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Bruno Candiotto uses the art of photography as a tool to capture what he calls “o cheiro da minha vida” – “a smell of his life.” These words reveal the essence of his photography, putting it in the context of his carefully considered and ever-expanding visual projects. Through the lens, São Paulo-based photographer explores cultural and spatial diversity of his homeland, Brazil. While having a background in history of art and culture (M.A. in Cultural History) and more than ten years of experience in fashion photography, Candiotto favors natural observation over staged scenes.

Words by Lily McFly

Photos by Bruno Candiotto

I believe that my vision can transform the way people see this world; through my photography, I want to encourage new thinking, attitudes and changes

Photography has always been special to Candiotto. It was his childhood dream to become a photographer. While other kids were running around and playing, Bruno was photographing them with his imaginary camera. At the age of 18, he took his first steps into professional photography, making a career as a fashion photographer in Sao Paulo. But neither success, nor the glamour of the fashion world could satisfy the eye of a true observer of life. So, in 2013, Candiotto finally decided to quit commercial photography and take an opportunity to “reinvent himself”. That opportunity was a month-long trip to Serra da Bocaina National Park. Five hours away from São Paulo, he finally found what he was looking for – silence, beautiful mountains, and unexplored beaches. But, what’s more important, very simple and kind people.

Ever since that trip, traveling has become a vital part of Candiotto’s creative life. Documenting the moments of his journeys, he blends the pastel colors, speckled textures, and minimalist composition to expose raw beauty of Brazil.

Candiotto set new goals for his creative future: to leave his comfort zone as often as he can and dedicate his work to exploring Brazilian culture. Those intensions gave impulse to his project NOS.SO (“ours” in Portuguese): “I want to build images of the country that is NOS.SO, valuing local craftsmanship in all areas and showing Brazil’s image to the world. I believe that my vision can transform the way people see this world; through my photography, I want to encourage new thinking, attitudes and changes.” For NOS.SO, Candiotto collaborates with creatives from around the globe traveling with them to distant areas of Brazil and discovering long-forgotten handicraft and traditions. Every collaboration brings out new opportunities for both young creatives and artisans, resulting in different art projects – from inspiring documentary films to the clever collection of fashionable clothes and, of course, Candiotto’s photo essays that celebrates local Brazilian culture in the context of the world.

Photographs © Bruno Candiotto