle to work with colors, because… Well, I’m just not into colors very much I guess, haha. But I work my way around it, and it gives me as much pleasure to edit both. Even though black and white is my ultimate love.
indieberlin: Do you have any favourite photographers or special inspirations?
Beatriz Mariano: I have one big inspiration ever since I can remember – Hedi Slimane! His work has influenced me a lot, and at the same helped me find my own artistic identity.
indieberlin:Do you associate music with images? Do you have music playing when you shoot and if so what?
Beatriz Mariano: I always associate music with images! I’m not sure why. I look at the them and I immediately create a whole atmosphere around it. I’m very related to music as well, I’ve studied music when I was younger and I even considered going to a conservatoire instead of a regular art school. I play a few instruments and I sing as well. Should I also say I’m in a death metal band? So I guess that’s why I always associate music with images.
indieberlin:Which of your photographs are your favourites and why?
Beatriz Mariano: Noooo! Not that question again, haha! I can’t really say I have favourites! I am more fond of some, either for the moment I captured it, or the whole final result of it, sure. But I put a lot of effort and love into every single little thing I do, so I always look at them in a very similar emotional way.
indieberlin: Tell us something about Portugal that you love, and something you hate.
Beatriz Mariano: I have to admit, I love Portugal for its beauty. We have many amazing different places, and I’m proud to say probably some of the most beautiful places in the world are in Portugal. But, I can’t say the same about the mentality around here. For what I’ve experienced (and seen many close people, in other fields, experience as well), the portuguese industry does not have the slightest idea of how many great artist Portugal has. They keep prioritizing everything that’s foreign, and undervaluing national talents. There are MANY great portuguese artists that are being crushed because the Portuguese industry will only give you your due value if you’re coming from another country. I could go on and on and on about this, but I should probably shut up now. It’s sad, but it’s the truth.
Interview by Noel Maurice | All photos by Beatriz Mariano
Find Beatriz Mariano here:
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.