Diogo Duarte, a former LSP student, featured by Vice Broadly Magazine

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We are very proud to announce that the work of Diogo Duarte, a former LSP student, has been featured at VICE Broadly Magazine yesterday.

The 29-year-old mental health worker was part of our first Professional Photography Course group, back in  2012.

His latest Project Photobard is a business offering clients “psychological portraits” that intimately reveal something of their inner selves.

We caught up with him last night for a quick interview:

LSP: Diogo, You were part of the first ever Professional Photography Course at LSP, how do you think this experience helped you to get where you are now?

DD: The teachers at LSP were instrumental in helping me to take my photography to the next level – their expertise on their subjects helped me to direct my practice and focus my ideas; they taught me how to think in a different way and reflect about my work. I completely recommend it to anyone who is just starting out – or not. There’s always something new to learn, even if you think you’ve learned it before.

LSP: Your latest work Photobard “Psychological Portraits” has just featured at Vice Broadly Magazine. Tell us about it.

DD: For a very long time I’ve been thinking about how I could merge Psychology and Photography together and this is how I arrived at the idea of doing psychological portraits of other people. In my day job I get to work in the mental health field but I have always felt that I wanted to bring this into photography, perhaps in a way that never had been done before. When I work on these portraits I take the time to understand a person, where they came from, where they’re going and what makes them tick. It’s an intensive and intimate process that can be hugely rewarding and transformational for the sitter. I then create a portrait for them which is my interpretation of their life story.

Penelope’s portrait behind the scenes:

LSP: Photobard is a natural progression from your self-portrait work, which we find fantastic. Do you think that by exploring your inner-self you are more able to access people’s personalities?

DD: I don’t think I can access other people’s personalities better than anyone else. I believe we can all do that if we take the time to listen to others and be ready to be comfortable with, at times, pretty uncomfortable and painful emotions. I don’t think we listen enough in our society – we’re often too focussed on giving advice or telling others to ‘get better soon’ or ‘not think about it’. So, most of what I do when preparing to create a psychological portrait is listen to the person and be interested in what their story is, what they have to say as I think we all have something interesting to say – something to learn from them.

LSP: You define yourself as an Image Maker, more than a Photographer. I believe this is because post production and image retouching play a big part in your work and are important to help you to convey the ideas that you have in your mind. Tell us a bit about the whole process, between the first thoughts and the final image.

DD: I dabbled with so many mediums throughout the years. I did a bit of writing, film, photography, painting and drawing…In the end I realise I’m just trying to convey an idea or a message, I’m trying to communicate with other people. I happen to be doing photography now because of how easy and cheap it can be to create something! I’m really not precious about what equipment I use or anything like that. I suppose people approach their work differently but I call myself an image maker because I create an image – which hopefully will communicate something to others. How it was done doesn’t interest me so much.

LSP: What tips would you give to people starting at photography right now?

DD: I would just say to believe in yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to give in and tell ourselves we can’t do it, or that it’s too late to pursue something new in life. In the end, I think that anything can be achieve if you’re passionate enough and are willing to work hard enough. Good luck!

Diogo always had this distinctive vision creating outstanding imagery that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional photography.

His Self-Portrait work is simply fantastic as well. For Unconscious Commands and Judgements of our Century, he says: “I ‘perform’ different aspects of my personality in front of the camera with the intention of creating an inner dialogue of self-acceptance”.

“Aspects of my personality that were once hidden away, are amplified and exaggerated in front of a surreal backdrop so their existence can no longer be ignored. ”

Check out some of the images:

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