Collection Sixteen Winners Announced! Click here to see the full Collection

Podcast Episode 38: This is Menino Conhece Menina

Delighted to have the fantastic Menino Conhece Menina on the Podcast today for our 38th episode! Raquel and Daniel are some of the best wedding photographers in Portugal – and indeed, the world – with a quite stunning 9 Story Awards under their belt (and 7 Reportage Awards, too). Tune in today as they talk about:

  • how they’re dealing with covid times,
  • the story behind their brand name,
  • working together as a duo (both professionally and personally),
  • learning from each other (and arguing sometimes!),
  • Favourite TV series,
  • family time in lockdown,
  • tips on consistency,
  • how their multi-day photography & videography workshop, Steam and Steel, came to be,
  • the story behind one of their specific Reportage Awards,
  • how their experience as architects influences their photography,
  • tips on Story Awards and their experience judging for us,
  • what success means to them,
  • specific thoughts on capturing the First Dance,
  • why they often don’t use flash,
  • what makes a good wedding photographer,
  • and much more…

You can listen to the episode on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube, and below with a full transcript too.

Alan:

Hey guys, how you doing?

Daniel and Raquel:

Hi. Alan, how are you?

Alan:

I’m totally fine. Yeah, how’s things with you?

Raquel:

We’re good.

Daniel

Very good, yeah, lots of work, not photography work but…

Menino Congece Menina

Raquel:

Yeah, in photography, there’s no work at all almost right now because of this COVID situation.

Daniel

Everything’s out for now.

Alan:

It’s mad isn’t it? You guys are in Portugal aren’t you?

Daniel and Raquel:

Yeah, yeah. In Porto.

Alan:

What’s it like at the moment there with laws, are weddings even able to go ahead at the moment or?

Daniel

Yeah

Raquel:

Only small weddings.

Daniel

Yeah, there are contradictive laws right now because theoretically, you can join only 20 people at the same time in the same space. But in other hand, there’s people that says that weddings can follow the restaurant rules so they can have like 100 or 150 people.

Raquel:

As long as they keep small group so it’s not really very clear how things should happen. Anyway, we have everything postponed until August.

Daniel

Yeah, yeah, we probably will have some weddings from August on but at the moment, no.

Alan:

Oh, it’s mad times, isn’t it? Hopefully your August ones will happen though and the ones that you’ve postponed have your couples been okay, have you lost any to cancellations or is it all just been postponed?

Raquel:

Yeah, we are really lucky.

Daniel

Yeah, we have the best couples in the world, I think. There is only one that chose a date that we are already booked for September and we don’t know because they will probably postpone it again. But let’s see, let’s see what happens, everything is really peaceful.

Raquel:

People are very understanding with us.

Daniel

And also we are very understanding with them, makes it… It’s no one’s fault this COVID thing.

Alan:

That’s so true, yeah, so true. That’s so true about us being understanding with them and them being understanding with us. But yeah, we’re all in this together, aren’t we? We are all in this together. By the way…

Raquel:

We all want to do the wedding we want and them also so…

Alan:

That’s true. Oh it’s so cool – by the way, it’s just so lovely talking to you both again. So I’ve met you a couple of times in England and in Portugal, and this is a first for me to be talking to two other people at the same time as well which is cool.

Raquel:

I hope it’s not very confusing.

Daniel

Yeah, sometimes you speak one over the other and we complete sentences one from the other but we live like 24 hours per day together so we are like Siamese almost.

Alan:

No worries. That makes me think of the Lady and the Tramp film with the Siamese cats. But anyway, yeah, let’s talk about your kind of beginnings then. So your brand name, I’m going to pronounce this incorrectly but I’m going to try is Menino Conhece Menina, which I think means…

Raquel:

That’s very nice.

Alan:

Aw cool, which I think means boy meets girl. Can you tell us about that, how you met, how you came to be and work together?

Raquel:

Yeah, well…

Daniel

Yes, well we met working in architecture.

Alan:

Oh okay

Raquel:

We are both architects so back in 2009, we met in an office.

Daniel

Yeah. Raquel was working there in a big building, the big project for a big building, a cruise terminal here in Porto. And I went there looking for a job, actually a colleague of ours was working there and was getting out from that job and called me if I wanted his place and I went in for an interview and then, a beautiful girl came in the room and the boss wanted to present…

Raquel:

Introduce us…

Daniel

To introduce us and then I think that was love.

Alan:

That’s so nice.

Daniel

It was not at first sight, because then we had a difficult year because my mind was very confused and there was a rough year and then we sorted out everything and then the love story started.

Alan:

Aw, that’s so cute, that’s so nice. I didn’t know you met in those circumstances, that’s cool. And then how did you start to work together with your wedding photography, how did that begin?

Daniel

Well, during the university, I was a photometer and when I left that job with that I was working with Raquel, I started doing some architectural photography and that started me in the profession of photography. And during that time, Raquel was doing postdoc…

Raquel:

Yes, in architecture…

Daniel

In architecture. In one of the trips, me taking her to classes, we came up with an idea of doing this.

