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Written by Vaughn Stewart
Edo Brugue’s life has revolved around the fashion industry for decades. His approach to photography is simpler than most because each image he takes is something that he sees in the moment, and not something that’s contrived or something that he’s trying to make happen. Cool America caught up with Edo to find out his approach to photography, and a little bit about who this man is when he’s not taking beautiful photographs.
What were you doing prior to photography as a career?
I started assisting professional photographers right after University. I have also worked as a successful make-up artist represented by L’Ataliere in NYC, and as a producer for major fashion and commercial shoots.
What inspired you to get into photographer?
A few things. My mother was a model for YSL, Nina Ricci and the like, so, I was always aware of the fashion world and its creative process. Also, my first landlord was Patricia Fields. I took some pictures during a trip with her and she loved them. Shortly after she asked me to take pictures for her wardrobe PPM’s. And my roommate was Helmut Newton’s favorite model, so things just seemed to fall into place.
I studied painting and philosophy in College. Photography I learned assisting. I was lucky to assist all sorts of top photographers with totally different ways of working. I started during the golden days of Miami, where being an assistant to top photographers was very common. There was no retouching back then, you really had to shoot everything perfectly.
How long have you been shooting?
I’ve lost count.
What type of photo shoots get you most excited?
All of them, I would not shoot anything that doesn’t get me excited. Nor would I be in a project that is just a transaction.
Where do you get your inspiration when preparing for a photo shoot?
Whatever is happening in the moment of the shoot. I think mood boards are only to map out the shoot. But once I’m shooting, it’s about what I capture in moment.
Who are you favorite photographers?
Films are my source of aesthetics.
I see you do a lot of black and white photos – why?
There is no special reason. Somethings are color and somethings aren’t. The light of the moment decides that.
How do you pull out what you want from the individuals you photograph?
I do not project my fantasies of how someone should look or behave. I let them be who they are.
Yes. But I am glad of the digital age. It’s helping the planet. Film requires to many toxic chemicals.
If you’re going somewhere for vacation and relaxation, do you still bring your camera?
Maybe, we have the phone all the time now. But I do not like shooting every interesting thing that I see out there. Seeing it and appreciating a great moment is plenty for me. My vacations mainly revolve around my dog, my love of horses and nature.
There’s been a lot of changes since social media and digital. How do you stay relevant with your photography?
I take pictures because I enjoy it. I have no strategy.
Name 5 people that you would love to photograph?
The next 5 people I have scheduled to shoot. There is no difference to me. Everyone is interesting.
Name one legend that is no longer with us that you wish you could have photographed?
Joan of Arc.
What advice would you give an aspiring photographer?
There are no rules, only ways.
What makes you ‘Cool’ as a person?
Being self-aware of who I am and respecting others for who they are.
To see more of Edo’s work, go to: http://www.edodream.work