My Domestika Course "Intimate Photography: Capture Emotive Portraits" - Matilde Viegas

Rosior Jewels, Artisanship for The New York Times Style Section

A woman meticulously assembles jewelry at a cluttered workshop table, surrounded by tools and materials.
Graça at the workshop talking to Hernani, one of the goldsmiths. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

I’ve always wondered about jewellers.

 

How they go on about their day jobs looking through their microscopes, holding flaming tools and playing around with precious stones. At Rosior Jewels, a family of jewellers, they do just that, all by hand.

 

And so, in late March, The New York Times sent me to find out how that happens.

 

As I entered this busy workshop with dark blue walls, I was fascinated by this colourful world of endless creation.

 

Starting with plasticine, a putty-like modelling material similar to Play-Doh, Graça freely hand holds jewels, designing by tactile experience and colourful experimentation.

 

Hernani, the goldsmith, translates the experimental designs into gold jewels, ready to be covered in precious stones by the stonecutter Luís.

 

Read more at The New York Times.

 

Photo 1: Graça and Hernani at the workshop.

A woman meticulously assembles jewelry at a cluttered workshop table, surrounded by tools and materials.
Graça at the workshop talking to Hernani, one of the goldsmiths. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

Graça tests the orientation of each of the pieces that go into the design.

Woman demonstrating artisanship at a workbench, focusing intently on engraving jewelry with a small tool.
Graça working on new pieces at Rosior. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

Hernani replicates the plasticine model.

An older adult jeweler wearing magnifying glasses inspects a rosior jewel at a cluttered workshop table illuminated by warm light.
New intricate piece in development, next to its plasticine model. Hernani, one of the goldsmiths, in the background. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

Finished pieces photographed at Rosior Workshop.

Elegant jewelry including colorful beaded necklaces and a ring with a large blue stone from Rosior jewels displayed against a rustic wooden backdrop.
A necklace set in yellow gold (19.2 karat Portuguese gold) set with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and tsavorites garnets. A ring set in white gold (19.2 karat Portuguese gold) with blue, yellow and colorless diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and tsavorites garnets. A ring set in yellow gold (19.2 karat Portuguese gold) with an oval cut tanzanite, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

Flaming tools to melt the gold.

Close-up of a flaming coffee roaster manually heating coffee beans, adorned with rosior jewels, and rustic tools and surfaces in warm lighting.
Hernani, the goldsmith, working. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

Stonesetter Luís setting diamonds using a microscope.

A man intently examines rosior jewels under a microscope in a dimly lit room.
Stonestter Luís setting diamonds into a new piece. He watches his work through the microscope lens, alternating between utensils and techniques for a perfect product. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

The view through the microscope, through which Luís looks to apply and set the diamonds.

Overhead view of a round table with a plate of sushi and rosior jewels, reflecting artistic use of lighting and shadows.
Stonestter Luís setting diamonds into a new piece. He watches his work through the microscope lens, alternating between utensils and techniques for a perfect product. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

The plasticine model, sketches and final piece.

Two artistic ceramic pieces, one painted with golden edges and adorned with rosior jewels, lying next to drawn sketches on paper illuminated by natural light.
The creation process sometimes begins with a draft or a model in plasticine, or both… Pictured here, a earring set in white gold (19.2 Karat) featuring a cushion cut green tourmaline, surrounded by diamonds and tsavorites garnets. Photographed by Matilde Viegas for The New York Times, at ROSIOR's Workshop, Porto, Portugal.

25 de Abril: Fifty Years of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution for Le Monde

Elderly woman with glasses and a red
Natércia, widower of the Captain Salgueiro Maia, at Largo do Carmo.

After an eventful week in late April, I got a call from Le Monde.

 

It was the week of the celebration of the fifty years since the Carnation Revolution which overthrew the dictatorship in Portugal. Throughout the country, carnations were showing up at cafés, building facades, in people’s pockets. It is a national symbol for our young democracy, a representation of freedom and, most of all, of collective power.

 

Le Monde wanted me to photograph three key individuals from the Carnation Revolution: Natércia Salgueiro Maia, widower of the Captain Salgueiro Maia, Coronel Vasco who started the plans within the military, and the journalist Adelino Gomes, who reported it all on April 25th, 1974.

 

That week, the song Grândola Vila Morena echoed, played loudly in speakers across Lisbon.