Raquel:

The thing is that in architectural photography, things were not easy because it was this crisis 2010, to get money, there was not a lot of work for architects so neither for architectural photography so…

Daniel

And architects don’t pay very well so…

Raquel:

So things were not easy in that field so we came up with the idea why not weddings, maybe we can try.

Daniel

We could do this and during a trip to the university we came up with the name because we were seeing the film called 500 Days of Summer.

Alan:

Okay, I’ve heard of that but not seen it. Okay, cool.

Menino Congece Menina

Daniel

It’s a cool film. And then I really like the way that… how the film starts, this is a story of boy meets girl and this is not a love story. And that really got stuck in my head and our first name was actually ‘This is a story of boy meets girl’, but then we had to shorten it a little bit because it was too long.

Alan:

Cool, I think it’s a great brand name, by the way, because it’s you guys but it’s also yeah, weddings as well and their love story, which I think is very cool. So you decided… oh, sorry, Raquel, sorry go on.

Raquel:

No, no, I was just saying that it’s autobiographic for us, but also for the couple so…

Daniel

There’s also a funny story about us and about the way we met. Photography actually has a very strong paper in the way that we met…

Raquel:

Role.

Daniel

In the role, yes.

Raquel:

Plays an important role in our meeting.

Daniel

Because then I was doing autoblog and I showed it to Raquel and I think she felt in love before with my pictures, then with me.

Raquel:

It might be.

Daniel

So it’s important for our relationship then and now.

Alan:

That’s so cute though then and now… how photography’s, yeah, is so important to you guys and yeah, kind of brought you together, that’s very cool, very romantic.

Raquel:

Really true, yeah.

Alan:

And then so you decided you wanted to try weddings, how did you get your first wedding together?

Raquel:

It was a friend of a friend that was getting married and she didn’t know any photographers that could please her. It was all very traditional in the city that she was living so she asked Daniel if he could, or if he wanted to do it and it was really…

Daniel

At the time, I only had my street photography portfolio to show her and that’s what I had and that’s what I showed her.

Raquel:

But I think that that was really interesting to her because she didn’t want the typical wedding photo.

Alan:

Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, cool so you did that wedding and you both shot that first wedding together, did you?

Daniel

Well I shot that wedding. She was playing with my secondary camera.

Alan:

Okay, cool.

Raquel:

I did one photo, really.

Alan:

The best photo, the best photo

Daniel

One of the best because when I met Raquel she couldn’t take photos.

Raquel:

I learned everything from him, all the technical parts I learned from him so…

Daniel

And also I am an autodidact, I didn’t learn anything from any school or anything and then I taught what I know to Raquel and then we started going together but this first wedding was really nice because there was a moment during the cocktail that she was using 30D, the Canon 30D and macro and she closed the lines maximum at F 32.

Alan:

All right

Daniel

And she came to me like ‘oh my god this isn’t focusing, this isn’t focusing’

Raquel:

I broke it.

Daniel

She was going really low speed pictures and everything was blurry.

Raquel:

I didn’t know what I was doing. I did one photo because it was in my mind, the position the composition everything, just press the button and then I learned everything from Daniel.

Daniel

And this photo she’s speaking was when the bride was getting in the church, my position was in front of the priest taking photos of the bride getting in and Raquel was on the chorus you say this right…

Raquel:

Above the entrance.

Alan:

Oh Okay.

Daniel

The place that is above the entrance.

Alan:

I don’t know the name, I don’t know the name.

Daniel

I think it’s the chorus.

Raquel:

Chorus like it’s the place where the chorus sings.

Alan:

Oh cool, the choir singing, yes cool okay.

Daniel

Okay, okay. And she was positioned there to make that photo.

Raquel:

It was just wait and push the button.

Alan:

That’s what it’s all about. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Raquel:

So there was much more to grow from then.

Alan:

And then so how many years ago was that first wedding? When was that?

Daniel

  1. So nine years.

Alan:

Wow, nine years. Cool. So then after that…

Raquel:

I was still in the architectural office then and I kept for a couple of years.

Daniel

So you left in 2013,

Alan:

Right, okay, cool. So Wow, still seven years ago, that’s cool. And so now do you shoot every single wedding together? Do you ever shoot any on your own? Is it always together?

Daniel

We always…

Raquel:

We are always together.

Daniel

Always together.

Raquel:

The role is that we do the wedding together.

Daniel

But we already shot a couple of weddings alone because…

Raquel:

Really two weddings alone

Daniel

Three actually, because the first one was Raquel… we had two kids and the second kid and we plan the kids as for them to be born in March or April so we could continue working but the second kid interfered with Raquel’s shooting one of the weddings so I went with another photographer

Alan:

Okay cool cool. Oh I bet you missed her and I love a quote from your website which is you say ‘we photograph together always, two left eyes, two fingers on the trigger only one heart’ which I love, it’s so romantic, it sounds so idyllic as well. Do you never argue you know, do you always have the same vision for your photography for the business?

Daniel

We are always arguing.

Raquel:

Yeah, I think

Daniel

We get better arguing. I always say as a metaphor, that in this relation, this couple, I am the wings and Raquel is the storm that allows me not to burn myself in the sun and I am the wings that allows her not to be still in the same place for all her life.

Raquel:

So we complement each other really well.

