Thiago Vargas Neubau Eyewear

Thia­go Var­gas on his tra­vels: from Bra­zil to Ber­lin, how one pho­to­gra­pher found his passion

We invited the Brasilia-born photographer and model scout Thiago Vargas to shoot our newest frames on some of his current favourite male model faces.

From his posi­ti­on in front of the lens, Thia­go Var­gas saw his future. Spen­ding his child­hood wal­king in Bra­zi­li­an Beau­ty Page­ants and posing as a kid-model, with his mother sup­por­ting him from bey­ond the sta­ge, Var­gas, ear­ly on lear­ned what it takes to turn heads and what makes a good image, excep­tio­nal. Tran­si­tio­ning out from the world of IT, coding and com­pu­ters, and into the fla­shing lights and spon­ta­n­ei­ty of fashion, Var­gas felt com­pel­led to expe­ri­ment. It was upon purcha­sing his first DSLR came­ra back in 2016 that his pas­si­on and talent for pho­to­gra­phy was made clear. 


We invi­ted Thia­go to shoot a selec­tion of our cur­rent design high­lights on three male model faces he cur­r­ent­ly worked with in his role as scout and boo­ker and wan­ted to know more about his crea­ti­ve pro­cess and his travels. 


You’re from Bra­zil ori­gi­nal­ly, whe­re did you grow up and at what point did you rea­li­ze your love for taking photos? 

I grew up in Bra­si­lia, the capi­tal, spen­ding my child­hood and youth the­re. I’ve been always somehow invol­ved with pho­to­gra­phy but at an ear­ly age I was most­ly in the front of the came­ra. Sur­pri­sin­gly, I was a model as a child, taking part in child­ren’s beau­ty page­ants. It was fun­ny to see all the hys­te­ri­cal mothers screa­ming at their child­ren back­stage, try­ing to act out all the moves they should do… but amidst this my own mother was kind to me.
I swap­ped sides, moving behind the came­ra, as an adult, now living in Ger­ma­ny. In 2016 I got my first DSLR came­ra and star­ted expe­ri­men­ting. I fell in love with taking pic­tures, how it invi­ted peop­le to see the world through my eyes. 


What draws you to taking por­traits, as this seems to make up the body of your work? I have to admit, taking por­traits was not a con­scious choice. 

I love fashion pho­to­gra­phy but it is much more about the sce­ne­ry and the clothes. I like to cap­tu­re all spec­trums of emo­ti­on, and por­trai­tu­re-pho­to­gra­phy hel­ped to shape my work and it was then that I star­ted get­ting noticed. 


In terms of your role as a model scout, can you recall any faces or per­so­na­li­ties that stood out to you the most? What qua­li­ties do you look for when scou­ting for talent/​models/​new faces? 

The­re are a lot of faces that have impres­sed me. But for sure one of the faces that have stuck in my mind belongs to the stun­ning Rus­si­an model, Nast­ya Kiri­ko­va, of whom I had the plea­su­re to work with, as her boo­ker here in Ger­ma­ny. I caught mys­elf loo­king at her pic­tures, on mini­mum once a day. She is very edgy but somehow also has com­mer­cial appeal, which is what makes her very ver­sa­ti­le.
When scou­ting, I try to keep some stan­dards in mind, like mea­su­re­ments. But what shapes you as a scout most­ly is your per­so­nal tas­te and your visi­on on what is or is not beau­ti­ful. I per­so­nal­ly tend to stay some­whe­re bet­ween edgy and beau­ty – and faces always get me first, rather than body shape.

As an expat yourself, could you offer any advice for crea­ti­ves loo­king to refi­ne & shar­pen their skills and art abroad? 

In my expe­ri­ence I would say, place the same effort into buil­ding your net­work whe­re­ver you go. Just as you would put in to finish your mas­ters or to work on your art. Most artists neglect this, which I belie­ve is some­thing cru­cial to their suc­cess. Also, it often feels as though indi­vi­du­als in the arts field, from fashion to pain­ting, are using peop­le, or that they them­sel­ves are being used or abu­sed. Becau­se of that, they don’t net­work pro­per­ly. I also felt like that in some occa­si­ons, but I’m prag­ma­tic and so, after some time I rea­li­zed, we all have doors, each with a varia­ble amount of oppor­tu­nities behind them, which can be ope­ned with the right for­ce. Ever­y­bo­dy wants some­thing from you and you from them as well. Your only con­cern is to see how peop­le behave once you’ve ope­ned the door. 

