All images by Jvdas Berra. Used with permission.
Jvdas Berra is a Mexican photographer who studied film production but became quickly bored of it. Upon taking a leap into photography, he discovered his true calling. We discovered his work on Behance and after falling in love with his fashion photography we found out that he has shot for Vogue, ELLE, Nylon, Marie Claire, InStyle, Image Amplified, Vanidades, Photography Master Class, and NatGeo among others.
“I have no limits, not even the sky is…” says Jvdas about his potential. His fine art work is now exhibited at the prestigious Fine Art Gallery “These Fine Walls” in New York. Also his work is represented by the highly recognized gallery “Art Angels” in Los Angeles, California, alongside the work of Andy Warhol, David Lachapelle, Banksy, Michael Moebius and other world-class artists.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.
Jvdas: My passion for photography began four years ago. I was studying film directing when I suddenly felt that this was not for me because I did not feel that spark that inspired and fascinated me. That’s when I decided to take an old camera that my mother had given me and all started.
I abandoned my studies in film and began to practice daily with the camera, the lighting and post production softwares in the business.
Phoblographer: What got you into fashion and portrait photography?
Jvdas: From the beginning I was sure that my area was fashion photography because since my childhood I have been a fan of the greats of fashion photography I saw in the magazines of the 90s. Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar and Allure were the most common magazines in my mother’s bedroom and that was the kind of aesthetics that I want to recreate now in my work with a little twist of fantasy.
Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Klein, Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi and Mario Testino were my heroes since that moment.
Phoblographer: You’ve got quite a resume and list of places that you’ve shot for. How did you get your start as a professional and how did it move along from there to where you are now?
Jvdas: So far I have not done photo shoots outside my country but I am in the pre production for upcoming work around the world. It’s time for me to further internationalize my signature style, however I managed to get world recognition due to innumerable locations that I have managed to achieve.
My job is not only to photograph models but do scouting and get to tell the most wonderful stories in colorful and striking places. I have portrayed editorials and campaigns in forests, deserts, abandoned castles, hotels, churches, underwater scenery, active volcanoes, mountains and some forbidden places. My work has been published in big international magazines such as VOGUE, ELLE, Marie Claire, Nylon, Photography Master Class and more.
I do not know at what point I became a professional of fashion photography, but I know I am now in a very different place than I was before because I can say that I have managed to make others turn their heads to see my work. Great magazines, brands and agencies are looking and sponsoring me and I think that professionalism lies in the confidence that you give to your client.
Phoblographer: Photographers do a lot more than just shooting; how much time do you spent shooting vs doing stuff like editing, networking, social media, blogging, marketing, etc?
Jvdas: For me it’s shooting 50% and the other 50% for everything else. You can become a very good photographer, but if I don’t do the other work no one will know me.
I am dedicated to this full-time. So when I ‘m not doing a shooting I am in constant movement to find new locations as well as in post production.
It is equally important to stay connected with the world and feeding back my portfolio online and my official website and my social networks. We are in the digital age and if you do not give the real time to it you are lost, whoever you are.
Phoblographer: Your creative inspiration seems to vary a lot, where do you usually draw your ideas from?
Jvdas: I could tell that I am a person living in a constant mental chaos, which is very funny because I have a different mood every minute. Today I want to make a cold, dark production, and tomorrow you can find me shooting on a beach in midsummer.
My inspiration comes from many places, born from a sound, an image, to a feeling I may be experiencing. Similarly cinema greatly influences my thinking, so I attribute much of my changing style to filmmaking.
I’m not a very tidy person, as I said before chaos governs me. I try to keep the element of surprise alive, that’s the reason why every one of my productions is different from the previous one. I never know what will happen in every photo shoot and I love that.
Phoblographer: Lots of people are way too scared to interact with models. We say that it’s all about psychology and communication. What things have you learned about working with them and interacting with them over the years?
Jvdas: Each model is different. They are ordinary people like us. They have feelings, insecurities, needs and goals. On this basis I believe we can make our photographer-model connection even easier.
I always try to strike up a conversation with the model before starting work. I like to joke and talk about what I want to convey in photos. Once that barrier is broken everything flows magically.
Phoblographer: You have the special skill of not making many of your shoots look very much like one another. So when companies hire you, how does the creation of ideas for shoots happen?
Jvdas: I am a person who does not follow the rules and that is why my photographs are so different from each other .
When a potential customer sees my work automatically knows my style is changing and if that convinces him then will call me.
I am a living experiment, and that often attracts customers because they hope to do something uncommon for their brands, of course as long as they mark me the tone and ideas, that’s when the magic mix happen.
Phoblographer: In what ways do you feel that you’ve become a better photographer in the past year and how did you take the steps to improve?
Jvdas: I think I am a better photographer now than last year because I know more about the market. Also I learned to recognize patterns that influence the behavior of every person who works with me.
More than technical experience what most helped me in my career is to know the people and treat them, I’m someone who listens to his team and to receive opinions and suggestions, I like to give opportunities to others to connect ideas and create amazing things, the success of my work has been based on listening to others.
Something I’ve developed every day is that I know that I am in constant training, each day I try to learn more and more and that’s what is helping me improve my style. The day a photographer thinks he knows everything is the day of the end of his career.