Daniel

Yes. So with this we reached a good equilibrium not being too ambitious or too…

Raquel:

But we do argue

Daniel

A lot

Menino Congece Menina

Raquel:

In some weddings not a lot but in two or three weddings that we have problems, I don’t know exactly why now but and that made us a little…

Daniel

Friction during the wedding.

Raquel:

And it’s not good when it happens. It makes me really feel bad.

Alan:

Oh, it’s normal, though, isn’t it? That’s normal. I love the quotes about the wings and yeah, that’s so lovely. You guys are so romantic.

It’s so lovely.

Daniel

Yeah, we are cheesy.

Alan:

Do you, when you’re shooting together, do you have set roles? Like one of you does the bridal prep and the other does the groom or do you change things around? How does it work for you?

Raquel:

Not that kind of separation. Usually we try to do… to both be together on…

Daniel

On bride and groom.

Alan:

Oh cool.

Raquel:

Because it’s a complementary vision often.

Daniel

We have two different kinds of sensitivities and I don’t know what to say anymore. And I think that we complement each other very well, our vision complements one of the other. At first.. right now the roles changed a lot but at first I used to say that I am more of a scenographic person, I use more wide angle lens and to give a world context of something and Raquel was more stable on the trade and this kind of more delicate things. But these things evolved a lot during, yeah.

Raquel:

I think it had something to do with confidence, I was less confident on the photographic…I don’t know it’s, how can I explain it.

Alan:

Oh, but it’s so… it’s really… I think it’s so lovely to hear and it’s quite yeah different I think because most people seem to split up, you know, and I think it’s really lovely that you capture, you’re always together kind of capturing and then you have those different viewpoints though and as you say, you see things differently and you capture things differently and then the couples get all those, I think that’s really lovely.

Raquel:

Which the result the Reportage, I think.

Alan:

Definitely

Daniel

Only because four eyes can see more than two eyes but I think our approach, it reflects our personality, I am more of a rash guy, I don’t think too much. I do things without… I’m very impulsive. And Raquel, she’s very controlled. She’s really… she thinks every word that she speaks and that makes and for photography, I think this complementation that we get between our two work I think gets a really nice story

Alan:

Honestly I think it’s brilliant and again it kind of comes back to your boy meets girl name as well because yeah you’re showing a female and a male perspective on everything that’s happening through the day and not just female and male but just different perspectives and they complement each other as you say. So I think that’s really lovely that you’re able to offer that to your couples and it’s pretty, yeah, it’s great.

Raquel:

I think that he is really tall so he has a high vision. And I’m short, we have complementary in many ways,

Alan:

That’s cool.

Raquel:

There are some moments that are…

Daniel

…established that I almost never do details, I never do the detail shots of rings. We don’t do these details in every wedding but when the bride and groom wants some details, I never do that because it’s not… I get like…

Raquel:

Goosebumps

Daniel

Goosebumps going there, goosebumps, bad goosebumps because I don’t like to do that and Raquel does.

Alan:

Okay,

Raquel:

Those shots are all always for me, because it’s too boring for him to…

Alan:

Oh, that’s cool. It’s so interesting to hear how you work and work together. It’s awesome, cool. Let’s change tack slightly, let’s change tack. Let’s go on…are you… I guess you’ve got children but do you have time to watch kind of TV series? Do you watch Netflix? Have you got any good recommendations?

Raquel:

You mean series? Well, for me, there was a world before Breaking Bad and the world after. It’s really strange because the topic of the series has nothing to do with me, it’s friends. It’s really is not my kind of series, I prefer but it it’s really so engaging and so… the photography is very good.

Alan:

Totally agree

Raquel:

It was that one that I could not stop seeing from the first episode to the last.

Alan:

That’s cool. It’s brilliant, isn’t it? It’s so good, yeah, really good. How about you, Daniel?

Daniel

That one I absolutely love also, Twin Peaks is one of my favorite series.

Alan:

Oh, cool. I’ve only seen the first original series of that but I did love it. I need to watch more, are the other series good as well?

Daniel

I only saw the original also. I never saw this last continuation.

Alan:

Right.

Daniel

But I really, really love Lynch.

Menino Congece Menina

Alan:

Cool. Yeah. Cool. That’s so good. Cool. Let’s go on to another question, which I like, what … yeah, the first thing that comes to your mind with what makes you happy?

Daniel:

It’s my kids’ smile

Alan:

Aw

Raquel:

I couldn’t think of something else either.

Alan:

Oh, well, that’s super, that’s awesome

Raquel:

Oh, actually, I would say to be the four of us together in those very… like the beginning of the lockdown, we were the four at home. After a few weeks, it started to be hard because they were already saturated of being home for so long. But in the beginning in the first days, it was really cool. We built a fort in the living room, we were sleeping all together in the sofa and this blanket that was the castle, it was really, really amazing.

Alan:

Oh, that’s cool. And I’ve read I think one of your recent blog posts, which starts with…the first line is ‘our neighbor has a rooster’, which I love, I love. Could you explain to our listeners about that? It’s beautiful family photography, by the way in that post. It’s so good and I’ll include a link to it on the post. But yeah, so your neighbor really has a rooster?

