Nazaré: Beyond the Wave
My photographs allow light to be shed on the people, places and moments that often go overlooked and unnoticed. Through my photographic work, I wish to develop a dialogue concerning the beauty, struggle and diversity of our complex world. I believe a successful image is one that elicits an emotional response, prompts a past memory to resurface, or has the ability to alter one’s way of looking. I strive to create impactful images that, whether through subtle beauty or harsh reality, engage the viewer in a visceral and realistic visual journey by way of my own perspective.
The photo series “Nazaré: Beyond the Wave” provides the viewer with an up-close and in-depth look at the lives, the traditions and the stunning scenes, both vibrant and dark, that shape Nazaré. During my month-long residency there, I captured emotionally charged moments of subjects in their natural environment ranging from fishermen at sea to widows mourning the death of their husbands. These photographs are presented in black-and-white because, as the great American photographer Robert Frank said, black and white “symbolizes the alternatives of hope and despair that mankind is forever subjected.”
With its Canhão da Praia do Norte generating colossal waves that reach upwards of 20 meters in height, Nazaré has in recent years become a hotspot for thrill-seeking surfers from around the world, most notably Garret McNamara, the North American surfer who holds the Guinness World Record for riding a 23-meter wave in 2011. As a result of its impressively large waves, Nazaré is regarded as one of the top and most talked about surfing destinations in Europe. However, waves aren’t the only thing Nazaré has to offer; together with its gorgeous beaches, this small fishing town has a tremendously rich history and continues to carry on its deeply rooted traditions.