Vitor Pina

Most people hear the word ‘Algarve’ and think of sea, beaches and golf, but that’s only a small part of the region.

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine April 2016

This month’s Picture Perfect photographer is Vitor Pina (40) who is originally from Portimão, but currently lives in Boliqueime. Vitor has always been interested in art and got into photography after a fishing trip to the west coast: “My friend brought a camera along and took some nice pictures. That’s when I knew: I want this too.”

Vitor bought his first camera in 2008 and is completely self-taught. “Living close to the sea, I started with seascapes, but I soon introduced humans into my pictures. First from afar, then more close-up; I’m interested in people and their stories.” Vitor’s style is a mixture of documentary, portrait and street photography, but he also photographs commercially, especially real estate.

This picture is part of his ongoing project ‘algarvians’, for which he travels all over the south of Portugal, portraying its inhabitants. “The Algarve has constantly been exposed to other cultures and, especially in the last decades, it’s changing very fast. To me, this project is about documenting a period in time. Because it won’t last forever; 100 years from now, people will be looking at these pictures and see how the Algarvians used to look and dress. It’s an anthropologic work and interesting because of its simplicity.” More pictures of ‘algarvians’ can be seen this summer (from 10 June until 4 September 2016) in an exhibition in Sítio da Fontes, Estombar, an event made possible by ENFOLA 2016 (Encontros de Fotografia de Lagoa) .

Vitor on photography in the Algarve: “Most people hear the word ‘Algarve’ and think of sea, beaches and golf, but that’s only a small part of the region. Myself, I’m more curious about people and streets. I especially like taking my camera to the market in Loulé on a Saturday morning, when the traditional countryside people sell their vegetables and interact with the tourists. Landscape-wise, the area around Aljezur on the west coast is amazing for taking pictures.”


People photography:

This month’s Picture Perfect shows an old man in Monchique. Vitor: “Unfortunately I don’t remember his name anymore, but he was a real character, smoking all the time. I asked if I could take his picture and he agreed. He was full of memories; for about 40 minutes he told me all about life in Monchique when he was younger.”


It was taken in 2011, on a Canon EOS 40D with a EF-S17-85mm lens, settings: ISO400, 50mm, f/6.3, 1/2000. Like this pic? See more on Vitor’s website: Want to try and make a perfect picture like this one as well? Here are Vitor’s top three tips on people photography:

  1. Don’t try and make your pictures sneakily. Instead, interact with the people you’re portraying. Respect them – photography is more than just pushing a button. For my pictures, I need to be really close to the people I photograph, so even if I shoot first, we always have a chat. I try to be like a journalist; listening and looking objectively, never judgemental.
  2. Go back to the same places over and over again. I always do, in some places, the locals already know me. When visiting at different times, you can see how certain events influence the everyday life of the people there. Also, in order to become a better photographer, you need to be really critical and repeat pictures you aren’t completely satisfied with. Do them again and see how you improve.
  3. Prepare. Before I leave home, I already know what I want and I only bring the equipment I need. Technique can be learned everywhere, in books and on the internet, but in my style of street photography it’s important to be honest. Yes, I’ll edit my photos afterwards, but I never add or leave out things as don’t want to change the reality of the photograph. It’s about the story, not about looking pretty.

Old man in Monchique by Vitor Pina (part of his ‘algarvios’ series)


See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine April 2016

Posted in Picture Perfect.