Raquel:

Actually, we found out then it’s not neighbor, it’s a rooster that came I don’t know from where, but it’s living across the street, and there’s a school but it’s closed. Now, it’s living there.

Daniel:

The neighbors feed him sometimes

Raquel:

So he’s not going anywhere. It’s like the pet of the neighborhood.

Daniel

Yeah, the pet

Alan:

That’s funny but your whole blog post is so lovely about this kind of COVID time but obviously very honest as well and how it is you know anxiety inducing for us all but your post is so lovely about your family time together and appreciating that and just beautiful images as well. Has it been nice in a way having that time and then photographing your kids and that time together.

Daniel

It is. During this first month, we would photograph a lot right now as we are changing home and I’m doing some of the work in the new home, I don’t have a lot of time to photograph and Raquel also because she’s with the kids so… taking care of them.

Alan:

Right yeah.

Raquel:

It started to be hard to stay at home for so long, the kids started to get…

Daniel

Get sick of it, they get bored.

Raquel:

Yes more reactive and annoyed. So, right now we are trying to… actually the big one is going to school already so we are trying to get more into real life. But yes we always try to photograph and it’s part building our family history, you know, this thing that we are doing for the couples on their wedding day we are just being in their lives for a while and we are giving them a little bit of visual legacy for them to keep. So we try to do it also for us. I’m a bit nostalgic so I could… asked if I could to freeze the moments and stay there, you know, to freeze the kids as they are now. It’s the only way I can have to keep them like this is photographing them, yes we try to.

Alan:

Yeah. Aw that’s so true. I so understand that and I need to do it more. But yeah, it’s beautiful. As I say, if anyone’s listening whilst running or cycling do head to the site, thisisreportage.com and I’ll include a link to that blog post with your family photography in there which is just beautiful and the words are lovely. And you mentioned there how you are renovating at the moment as well, a new house, which is exciting, how is that going? Are you much of a DIY expert? How’s it going?

Daniel

I really like DIY

Raquel:

It’s a lot, if he could, he would do everything by himself.

Daniel

Yes. But it’s a lot of work. Right now I was, I don’t know, putting plaster on some walls and it kept us I finished that part I have to sandpaper them and then right now I’m starting painting and doing some tiles…it’s a lot.

Raquel:

The thing is that the plan was to hire people to do this but since we’re at home with no weddings we don’t have work right now in our field so…

Daniel

I have all the time in the world right now so

Raquel:

And he likes it, he loves doing this it just makes sense

Daniel

Yeah, this is in my blood to do houses, and right now, I’m doing mine

Alan:

It’s cool that you’re enjoying it though as well. That’s cool and I, just to say, I would not have a clue at all. I am the most impractical person ever. I hardly know how to put in a light bulb so much respect to you. When do you think you’ll be finished and moving in then?

Daniel

We should be finished in like, two/three weeks and we should move in before August

Raquel:

Yes, next month or so

Alan:

Oh, that’s exciting, that’s cool . You guys by the way just to go on to something different but I’ve got so many questions, it’s cool but you guys have won nine Story Awards from us which is absolutely amazing and I think you know it’s testament to how consistently creative and good you are, you know, you’re so good. What do you think is key to consistent great coverage throughout the day, which again, you know, is all of our goals is to, you know, to have consistent creative coverage throughout the day, what’s your advice?

Daniel

That’s a really difficult question because…

Raquel:

Well, I think it’s easy…

Daniel

No no, the question is difficult but the answer I think it’s easy because I don’t think, when I’m shooting, I don’t think about consistency. I don’t think about that. I just shoot.

Raquel:

For me, the answer is… how do you say that word… attention, it’s not really attention is alert…, how do you say?

Alan:

Of alertness or…

Raquel:

Yes, when you are ready all the time, if you keep yourself ready for the moment that is happening in front of you, you will be able to collect all of them.

Daniel

The way that you keep these things consistent, I think, it’s thinking with your heart. If you think if you lift up the camera and shoot because something inside you moves you to shoot that photo, you don’t have to worry with consistency because everything is consistent with your personality.

Raquel:

With yourself.

Daniel

With yourself so you are the reference for the consistency of your work. That’s what I think about it.

Alan:

That’s very cool, that’s a great quote. That’s so good. I love that. I totally agree with you as well. Awesome, that’s so cool.

Daniel

When you have to think too much to make your work, work, there’s a problem there. Your work should flow easily should flow…that’s the easiest and strongest way to be consistent, I think, right?

Alan:

Totally agree. I think that is really great, great advice that really is. And so along with, if I get this right, is it Pixel videographers, you created the combined photography and videography multi day workshop, Steam and Steel, which you held in in Porto last year. I would have loved to attend it but I couldn’t make it. How did that come about? You know that combined photography and videography workshop? Was it nerve racking organizing and creating such an event? Did you enjoy it? Yeah, sorry, lots of questions there but it’s very interesting.

Raquel:

It was really overwhelming, really

Daniel

It was difficult, it was difficult to organize it since a lot of work.

Raquel:

It was difficult because, so all the preparation and organizing process happened during the summer.

Daniel

Yeah high season.

Raquel:

We were photographing editing, and at the same time organizing this. And that was the hardest part. I think because we had to find… it was demanding, but it was amazing, we really, really loved it.

