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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

23 Jun 2019 · neubau eyewear