My Black and White Ideals

Architectural photography that will take you all around the globe.

I discovered my passion for architectural photography when I realized that buildings allow photographers a different type of freedom. It’s art for everyday life. To be an architectural photographer you have to work with what’s there, no time for re-arranging a construction site. My playful take on architecture photography comes with a black and white perspective. Their lack of colors is a playground for my imagination. To combine it all I created my own black and white world five years ago. The @ClaraIsAround project.

I decided to capture everything I could of today’s world in Black and White. Later I understood that those pictures made me belong somewhere. It gives me the idea that I’ve been there for a longer period of time. When home is everywhere you find comfort wherever you can. In order for you to understand this project, I need to tell you a bit about my life. I left my home in Brazil at the age of 17 to study in Santa Monica, California. Later at the age of 20, I moved to Paris to finish my studies. And today at 23 I’m leaving in The Philippines. I’m everywhere, and my home is where I am. Since @ClaraIsAround started, I’ve photographed more than 20 countries and had the pleasure of living in 4 of them.

My photos represent who I am. A young woman who spent the last five years of her life living out of two suitcases. Minimalism is my life, my aesthetics of choice, and my way of observing society. When the art movement started in the 1960’s it was an abstract concept that wanted to assemble simple ideas, sounds, and shapes. Today as millennials suffer through contemporary life, minimalism escaped from its popular stage in modern architecture to become a lifestyle. Maybe because as humans we tend to simplify things so we can better understand them. There’s nothing that pleases me more aesthetically than minimalism in architecture. I take pictures hoping that they’ll simplify the complex history of the places they were taken.

My photos are a result of worlds coming together. With them, I try to contribute to all places becoming one. Eugene Debs in the 19th century already said: “ My country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.” That’s exactly like I fell. I don’t have a home, I am home everywhere I am. I am free to come and go, live everywhere, and to not belong anywhere.

So, let’s talk about the images here. Where were taken? It doesn’t really matter, they show a part of the globe and I dare you to know where. Where have I taken you? That’s for you to guess. With my photography, I hope to make people see themselves as equals, as part of a unique whole. The buildings I photograph could be everywhere. I truly believe that we should be everywhere, we should belong and care with no restrictions.

Have you ever heard about the antevasin feeling? This word literally means the ‘one who lives at the border. Previously in history, it indicated a person who had left the bustling center of worldly life to go live at the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwelled. The antevasin was not a villager nor a conventional person. He was free. The antevasin was an in-betweener who lived in sight of both worlds. When I came across this definition in a book a light shined over my head. I finally knew what I represent. Not a negligent person who ran away from home, but someone who chose not to choose a place.

I am constantly struggling to have my place and the world at the same time. To belong and not belong. My photos are the representation of where home is. They are the heirlooms I’m leaving behind. I have fun taking black and white photos because without color It’s hard to distinguish places if all you see comes on a grayscale. The fact that the colors are taken away offers space for new interpretations. It transforms us into curious children all over again. Truly, this is what we need, a second look, to see if we really understood what is being shown. We need a moment to fully contemplate a piece of art, architecture, and life. With my photography, I am inviting you to take a moment and observe.

The uniformity of my pictures is something I take pride in. As westerners, we are raised to believe that uniformity is a bad thing. However, there’s a reason the concept exists and is still alive. Uniformity looked at from a different angle is equality. That’s the reason my photos will always be in black and white. After living in Asia I understood that sometimes being equal is not a right, but a duty. It’s your duty to see others as equals, so you don’t see yourself as better and allow for disrespect.

All of this to say that I’m here (wherever here is). I will occupy my space and will hope that you do the same. All I have is two suitcases, myself, and the world. I hope that you’ll try to make sense of what I try to show with my photos. I hope they can make you see what I see in the architecture of this world.

A travel writer from the chaos of São Paulo that moved to the sun of Santa Monica, to the Paris luxury, and now to the Philippines beaches. @ClaraPrado29