Daniel

The idea came up in… we were dining together or something like that…

Raquel:

We’re really good friends with Pixel.

Daniel

Yeah, we are really close and they are… we are really close, but we met them working in weddings, and we have come to be good friends. And we were talking about that and okay, let’s do it, let’s move on maybe

Raquel:

And the idea of making at the same time, photography and videography, has a lot to do with… we work together, usually in the wedding,

Daniel

We are a team when we are working with a videographer, you are a team together and there is a lot of stuff that a videographer can teach that is interesting for me as a photographer, and also the other way, photographers can teach a lot to videographers And Lucas Piatek and Monika Frias, they were amazing with that and also Tom Robak. Tom Robak was more in SEO stuff but they perform really really really well

Alan:

Oh, that’s cool. I think it’s a great idea, yeah I would have loved to have come. When all the organizing was over and it came to the event itself, were you nervous on the days or was it just fun and relaxed? How… yeah did you enjoy it?

Daniel

I was nervous with the organization because it’s difficullt

Raquel:

We really complement each other, i was nervous…

Daniel

The talking for me, I like to talk

Raquel:

I’m the other way around. the organization, everything was mostly going and it was really working, I was not nervous with that. But the talking part was wooh

Alan:

That’s what I will be like as well, I totally get that. Yeah, cool, I think it was great. And I love the name steam and steel. I think that’s very cool.

Raquel:

It took place in a hostel that is located in the old train station in Porto.

Daniel

Old and it’s still active. There are two train stations in Porto, one is the oldest and it’s funny, it’s a very ancient building and the name comes from there.

Raquel:

It has this mood, this…

Daniel

Industrial, industrial mood

Raquel:

Yeah, the building was amazing, so really nice

Alan:

Cool, that sounds cool. I think it’s great to have kind of inspirational surroundings when you’re doing something like that as well. So I think that’s very cool. Well, if you ever do it again, the workshop, I will definitely try and get there because I’m sure it’s brilliant.

Daniel

I think we will, we were thinking about doing it this year, but probably it won’t happen this year.

Daniel and Raquel:

Because of COVID

Daniel

Next year probably.

Raquel:

Maybe to do it now and now I mean in…

Daniel

November again,

Raquel

Yes.

Daniel

Let’s see.

Raquel:

If we do it, we will let you know.

Alan:

Definitely do let me know. Yeah. And that’ll be great and I will try and come, awesome. Has there been a specific turning point in your career, you know, something perhaps a certain wedding or a certain award or anything that’s had a major impact on your career?

Daniel

I don’t think so. I think it’s very…it’s not… our work it’s as a linear curve of evolution, there is not a big step. It was step by step by step, wedding by wedding that we started to grow. Of course, we grew more during the first years, than in these last three or four years because you start to improve in smaller percentage when you know more, I think

Alan:

That’s so true.

Raquel:

I cannot identify a turning point either.

Menino Congece Menina

Alan:

No that’s cool. I mean, it’s good that it’s been a kind of natural kind of progression like that. I think that’s great. It’s a sign of just a really good business and yeah, great photography, which I love your work, guys. I just think your work is so fab and one of your specific Reportage Awards (above), which was… it appears to be during the ring exchange, I think and it’s super close, taken from directly below their hands. I think it’s the exchanging of the rings, isn’t it?

Daniel

Yes it is.

Alan:

Yeah. I love…It’s so awesome. Can you tell us about that shot, it’s so close and so intimate and such a different viewpoint to what people normally see, yeah I love it

Daniel

Photo it’s a very very very quick photo. The priest probably didn’t even notice me doing it, that photo specifically it’s mine. The camera is… everything is prepared, it’s manual focus, I looked to the to the spot where…

Raquel:

You measured.

Daniel

Yes I measured and imagined where the camera would be and programmed the camera for that distance and the exposure also it’s manual, I went there I kneeled down myself put my head away so my head wouldn’t be included in the camera because it’s a wide angle, it’s probably twenty four mm. And then I took two or three shots to be sure that the best moment and walked away, I think the priest didn’t even saw me doing that.

Alan:

That’s so cool, so cool.

Raquel:

Point of view, it’s something that we search a lot, not this one specifically but not the typical points of view. It’s to try to see the thing

Daniel

From another perspective, I think that this specific point of view to see things from down up or from up downward is a lot to do with us being architects, because architects tend to simplify their point of view so they can draw and explain better their ideas and I think this has a lot of influence in our photography,

Raquel:

If you see we have often, how do you say…front views, you know,

Daniel

Very flat front views very…

Raquel:

This is not something that we plan or that we are thinking when we are photographing, but it’s a natural way to position to…

Daniel

Again, it’s consistent with our personality our…

Raquel:

Yes and with our…

Daniel

Approach and way of view… the formation

Raquel:

We will do a lot this kind of direct translations, that doesn’t mean anything, the resulting…

Daniel

Indication.

Alan:

Cool. I find that so interesting, that’s really interesting again, and yeah, thank you for talking about that image. I’ll include that image in the post. If anyone’s listening, do head to the site and. I’ll include that specific image. It’s so cool. I love the fact that the priest probably didn’t know you took it and yet, it’s so intimate and so different. So yeah, very, very cool. And whilst we’re on this subject, actually… oh, sorry Raquel, go on.

