Words by Janelle Borg
I first came across Andreia’s works thanks to my bandmate, who discovered her on Instagram. I immediately loved the way her work captures the adrenaline-rush of a live performance and the behind-the-scenes life of musicians. Therefore, interviewing Andreia was a natural decision, spurred by my curiosity to discover the mind behind these gritty, black and white photos.
Janelle: How would you describe your love affair with photography, and more specifically, band photography?
Andreia: It’s something that crept into my life in a gradual manner. I’ve always been a music fan. Growing up, it served as a vehicle of emotional expression, and it also influenced my perspective on life.
I also felt something similar when it came to photography. I used to go to music stores and buy albums based on their covers; I was interested in how people represented and documented music in a visual manner as it’s something with no physical form.
It took me a while to realise there could be a connection between the two and that it could be a feasible career. I had always seen it as something bigger than myself and quite unachievable.
I never thought that I’d be able to stand my ground in this crazy industry. But it’s not as intimidating as it seems once you start trying things out and taking baby steps towards your goal. Not sure if I would’ve been able to carry on if it hadn’t been something that I’m genuinely passionate about though. It’s fun, but it’s rough.
In what ways has your move to London influenced your photography career?
In many ways, it’s what made it possible, for it was only here that I really saw people doing it. Back in Rio, I’d barely take notice of it because I couldn’t relate to the photographers there. They’re older than me, and more often than not, they’re men.
When I moved to the UK, I noticed that there were a lot of different people involved in the photography sector and I was super motivated when I saw a lot of girls doing it.
Favourite bands to shoot live?
Amyl and the Sniffers are the biggest treat if you’re looking for movement and versatility. The Garden and Iceage used to be my favourites too – a lot of raw energy in their live act.
Your style is super distinctive. Are there any particular artists and photographers that you look up to?
I’m mostly inspired by photographers whose story I can relate to. I’m usually more interested in someone’s work when there’s an interesting backstory.
I admire other women like Petra Collins, Pooneh Ghana, CJ Harvey, Hollie Fernando and Charlotte Patmore. I also love Jamie Wdziekonski (@sub_lation) ‘s work.
What advice would you give to all the aspiring band photographers out there?
There’s so much you can learn when you decide to give it a go. The dynamics of shooting at live venues, what you can and shouldn’t do, photo passes, your personal style etc…these are all things you learn along the way.
Don’t worry too much about your equipment!
Just use what you have. In time, you’ll start noticing what you need and what you don’t need, and you can make an informed decision when purchasing new equipment. (I talk a bit more about this on my Youtube channel – ‘Andreia Lemos’).
Don’t worry too much about your style!
You can’t find a style that you love without crossing out the ones you don’t!
Any particular things on your photography bucket list that you’d like to cross off?
I managed to cross off one a couple of weeks ago when I shot the cover of Pond‘s newest album! I’ve always wanted to own an LP with my photo on it! Very recently, I’ve also started dabbling with colour, so I’m super excited to see where that takes me. I also really want to shoot King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard at some point.
Andreia Lemos is a freelance photographer based in London. You can find her on: Instagram: @andreiaartt, YouTube: Andreia Lemos, and her website: www.andreialemos.com
Janelle is a Brighton-based Maltese writer and musician. She’s particularly passionate about music, different cultures and the weird and wonderful lives of different human beings. And oh, coffee and llamas, of course!
Note: the answers in this interview have been paraphrased