A photographer who thought that one day he was going to be an agronomist, a hairstylist who thought that one day he was going to be an actor. This is an interview about two strangers who have become friends and celebrate 10 years of career together. By Mariana Nave and Rehana Nurali.

Maria Rosa shot by Frederico Martins and hair by Rui Rocha.

Maria Rosa shot by Frederico Martins and hair by Rui Rocha.

Determination and resilience are two aspects that best describe Frederico Martins. A self-taught photographer, that has only two courses of photojournalism on his curriculum. He was never an assistant or neither worked for anyone and took his first steps in the industry inspired by his grandparent’s National Geographic. Fashion appears latter, the passion for photography was what took him there. These are the same aspects that can be found in Rui Rocha. The determination of following his true vocation led him to gain courage to go to Miguel Viana (another hairstylist) and ask him if he could assist him at Portugal Fashion. This first step, the decision of taking chances and the team spirit made his career take off.

Even though they were both starting their careers, it was only in 2006 that Frederico and Rui met for the first time, due to an editorial they worked on.

When did you first met?

Frederico: In 2006, comes the first opportunity to photograph fashion. A friend of us created a fashion magazine, at the time it was called Night and Style and later it was changed to 'N Style. This magazine started with us, in Paços de Brandão. A very basic thing in the beginning, however it evolved and the magazine ended up working with Pedro Ferreira, Mário Príncipe, Gonçalo Claro and others.

Rui: It's funny because my first production was with Frederico. Not only was it the first time we worked together as it was the first time each of us worked for an editorial.


How is your dynamic working?

Frederico: There is an understanding between us, we have known each other for a long time and we have always reached consensus because this type of work is a team effort. Obviously, there must always be one that is more leader, but it is a team work and the work is as better as the worst element of the team. So, it’s very important to find someone who has the same level of quality. Rui and I have been friends since that time and still today he’s one of the great friends that I have met in this area.


What inspires you and what people have influenced you?

Rui: I entered this area through my drawing teacher who, during vacations, asked me if I would be interested in going to a salon because she felt that I had the potential for it, so this was a person who marked me. Beyond her, there are several people who have inspired me. Miguel is undoubtedly a great reference and many other colleagues with whom I keep working. I think it's essential to work as a team. I make a lot of it because I can share ideas and find inspiration through the work of my colleagues.

Frederico: There are several people who influenced me and still do. As I come from photojournalism, Peter Lindbergh is an obvious choice and I feel that I have some parallelism with him, the same happens with Dermachelier. There is also an older photographer, that people don’t know so well, Jeanloup Sieff. He was a huge influence for me as well, perhaps the closest one. Obviously, there are more recent photographers that I love for being so different from what I do. I tend to like photographers who are radically different from what I am. In Portugal, obviously Eduardo Gageiro from photojournalism and then are colleagues that I like to follow because there is a healthy competition between us.

But starting a career is not always easy, especially in the fashion industry. “At first I had the equipment issue. It’s always an obstacle, it’s really a big investment”, says Frederico. He also refers he had to manage his family's expectations about what photography was and what he was going to do about his future. Ends by saying that despite this, his biggest obstacle came later when he was already working. “Today I'm 38 years old and I’m doing this, but I could already be doing it with 32. It took me all these years to get here because I’m from Porto and that means we are far away and out of sight. The work had to be much better and the production. That means it wasn’t enough to just get to the shooting with a camera under my arm. I had to build a larger structure. I needed all this to make things move forward and part of the explanation is, undoubtedly, the fact that I'm based in Porto.” For Rui “the real obstacle was time, because things have evolved slowly but that also brought an advantage: consistency. I took a while to get where I am today, working in editorials, brand campaigns and so on. It was a path I had to go through and, besides having some luck, I also worked hard for it. The fact that I succeeded in achieving this consistency is something that makes me pretty happy and proud.”


What was the job that touched you the most?

Rui: To make the Portuguese brand’s campaigns, because having that opportunity was very good. Also, to do my first editorials for Elle, Máxima, Vogue and GQ. Another moment that marked me was to have my team in Portugal Fashion, this started a new stage for me and receiving Isabel Branco's invitation was a gesture of trust.