Raquel:

Sorry, sorry.

Alan:

Oh no you go on.

Raquel:

Sorry again. I was saying that you have to be very confident to do it so I would not be… have the boldness of spirits to go there and do it and get back to my place.

Daniel

A while ago, you were asking if we have certain roles in our photography and we were saying that Raquel usually does the details and things like that. Also there is another thing when there is something that is really stressful, a very stressful situation. Usually I am the one that steps forward because… not because Raquel is not capable to do it but she’s more delicate, she’s a more delicate person and feels the stress in a more intense way and I deal very well with stress situations. I do my best work if I’m stressed, I do my best work if I have the wrong lens in the body because I have to think in another way and this is the kind of situation that I like to encounter, to find.

Alan:

That is cool I love the way you just work so perfectly together and play to both of your strengths and both of your uniqueness and I relate to it all like because I would be very stressed like Raquel as well and yet sometimes pressure, you know, I sometimes strive on and it’s just very interesting, it’s cool. You were judges for us back in collection eight which is a while ago now. From your experience as being judges and winning, you know, so many awards yourselves, do you have any specific tips for people entering you know, for the Story awards or for the Reportage awards, just as your experience as a judge,

Daniel

Yes, mostly for the Story Awards. It’s that when you submit, try to submit only very, very, very good photos in the group that you submit. don’t submit anything that is there only to show that something happened. Submit stuff that has something interesting. If it’s not interesting, the photo shouldn’t be there. And trying to be…

Raquel:

You don’t have to have twenty photos, you can have seventeen

Daniel

Or fifteen, we have some awards with fifteen. And we have some awards that almost don’t have dance or almost don’t have getting ready because maybe they are not very, very interesting enough

Raquel:

To tell that story…

Daniel

Yes, from the first to the last, everyone they have to be really good photos and this consistency that you were speaking of, it’s really important. They don’t have to be all black and white or they don’t have no color or in the same palette of colors but they have to speak to each other. Each photo that you move on has to speak with the previous and with the next one, it’s a transition to the next part of the story that’s really important. I think

Alan:

That’s cool.

Raquel:

We search for this connection between the images and to build a strong related group of images and then, after this to look at each of them isolated and see does this… it’s strong enough to be there? Would this alone win an award? They don’t have to be all winners, but they have to be all good.

Alan:

Great advice, great advice, that’s cool. Did you enjoy your time judging for us? I know there must have been a lot of things to look at but did you enjoy it?

Raquel:

It was great and these advices we learn then looking at the stories that we were judging.

Daniel

I learned a lot during this judging work for This is Reportage because I think it’s…

Raquel:

These conclusions we made them there.

Alan:

Yeah, that’s cool.

Daniel

In this award winning for us, it’s life changing being judges because we learned a lot doing that. Because there is things that you see that clearly wouldn’t be winners. And then we did some little retrospective to the things that we submit and we looked at them and saw clear errors in what we were submitting and I think we got better after that.

Alan:

So that’s cool. That’s really interesting. And yeah, cool. And thank you again for judging because I know it’s a lot of time but thank you so much, guys. It’s awesome.

Daniel

If you need us again, you can tell us.

Menino Congece Menina

Alan:

Aw, thank you. That’s awesome. Cool, let’s change tack again slightly now. Is there something that you really love, but that most people will seem to hate? Or you could approach it the other way around, is there something that you hate that most people seem to love? And it could be anything, it doesn’t have… nothing to do with photography, just anything at all?

Daniel

No.

Alan:

That’s a good answer.

Raquel:

I’m thinking that…

Alan:

Do you both love… outside of photography, do you both have the same interests and hobbies. Do you both love doing the same things together? Or is there something that Raquel loves to do that you’re not keen on Daniel or?

Raquel:

More or less. He is more into gadgets, you know, and I’m not at all.

Daniel

I’m a techie, techie person

Raquel:

I really don’t care about, even on work, it’s… I use the lenses we have and the cameras we have, I know they are good. But I don’t care if they are the top top, it’s really… as long as they work.

Daniel

She’s a stable person and I’m an experimental person. So during the wedding, she always shoots in a way that she knows that gives the results, and I’m more of trying to do something I never even thought I could before to see what kind of result that can provide.

Raquel:

But then we have many… I don’t say hobbies but interests in common like…

Daniel

I’m a do it yourself guy, I like, I started developing by my films

Raquel:

Anallogic

Daniel

Yeah, my anallogic films right now during this pandemic.

Alan:

Oh cool, nice, cool

Raquel:

It’s something he’d be thinking about for a long time, like two years that the films were there waiting and he was saying yes he bought the spirits and bottles and everything like one year ago and they were waiting. Now, there was the time to do it.

Alan:

Oh, that’s cool. Yeah it’s mad how we’re having yeah… it’s opening different opportunities for us in a way. Yeah it’s just a mad time though, isn’t it Another question, obviously is lots of questions…! But when you’ve reached old age, and you’re looking back at your life, what would you like to think about the life that you’ve led?

Raquel:

About the life that we?

