A Masterclass with Ami Vitale

Ami Vitale National Geographic Exodus Aveiro Fest

Ami Vitale is a photographer that I follow closely in the social media and when I heard that she was one of the guests of the National Geographic Exodus Aveiro Fest I bought the tickets right away.

Not only I was able to see Ami in one of the event´s Speaking Sessions, but I also had the opportunity to participate in her masterclass, where she talked about telling a unique story through images.

Ami Vitale National Geographic Exodus Aveiro Fest
The photo is not one of my best, but the lights were turned down, only with the projetor working

Tricks of a specialist

Ami Vitale‘s masterclass lasted for three hours, but it was as if it had only been 30 minutes.

The National Geographic photographer began by mentioning how the magazine never accepts manipulated photographs, either in post-production or staged for image purpose. Thus, those photos that we see in the publication or in the social media are the reality, a result of proper illumination (most of the time natural) as of the art of the photographer.

For Ami Vitale, the trick to getting a good picture or telling a true story is to gain the empathy of the communities or the subject we want to reach. To do this, we must make several visits to the location, meet the people, introduce ourselves in their daily lives and only then begin to work on what led us there.

Ami reviewed the various elements that make a story, the importance of lighting, explained how to pitch a project or the importance of image copyrights.

Ami Vitale National Geographic Exodus Aveiro Fest

Ami Vitale and the National Geographic Exodus Aveiro Fest

The masterclass with Ami Vitale was for me one of the highlights of this first edition of the National Geographic Exodus Aveiro Fest. The event brought together in Portugal nine of the most well-known photographers and videographers. In addition to Ami, names such as Michael Clark, Peter McBride, Oliver Astrologo, Portuguese Mário Cruz, among others, took place on the stage of the Aveiro Congress Center, not forgetting Reza Deghati, recognized as the personality of the year.

I learned a lot in the three days of this event, lessons that I now hope will reflect in the images that I bring to you here on the blog. 🙂

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