Frederico: I had several, but there are some jobs that were relevant because they represent career upgrades. I worked for many years with this team from Porto: Fernando Bastos Pereira, Patrícia Lima and Rui Rocha. The APPICAPS’s works that I made to promote Portuguese footwear abroad with Paulo Gonçalves were perhaps some of my biggest showcases. In the fashion industry, the difficulty is exactly this: to have stage or space to show what you do. And through these jobs, I managed to reach other customers in Lisbon and really stand out a bit. N 'Style was also really important in a earlier stage of my career, as other customers were important. At a later stage, Dsection was a very big leap in international terms.

Despite their obvious friendship and long years of work, they don’t always share the same opinion. And, as far as Portuguese fashion market’s is concerned, they couldn’t have a more different opinion. For Frederico, “competition is low, the level of exigency is also low, so it's easy to reach a very high level in Portugal. The difficulty begins when we want to reach international markets, the competitiveness is giant, the evaluation criteria too and, therefore, the segmentation is much narrower. The differences between colleagues are often small fundamental nuances, as there is a much more trained client with a completely different eye. I think that's what we don’t have here, not that we don’t have the talent because we have it. But in Portugal, there is not enough segmentation to filter people and help them grow.” While Rui thinks “we're on a good track, we have so many creative people and, in my area, there are so many talented colleagues too. Not only those who have already been doing this for a few years but also a new generation with great taste and a lot of potential. As at the beginning of my journey I learned by spending a great deal of time searching and being with other people, I value team spirit and the importance of sharing without being afraid that someone will “steal” your work. So, I think this is the path that we should follow regarding the growth of the national market.”


How do you describe 10 years of career?

Rui: This is an area that I really like and I do it with passion. I honestly look back and it seems it all started yesterday.  I feel that everything is still so present and suddenly I realize it's already gone. It has been spectacular, especially the people I’ve worked with. Fantastic people and that really inspire me. Obviously, there are all kinds of people, but I'm lucky, I'm very lucky that this journey is being so good.

Frederico: This is only the beginning, I'm still warming up. I already have some recognition abroad but I can’t say that I am known. However, I think that I’m already a known name inside the niche that is men’s fashion. In the men’s fashion area but not in brands, my fellow photographers know who I am. I already know some of the greatest names like Mariano Vivanco or Matthew Brookes.

When they put into perspective everything they've done and what they intend to achieve in the next few years, they are in the same page. Both believe and want to prove that it is possible to work outside the country and still live in Portugal. “I still haven’t reached anything. What I got so far is just the first step to something bigger. I was once told that it was impossible to work abroad and live in Portugal, just as I was told that it was impossible to work at a high level in Portugal while being in Porto. I have already proven that this impossibility doesn’t exist and know I’m focused on proving that the other one doesn’t exist either”, says Frederico. Rui thinks the same way, “regarding my perspectives for the future, I would like to go abroad and rather than show it to someone else I would like to show myself that I can do it, it’s a personal fulfillment. Although I really like fashion shows, I identify myself more with the editorial side so I would like my international experience to be more related to photography. I also hope to continue working and doing what I like, because I really enjoy working with hair and, regardless of working with the same teams or different ones, I like to feel I am evolving. "

Nowadays, both Frederico and Rui have two consolidated careers. But it's their desire for constant evolution and ambition that ensures that many more things will happen. This will not be the first or the last time we will hear about them. 


More than a makeup professional, she’s an artist. A determined, perfectionist woman and a self-proclaimed feminist. Without fear of saying what she thinks, she frees herself of the society’s chains and finds a way to give more voice to women. We sat down with Cristina Gomes and the result… Well, that you can read below. By Mariana Nave.

Although Cristina has a career of more than 30 years she never stops learning and focusing on her personal development, being responsive to change, “so many years of career are useless, we have different challenges every day and we always have to start over again”.

