General Conference

Ministry Behind the Lens

Photographer for an Adventist publishing house shows behind-the-scenes production and tells about the difference of working with purpose.

Brazil | Mauren Fernandes

On August 19, 1839, the French Academy of Sciences announced the invention of the predecessor of photographic cameras: the daguerreotype. The large box, with delicate processes, was the first tool to record images in real time, without the need for an artist. From then on, the possibility of eternalizing moments in an image became part of the human being's life. For some, it even became a profession.

In celebration of World Photography Day, the South American Adventist News Agency (ASN) spoke with William de Moraes, a photographer from the Brazilian Publishing House (CPB), to learn more about his work and trajectory. The son of former employees of the Adventist Publishing House, de Moraes started working in printing and, two years later, went into photography. Today, he leads the team that supports the hundreds of productions in the house, photographing everything from people to food. Check out the conversation.

Why choose to be a photographer? How did your career start?

I always liked shooting for leisure, in an amateur way. At the Publishing House, I had contact with editorial photography, which is a little different from conventional photography. In 1985, an opening came up in the photography department, and I promptly introduced myself. After a few interviews, I was accepted and transferred from printing to there, and then my apprenticeship began. At the beginning, I was assistant, studio assistant, and, later, officially a photographer.

At the Brazilian Publishing House, you photograph [anything] from people to food. Where do the ideas for each photo come from?

The editor and designer talk about what images the product needs. Then, the designer meets with me and other professionals to share what we call a “briefing”, which would be the idea to be executed. There, we discuss how and when we will take the photos, in which location, and who will photograph. So, based on our knowledge and possibilities, we put ideas into practice.

You've been dealing with photography since the time of analog cameras. What was work like back then? And how has the publisher been updated until today?

I can say that, in those times, photos were “root” because we made the images in the dark, only knowing the result after developing the films. Because of this, the level of success had to be high, but practice gave us security. It was tense but [mostly] pleasurable!

With time and new technologies, the change was normal and necessary until the capture. In the production process, nothing has changed but, yes, the fact that the photograph does not need to be developed. Everything got so much faster. CPB provides us with the very best in equipment.

CPB is one of the [oldest and] largest publishers in Latin America, at 121 years of age, with thousands of materials produced. What makes working in a place like this different?

CPB is a pleasant environment. There is fellowship here; I made lifelong friendships. But on top of all that, contributing to the preaching of the gospel is gratifying! It's great to work on something that will make a difference in people's lives.

Leave some advice for those who want to make a living from photography.

Never stop studying; choose an area and focus on it; always shoot; follow the top photographers in your area on social media; whenever possible, invest in quality equipment; apply as much as you can. That makes all the difference.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site