 

Back in 1974, that was the song played on the radio as a code for the revolution to start. A strong, rhythmic chant that reminds us all for the need of collectiveness and willingness to change.

_

 

Photo 1: Natércia Salgueiro Maia

 

Elderly woman with glasses and a red
Natércia, widower of the Captain Salgueiro Maia, at Largo do Carmo.

As I met the people responsible for the Revolution that defined my life, I couldn’t stop myself from crying with gratitude for their willingness to dream of a different future.

 

Read more at Le Monde, words by Raphaëlle Rérolle.

_

 

Photo 2: View of Largo do Carmo, where the Carnation Revolution took place in April 25th, 1974.

Portuguese flag waves above a street display of postcards in a city, with a historical photo and a
Views of Largo do Carmo, where the revolution happened 50 years ago.

Photo 3: Adelino Gomes, the Journalist that reported and broadcasted the Revolution live on the radio.

Elderly man wearing a flat cap and round sunglasses, leaning on a 25 de Abril railing, with a focused expression.
Adelino Gomes (former journalist who covered the events), showing his archives, at Largo do Carmo where the Revolution occured.

Photo 4: Archive photograph of Salazar’s portrait behind removed by the Military after the Revolution.

A soldier holds up a framed portrait of a man, examining it closely in a room with a plain wall, commemorating the 25 de Abril.
Details of the exhibition celebrating 25 de Abril, at the GNR Museum located at Largo do Carmo.

Photo 5: Coronel Vasco Lourenço, one of the militaries responsible for the Revolution.

Elderly man wearing a striped shirt and navy blazer with a red carnation on the lapel, standing in front of a beige stone wall commemorating 25 de Abril.
Vasco Correia Lourenço (former officer who created and is president of Associaçao 25 Abril) at Largo do Carmo

Photo 6: A bouquet of fifty Carnations as a symbol of the 50th Anniversary of the 25 de Abril.

A man holding a bouquet of red flowers at a crowded 25 de Abril event, with focus on the flowers and an unfocused background.

10 things I wish I knew before starting out as a Freelance Photographer

A woman with a lemon on her head.
Portuguese Photographer Matilde Viegas portrays Inês, a young Portuguese actress, on a photo shoot for a Portuguese sustainable wool clothing brand called Oficina das Malhas. The photo session took place at a beach in Northern Portugal.

As you start out your career as a freelance photographer, you’ll need all the advice you can get.

 

In the spirit of giving, here’s a short and sweet list of 10 things I learned in the past 14 years of making photographs. Well actually the list should be called: 10 things I wish someone had told me when I first started.

 

1. Start simple. One camera and one lens are enough. For an entire decade, 90% of my work was made with a single 50mm lens. This allowed me to focus on everything else besides the gear while learning to use the camera as an extension of myself.

 

2. You don’t need to study photography to be a successful photographer. Go ahead and study something else besides photography, broaden your horizons. I assure you those skills will come in handy.

 

3. Aim to be in as many diverse situations as you possibly can. This will teach you boundaries, how to work with discomfort, it will test your skills, and it will clearly tell you what you like and don’t like. Being able to say no is a skill, remember that.

A woman with a lemon on her head.
Portuguese Photographer Matilde Viegas portrays Inês, a young Portuguese actress, on a photo shoot for a Portuguese sustainable wool clothing brand called Oficina das Malhas. The photo session took place at a beach in Northern Portugal.

4. You’re not working for that shiny magazine cover, you’re building an archive. With everyone else sharing their work and successes online, it’s easy to lose track of what you want. When you feel lost, tune in. Then, write your values down in post-it notes and keep them nearby. Your archive will speak volumes in decades time.

 

5. Surround yourself with people who support you and your work. Being an artist is an extremely vulnerable job. There’s a lot of self-judgement and doubt involved, plus you’ll have to deal with others’ opinions of your work. Take criticism with a grain of salt while nurturing the relationships that make you feel good and valued.

 

6. Have a life besides photography. I know how obvious this may sound but for the sake of your sanity and health, please, have a life besides photography. Having goals that don’t depend on your work as a photographer will offer you a sense of control. There’s joy to be had in life, don’t forget that.

 

7. Your body is a tool. Keep it clean, fully-functioning and moisturised. I remember years ago Michelle Groskpf told me she started weight lifting so she could better endure the long hours of work as a street photographer. I took her advice and began strength training. And now I’m telling you to do the same – work!

