Teresa C. Freitas has been a huge influence on @suckmychic over the years. Her pictures have composed our dreams since before this company was a reality, which is why this interview is tremendously emotional for our team. We hope she keeps going to infinity and beyond with her sensitive, unique work. Have a good read. ❤
SMC: Teresa, thank you so much for being with us! We are huge fans of your work, and we honestly think that you are one of the most relevant and sensitive creatives alive. An icon. To start, can you tell the SMC community a little bit about yourself, your values and your mission?
TERESA: Thank you so much for inviting me and for the time you’re investing in my work. I’m a 29-year-old photographer from Lisbon, Portugal, living in a village by the sea since I was born. I procrastinate sometimes, but I honor my commitments with everything I have. No Zero Days. I like to stay curious and listen to those sharing their knowledge. My core value is also my golden rule: treat others as you would like others to treat you (and in the negative form as well, i.e., do not treat others in ways that you would not like to be treated); in the little things and bigger things. I have not set benchmarks for specific points in my life or work, as it’s too unpredictable and that’s also part of its beauty. I continue to pursue happiness while challenging myself and what I create.
SMC: Why and when did you decide to become a photographer/visual artist?
TERESA: I grew up around art and photography in my family’s home. Although both my parents are Biologists, my father was an avid amateur photographer and my mother’s family was especially into and respectful of art and visual culture. My favorite part about Science and other studies, were the photographs, the video documentaries, the drawings and illustrations. I went to Fine Arts college with nothing more than a gut feeling, without any specific career plans, and ended up taking Multimedia Art and doing my masters in Design & New Media. So, I was going to be a Multimedia Designer. But life is unpredictable and, without realizing it — only now when looking back –, I was much more into photography than any other medium during my 5 years of college. When I could, I’d use photography for the next art project. It came easy to me, it was motivating, and I enjoyed creating with it. I was also posting and growing on Instagram at the same time, and that was what ended up setting my career path. People showed interest in my work, brands started approaching me, and, eventually, I figured I could actually be a full-time photographer. I still have my doubts every now and then, as it can feel unsecured and fragile, but it is ultimately what I love doing and what I think I’m actually good at. So I will continue on until life lets me.
SMC: Do you think Social Media is a beneficial influence in our lives as artists?
TERESA: In my case, I only ended up being an artist because of Social Media, so there’s no way I could devalue its benefits. Also, Social Media (and I’m talking about Instagram, which is the only Social Media app I use) can be completely tailored to your interests and dreams, so I think it’s a matter of learning and knowing how you can use it to your advantage and how to avoid taking any bad influence from it. I also particularly like how democratic it is and how it’s such a great vehicle to discover hidden potential. Back in the day, photography was extremely expensive and time-consuming — something you needed to truly commit in order to TRY and make it work. Many didn’t succeed and some weren’t discovered, like Vivian Maier. If these people were alive today, Social Media could helped them put their work out and potentially be discovered by a worldwide audience. Maybe they would succeed now. The artists that existed before/despite Social Media are still artists, but now we have more of them — because it’s easier for everyone to explore and discover their potential in art.
SMC: Your pieces are so unique and sharp. How does your creative process work? What are your favorite things to photograph?
TERESA: When I choose what/when to photograph, I’m looking for the same feeling that makes me want to click: pure visual pleasure. It starts from there — the aesthetic experience that a photographed moment can provide, whether if it was constructed or found unexpectedly. Then, it’s a matter of providing a cinematic feeling to the image, mainly through color-work, when editing. I also like to bring a sense of positivity/happiness through the tones I use. My subject matter focuses on familiar motifs, that are then subverted into something less tangible. My favorite thing is to photograph when traveling — it combines two things I love doing at once.
SMC: What is the legacy you want to leave behind in the world? Also, can you give an advice to girls that are looking for their own voice as artists?
TERESA: The first is such a serious question that I don’t know if I’m ready to answer yet. But, without getting too specific, I guess I like to think that the work that I’m leaving behind will warm the hearts of my loved ones and bring some sort of happiness, even if for a brief second, to someone who finds it. That I was able to provide a peek into a new or different way of seeing things. For girls and for everyone who is looking for their own voice, know that it usually takes time — and the best thing you can do with time is to invest it in learning and experiencing. Spend the time you have doing what you like and feel like wanting to do. Even if there’s not a specific purpose or goal for it yet, this is how you will get better, this is how you will find and develop your identity, this is how you will recognize your talent and be discovered.
SMC: Teresa, it was so good to get to know you a little bit more. Every time we see your work moving forward, we will portrait this amazing, sensitive and generous girl who opened her heart's doors to us while we were trying to navigate this uncertainty. I am very sure our community can sense the breeze of your kindness. We will be your fans forever and hope you keep rocking for many, many lives.
You can find Teresa's work here:
portfolio — teresacfreitas
Adobe, American Express, Chloé, Clubmed, Corinthia Hotels, DKNY, Dior, Escada, Fairmont, Fujifilm, HP, Huawei, Kenzo…