Alan:

Yeah, your life you know, when you’re older and looking back on how your life has been, how would you like to think about it? You know what it’s… yeah. Well, it’s kind of a long way of asking, what would you want written on your gravestone, really, you know what’s been…?

Raquel:

I said before I’m really nostalgic and…

Daniel

She wants a movie with every second of her life in it, she wants a digital on her graveyard.

Raquel:

I have a lot of pictures from all the moments of my life that with no big bowls so that I can go back to those old moments again. I hope that it may be like that because for me it’s really…time passing is something that… stop laughing, he’s laughing at me.

Daniel

I’m thinking about my graveyard saying ‘I told you I was sick’.

Alan:

That’s funny. Oh, I get the nostalgia thing though. Yeah, I understand.

Raquel:

You made the question so it’s…

Daniel

She’s almost crying

Alan:

Oh, sorry, sorry, Let’s change tack again then, what does it mean… sorry go on, Raquel sorry.

Raquel:

Time passing in the idea that you cannot go back, that I cannot have my baby… how do you say newborn again? They will never be newborn again, you know. It’s really so hard. So it’s really good that I have the pictures to get me back then.

Alan:

Oh, yeah.

Raquel:

And when I’m 90 I hope to have a lot from all life so that…

Alan:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. And you’ll have like grandchildren maybe and great grandchildren to know, all good, it’s all good, cool. So both of you, what does it mean to be successful to you? What does success mean to you guys?

Daniel

Happy all the time.

Raquel:

I think it means to be happy. It’s like a synonym, you know, for happiness if you are happy you are successful enough.

Daniel

It’s not about money, it’s not about being the best at your job for me it’s nothing about that. I don’t not want to be rich, of course if I could win the lottery, I wouldn’t mind but I don’t want to be the best at my job or I don’t want to add the best photo by everyone, it’s just be smiling all the time, being happy.

Raquel:

If you’ve got a job and in this case about photography, I think to be successful is to enjoy doing it. When we go to each wedding we are going, we are really enjoying it. We are happy on going so…

Daniel

Photographically speaking, in our job for me to be successful, it means that someone in 20, 25 years can cry over my photos. That’s what I want I want someone to…

Raquel:

Cry good tears, happy tears.

Daniel

Sometimes bad because grandparents die and life changes sometimes for worse, sometimes for good and these nostalgia that Raquel carries on, every one of us we carry on a little bit of nostalgia. And I think that our photos are the ones that can provide some warmth to the people that just lost their grandmother or father or someone or that just wants to remember how she was or how he was when he was younger. And that’s what’s been successful for me it’s to feel some really strong emotions over my photos, that’s the best gift that someone can give me.

Alan:

Aw that’s cool and I love the way you’ve both answered that in in different senses as a whole top down general life view and specifically to photography which is lovely. And I agree with you both so much and your outlooks on it all. I think it’s, yeah, fantastic. Let’s talk about a specific element of the day, I think people might be interested in and I don’t talk about it that much, the first dance specifically. It’s always something that kind of differs from a lot of wedding photographers, you know they approach the first dance very differently so I was just wondering how you approach the first dance at all. Do you have a set kind of system or does it change all the time? Yeah, how do you do it?

Menino Congece Menina

Raquel:

We don’t have a system.

Daniel

No, it’s …

Raquel:

We have… there is one thing we have that is again good, I think, that is since we are both we can risk a lot because we’ll never lose it.

Daniel

Yes.

Raquel:

One of us will for sure get something interesting and so we can risk it.

Daniel

One can be doing something crazy and the other one is more secure or more…

Raquel:

Even if we are both going for crazy things, one of it will work.

Daniel

Succeed yes but no, here in Portugal, okay, the first dance is important, but I don’t think there is any hype around the first dance, for me it’s not even one moment that stresses me.

Alan:

It’s interesting to hear I think that was great advice Raquel saying how there are the two of you so one of you can be doing the risky or even if both of you are doing the risky shots, then you’re still going to get something good. That must be such a benefit of working as a duo, that really must be.

Raquel:

And it’s not…we are not a photographer with a second shooter, it’s not that. We are both first person and second shooters, you think that the second is more free to go. We are both doing everything and we trust each other and we know that it will work we actually we are doing this for so long that we already almost guess what’s in the other one’s mind and what he is planning. So this gives… but in the day, we are very trusting that everything is going.

Daniel

Yeah. Oh, that makes sense. That’s cool. And yeah, and that must… yeah, exactly. And as you’re saying there, it’s not just for the first dance, every element of the day you kind of yeah feeling and knowing what the other person is going to be doing and you’re both primary shooters. I think it’s awesome. It’s really cool. By the way with you the first dances in Portugal, do they often kind of happen outside do… I guess, do they happen outside?

Daniel

It’s not very usual

Raquel:

If the wedding is happening outside, yes

Daniel.

Usually they happen in the place where the dancing is taking part. They don’t do the first dance in one part and then change…

Alan:

Okay.

Daniel

… to a different dance floor, but we once were in a place that used to do like half an hour of dancing outside before then they would move the dancing party to the inside but it was a specific place.

Alan:

Oh okay and how are you lighting your kind of dancing, do you use flash or not flash? Or do you use… Again change for each wedding. How do you do it?