 

8. Have a uniform for work. I learned this from Anastasia Taylor-Lind who packs the same items of clothing every time she travels for work. Even though I’m not a war photographer like Anastasia, I like to think of practicality and comfort whenever I dress or pack for your work. I assure you don’t want your crisp white shirt getting in the way of making your best work.

 

9. Give back. Send photographs to those who were willing to be in front of your camera. Give them time and attention. Share something personal about yourself. Hug people!

 

10. Don’t be afraid to support others. Despite what we’re told, there’s plenty of room for all of us in the industry. Collaborate, make friends who are also photographers, share your shortcomings, talk about money, ask stuff. Help each other out – that’s how everyone wins.

A woman holding an orange in front of a blue wall.
Portuguese Photographer Matilde Viegas portrays Inês, a young Portuguese actress, on a photo shoot for a Portuguese sustainable wool clothing brand called Oficina das Malhas. The photo session took place at a beach in Northern Portugal.

My Domestika Course “Intimate Photography: Capture Emotive Portraits”

Two women hugging each other on a bed.

My online course “Intimate Photography: Capture Emotive Portraits” is out! Check it through the link!

 

For so long I wanted to share with you what I learned over the years. I had planned to one day start doing workshops but they all have limitations – budget, travel, timings, etc – that led me to always question myself: is it really the best medium? Should I instead become a teacher? Do occasional masterclasses=

 

Mid-July 2021, Domestika reached out to me with a proposal: you can teach whatever you want, and we’ll produce it.

 

For over a year, I researched, wrote scripts for each of the lessons, listed all of the actionable advice I could think of for being a freelancer, and dug deep into my library for the books that have been pillars in my creative path.

 

Fast forward to September 2022, I flew to their studios in Madrid and began a week of recording classes, sharing my favorite photobooks, and photographing while in a room with a 15 people crew behind me.

 

 

Two women hugging each other on a bed.

The end result is my course “Intimate Photography: Capture Emotive Portraits” – 2 hours split into 14 classes, plus 20 resources (references, links and pdfs) to help you along your journey. The course is built around a “study case”: I plan a session with a couple (the beautiful Lola and Claret) at their home, with their two lovely cats.

 

It’s been so special to read your reviews and seeing the reach of photography. The feedback has been so incredible and I can’t thank you all enough for it!

 

 

For all of you, I’ve created a special promo code MATILDEVIEGAS-FRIENDS for 15% off. Make sure to use it when you place your order!

A screenshot of a conversation between a man and a woman.

A Farm in Southern Portugal photographed with the Hasselblad

A view of the Atlantic ocean from a hillside in Algarve.
Matilde Viegas photographs Sagres in Southern Portugal, on assignment for the German Newspaper Die Zeit.

In January 2021, the photo editor Lara Huck sent me on assignment to Southern Portugal for Die Zeit. On a whim, I packed my medium format Hasselblad camera at the last minute.

 

I was tasked with photographing the wilderness of the landscape, where land meets the Atlantic Ocean, and an emerging group of individuals who were involved in preserving the land while promoting a sustainable approach to agricultural and eco tourism in Algarve.

A view of the Atlantic ocean from a hillside in Algarve.
Matilde Viegas photographs Sagres in Southern Portugal, on assignment for the German Newspaper Die Zeit.

In one of our stops, we met Nídia, a woman who runs a farm all by herself.

 

There are chickens, hogs, cats, geese and horses, no fences to be seen which means that the animals are free to roam. Nídia believes we must not “own” anything or anyone, and the same applies to the animals she cares for.

 

 

 

 

A woman petting a dog by the water, in a rural area.

One of her sows made her way to a nearby park and has lived there ever since. Passersby stop by to feed it.

 

It’s given birth to nine hogs who now live there too. This family has become the park’s landmark, and every single day someone will show up with food for them. There is even a Facebook group about them, I was told. When I visited the park, I saw this woman, phone in hand, filming the hogs as they feasted on the food she had just brought.

A group of horses grazing in a field, as part of wild tourism.
Matilde Viegas photographs wilderness and wild horses in Southern Portugal, for Die Zeit.
Three small pigs standing in a barn in a farm in Algarve.
Wild hogs getting fed
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