Easy going and slightly carefree confesses that makeup happened without planning. “I started at an architecture college but didn’t finished the course. After that I took several classes through EEC – European Economic Community. One of those courses included makeup, in fact, it was more about special effects than common makeup.” However it was aviation that fascinated her: “if I wasn’t a makeup artist I wanted to be a pilot”, confesses. “Of commercial airplanes?”, “Yes, a pilot! That is one of the things I’m pretty sure I would be good at. I also really like mathematics and everything that’s related to it. Maybe I would choose a career based on mathematics or something like that”.


She guarantees she never lied to a client and that there aren´t difficult faces to makeup but difficult people, due to their personalities. When questioned about the definition of beauty, she admits that it's in everyone, whether a person is 18 or 80 years “there’s always something that stands out. It can be the shape of the mouth, the eyelashes or even the skin. There’s always something that is beautiful. My job is to highlight the best features of my client, highlight her strengths. I don’t care if someone doesn’t have a perfect mouth, it’s my job to make it look good and if it doesn’t it’s my fault. In the end, we need to tell people what’s good about themselves and not the other way around. Beauty is love, is what we like: quem feio ama, bonito lhe parece (beauty is in the eye of the beholder).  


What do you like the most about your job?

What I like the most is also what I dislike, there’s no timetables. Our life is unpredictable, our job is unpredictable. It can be and is different every day, which also becomes very exhausting. There is not much freedom because we can’t predict anything. On the other side there’s a huge advantage because we meet a lot of extraordinary people.

And what do you dislike the most?

There’s no one more insecure than me, I’ve been working for more than 30 years with some of the most beautiful women in the world. And not only do I work with some of the most beautiful women, I also have to make them even prettier. My term of comparison is of a tremendous injustice for any woman, they’re models, presenters, extremely beautiful women. Something like that affects my self-esteem, maybe that’s the one thing I find a bit harsh about my job. I try to not think about it of course, otherwise I would go crazy. We must learn to live with that.


When questioned about what inspires her, she demystifies: “My job has a creative side like all others, but it’s not the creativity peak I always work for the client, I can’t just do what I want all the time. As a makeup artist I can either follow one path or another, but at the end the client makes the final decision. So when people say that this is a type of art, that’s not entirely true. Like any other job there’s a goal and it can be commercial, editorial, for an event, etc. The person for who I’m working must be satisfied.”


But would you like to start a project of your own? That way the final decision would always be yours.

No, I like this challenge of being evaluated all the time. It satisfies me knowing that the person I’m working for is happy. It has given satisfaction throughout the years.


Cristina confesses that she doesn’t wear makeup on a daily bases. Her beauty routine is actually very simple “I wash my face and use a moisturizing cream”. However, one of her main priorities is to use solar protective moisturizer every day. “I have a lot of caution with the sun, it’s really dangerous and not only in the summer. The sun also burns in the winter and it’s responsible for 80% of skin ageing, at a fast speed. Portuguese women need to be more careful with the sun, not only because it ages the skin but also dries it out”.


Prospects for the future?

I have to make choices about what I do, therefore I would not open an atelier. Opening an atelier means that I would have to focus on only one part of my profession and would end up losing the others variants. If I only focus on advertising, I lose the fashion part of my job. Therefore we can’t predict how our life is going to be like, we do not have work schedules in advance. But for the first time I would like to maybe get associated with a brand. I always praised my freedom very much and now I have another maturity, as such I would like to associate myself with a brand. To be some kind of an ambassador, here in Portugal, to take a brand and do my interpretation of it, add something to it, present the best products, how to get the best of each one, all the things you can do with them and so on.


With conviction, she ends the interview referring how she admires women: “my best friends are women, the majority of human beings that I admire are women. We have the capacity to endure suffering and giving that men don’t”.


Eight gorgeous new faces from We Are Models Agency featured on Vogue Portugal online. 


According to Vogue, Sigrid Vieira, Ana Miguel, Inês Carvalho, Gabriela Rodrigues, Prisca Besson, Maria Rosa, Cláudia Runcan and Beatriz Silva are some of the youngest new faces that we should keep an eye on. 

Captured by the lenses of Celso Colaço and styled by Cláudia Barros, the result is an editorial inspired by the golden age paintings. 

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