Daniel

It’s absolutely natural.

Raquel:

I don’t use my flash, I have a flash and in the night I use it for helping on focusing, but I don’t flash it for I don’t know, maybe two years.

Daniel

Probably the bulb it’s not working and she doesn’t even know it.

Raquel:

It’s just availabl lights.

Daniel

Sometimes I mostly shoot with the available light also but as I was saying to you, I’m more of an experimental guy so sometimes I do some crazy stuff, try some different settings but it’s an experimental stuff that the basis of my part of the work is also available light

Raquel:

I really like the mood that you get when you were using the dance floor light or the ambient light. Even if it gets rainy and prevents some stuff, most, I don’t know what to say… even if it gets this kind of visible…

Daniel

And there is also another part that it’s very important, it’s the awareness that the guests have towards you, towards the photographer. If you’re not shooting flash, no one knows where you are, you can be there dancing with someone and shoot her in her face and she won’t have any discomfort with you and if you are flashing constantly someone…

Raquel:

It’s very…

Daniel

…you’re very present, you aware that there is a photographer and the guy shooting you and we don’t want to have this kind of presence,

Raquel:

We like to get in mix with the guests and to be part of the party to be in the middle of them so that they are comfortable with us and they take us as a guest also so to be invisible on the photography part on the gadgets, it’s better.

Alan:

Yeah, that’s cool. Well, I totally agree, totally agree, awesome. Great advice again, guys. This has been so interesting, you’ve shared so much, thank you. I think we just got time for one more question, it’s quite a big one, actually. And it’s not going to be the canapés question is going to be… No, I just think because I want to get more…you guys shared so much. So I just want to, yeah, so the last question what’s and it’s quite a, a top level down general question, but an important one, I think what in your opinion makes a good wedding photographer?

Raquel:

I would attempt to answer about a good documentary wedding photographer, and this is not universal so… you understand you have many kinds of wedding photographers. And this that I would say may not be true for a lot of people but for me, I guess it’s the thing that I was saying before the attention that you put to what’s happening in front of you? The awareness to be ready in every moment and to be available to go hard, to go on the floor to I don’t know if what you have to get the photo.

Daniel

For me, additionally to this that Raquel is speaking this is the way that you get to good work, I think that the most important thing for me when I’m shooting a wedding is to know that I’m not shooting for someone right now. I’m shooting for that person in 25 years, I’m shooting for the future people, I’m like a time machine. I’m collecting everything that I can right now to tell a story that has its most value in a few decades when the world, it’s different from the world that we have now and I think that that’s the most important thing.

Raquel:

Of course they will enjoy to have the pictures to put them in on Instagram and share with friends and give them all that. But they will be really appreciated when time comes.

Menino Conhece Menina

Alan:

Oh yeah that’s so beautifully said and I agree with both of you so much, awesome guys. Thank you so much for your time and your openness and the stories and advice, thank you guys. It was awesome.

Daniel:

Thank you, it was really really great to be speaking with you and thank you very much for your invitation to do this

Alan:

Oh, it’s an honor, thank you for talking to me. If anyone’s listening yeah whilst running or cycling or anything, do head to the site and therw’ll be… I’ll include lots of their awards in the post, that specific award that we spoke about earlier as well and links to their website, and also a link to that blog post where they spoke… wrote really beautifully recently about COVID and their family time together and yeah, guys, hopefully I’ll get to see you again soon. I don’t know when that will be.

Raquel:

Will it happen at the meeting in December?

Daniel

Christmas party?

Alan:

I don’t know still at the moment. I don’t know I think yeah, hopefully. But I don’t know.

Daniel and Raquel:

We’ll be there.

Alan:

Oh, that would be awesome. It’d be so good to see you guys again and yeah, thank both so much. Stay safe, and yeah, I’ll be in touch.

Raquel:

Thank you also for This is Reportage because it, I told you this, personally, I think it’s really big this thing that you could do there.

Daniel

It’s a great community.

Raquel:

Yes it’s really amazing.

Daniel

Lots of teaching going on in this community

Raquel:

And sharing.

Daniel

Very important for us.

Alan:

Thank you guys

Raquel:

I have friends that came from there and this is really special, it’s really…

Daniel

And I want to add that if someone that is listening has the patience to listen to all our talking and has some questions for us, just drop us an email or a message, we’ll gladly answer

Alan:

That’s very kind, that’s very kind. Thank you for your lovely words about TiR and it’s an honor to have you as such a massive part of it and thanks for your offer there of people reaching out to you, that’s really lovely. Oh guys, awesome, thanks again so much. Yes, stay safe and see you soon hopefully.

Daniel

It’s so nice.

Raquel:

Thank you again and bye bye.

Alan:

Bye bye.

***********************************************************

We hope you enjoyed our Menino Conhece Menina interview!

View more of their work on their website, or here on their This is Reportage Profile. The family blog post we spoke about in the episode can also be found here.

Deadline for our next round of Awards is 23:59 BST on 24th July 2020. Apply to join us to submit.

Aga Tomaszek

Adam Johnson - ARJ Photography

best reportage wedding photographers in the world

york place studios

best documentary wedding photographers

best reportage wedding photographers

Want to join This is Reportage?

Join Here