Teresa Freitas is a Lisbon-based photographer known for her dreamy imagery and pastel hues. Teresa has collaborated with brands like Netflix, Dior, Kenzo, Chloé, Calvin Klein, Pantone and Polaroid. In 2018 she created these beautiful images featuring our SS18 knitted bowler shirts somewhere by the sea near Lisbon. We adore everything she does. Check out more of her work at www.teresafreitas.com or find her on instagram @teresacfreitas
Hi Teresa :) Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Let's start with what city, time, and date were you born?
Thanks for having me! Lisbon, escorted by the police, 3.42 AM, 28-12-1990.
When did you start practicing photography?
When I got to my first year of college in Multimedia Art and started a photography class in the 2nd semester.
When did you realise you could turn it into your full time job?
I got to the end of 2018 and did the math. Granted, I'm not very good at math, but I trusted my excel sheet.
Did you have a mentor or someone you looked up to that guided you (directly or indirectly) on your journey?
I look up to a great many deal of photographers and people, but didn't really have a mentor. My father is a great photographer but I didn't ask for his help or anything, it just helped that I grew up with him and developed that taste early on. One of the best ways to get into photography is to practice and learn it by yourself, through experience and time. Our classes in college weren't technical by any means, they were conceptual - so they taught us ways to think about photography. The rest was up to me.
How would you describe your photography style?
The first time I had to describe my signature style (because someone asked me about it in an interview) I referenced the place that is created when imagination meets aesthetics. This related to an idea by Eli Siegel, when explaining Aesthetic Realism's philosophy: "imagination and aesthetics make for the meeting of wonder and matter-of-fact." We all have pictures of the world in our minds — and these pictures are of imagination; the beauty and rightness of these pictures depends on how much we can see the world as what it is. Some time has passed since I last described my images as this encounter, and I like to be more descriptive nowadays: my style and work relies on how colour can transport us to a subtle change of reality. While the places and subjects in my photographs exist, at the same time there is something a little bit "off" about them. You will see both bold and pastel hues in the same image - a visual paradox and a play on colour that I feel is very interesting. There's also a sense of calm and happiness that continually permeates my work.
We know you’ve worked with some pretty amazing brands and clients. What was your favourite project that you’ve worked on? Tell us a little bit about it and why it was special to you.
I've been loving each project at its time. There's always something special about the project you're working on. It's hard to pick a favourite. But one I will surely never forget would be the third opportunity I had to work with Netflix - visiting LA and a studio set from their series The OA. It still feels a bit unreal, that's why it's special.
What are you interested in photographing these days? What types of projects would you like to come your way?
I've always liked photographing different subject matter. Either if it's places, people or objects/natural elements. I continue to have that tendency. My year started out with the goal to photograph something personal, one idea, each week. I have it on my Google Calendar. You will start to see more still-life compositions and editorials with friends. I'd love to continue to work with different brands and products in order to challenge myself and my ideas, as I definitely want to improve in art direction and set design.
What are some of your favourite places to photograph in Lisbon?
The older neighbourhoods and botanical gardens.
Are you a night or a day person?
Day, with a blue sky and puffy white clouds.
When you have friends visiting from abroad, what spots do you like to take them to in Lisbon? Restaurants, bars, other random places to hang out?
To a good viewpoint of the city and to Sintra, passing through my hometown of Cascais and going along the coast until we reach the forest.
What are 5 movies you think everyone should watch?
I don't know everyone so I'm not sure. I always recommend a Ghibli collection if it fits the taste.
Who were your top artists on Spotify Year in Review for 2019?
I use Apple Music. Old-school hip hop and gangsta rap are always at the top.
What other photographers do you really admire and think people should be following?
Here are some I can think of at the moment: Miguel Barrabas, Tekla Severin, Jimmy & Jesse Marble, Oliver Schwarzwald, Marietta Varga, Fred Tougas, Mariam Sitchinava, Jennifer Latour, Alex Vasilyev, Hailey Eichenbaum, Paola Pansini... write to me if you'd like the full list.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? :)
I saw The Crown's S03 last episode and smiled because of you.