How did lea­ving your home shape your artis­tic identity? 

I told mys­elf from a young age that I wasn’t a crea­ti­ve per­son, I was a com­pu­ter nerd basi­cal­ly. So I ended up stu­dy­ing infor­ma­tics and later beca­me an IT Mana­ger. But, I star­ted to per­cei­ve mys­elf dif­fer­ent­ly whilst living in Ger­ma­ny. The moment I saw that I did inde­ed have some crea­ti­ve acti­vi­ty” in my life was when I got mar­ried to a Ger­man Film direc­tor, pro­du­cer and script wri­ter. Being so often sur­roun­ded by crea­ti­ve peop­le made me see that I actual­ly had this wit­hin me all the time, I just was­n’t able to let it flow. To start, I was doing sin­ging clas­ses, then music wri­ting and then began rea­ding dif­fe­rent books about sto­ry­tel­ling. For a peri­od of two years, I was an assi­stant for a Bra­zi­li­an Pain­ter friend of mine who lives in Ber­lin, I lear­ned a lot about the art world in this peri­od. On the other hand, I was hel­ping a fel­low pho­to­gra­pher friend of mine by some­ti­mes assis­ting or posing for her art­works; and it was at that point that I deci­ded I would pur­sue pho­to­gra­phy. She was men­to­ring me in the begin­ning and at some point I natu­ral­ly beca­me very com­mit­ted to it. 

Dsc 9898

As an expat yourself, could you offer any advice for crea­ti­ves loo­king to refi­ne & shar­pen their skills and art abroad?

In my expe­ri­ence I would say, place the same effort into buil­ding your net­work whe­re­ver you go. Just as you would put in to finish your mas­ters or to work on your art. Most artists neglect this, which I belie­ve is some­thing cru­cial to their suc­cess. Also, it often feels as though indi­vi­du­als in the arts field, from fashion to pain­ting, are using peop­le, or that they them­sel­ves are being used or abu­sed. Becau­se of that, they don’t net­work pro­per­ly. I also felt like that in some occa­si­ons, but I’m prag­ma­tic and so, after some time I rea­li­zed, we all have doors, each with a varia­ble amount of oppor­tu­nities behind them, which can be ope­ned with the right for­ce. Ever­y­bo­dy wants some­thing from you and you from them as well. Your only con­cern is to see how peop­le behave once you’ve ope­ned the door.


How did lea­ving your home shape your artis­tic identity?

I told mys­elf from a young age that I wasn’t a crea­ti­ve per­son, I was a com­pu­ter nerd basi­cal­ly. So I ended up stu­dy­ing infor­ma­tics and later beca­me an IT Mana­ger. But, I star­ted to per­cei­ve mys­elf dif­fer­ent­ly whilst living in Ger­ma­ny. The moment I saw that I did inde­ed have some crea­ti­ve acti­vi­ty” in my life was when I got mar­ried to a Ger­man Film direc­tor, pro­du­cer and script wri­ter. Being so often sur­roun­ded by crea­ti­ve peop­le made me see that I actual­ly had this wit­hin me all the time, I just was­n’t able to let it flow. To start, I was doing sin­ging clas­ses, then music wri­ting and then began rea­ding dif­fe­rent books about sto­ry­tel­ling. For a peri­od of two years, I was an assi­stant for a Bra­zi­li­an Pain­ter friend of mine who lives in Ber­lin, I lear­ned a lot about the art world in this peri­od. On the other hand, I was hel­ping a fel­low pho­to­gra­pher friend of mine by some­ti­mes assis­ting or posing for her art­works; and it was at that point that I deci­ded I would pur­sue pho­to­gra­phy. She was men­to­ring me in the begin­ning and at some point I natu­ral­ly beca­me very com­mit­ted to it. 

Für unseren Newsletter anmelden!