Renata Xavier

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Hi everyone! I’m Renata Xavier, a photographer specialized in eternalizing life. My work flows through photojournalism, portraits, weddings, photo shoots and large-scale projects… I don’t stick myself in labels or any limits in the aim to photograph people and their dreams.

I’m based in Rio de Janeiro and have worked for some of the biggest newspapers and magazines in Brazil. It was a very busy life, with no fixed schedule that I even did 5 jobs in a day. I loved to be involved with the breaking news and history of my country, but it all changed when I decided to marry and start a family. At that point, I started to feel like photographing other families being born and growing up.

Today, my husband Leandro Lucas works with me and we have a beautiful girl named Clara. In the last 14 years, we have photographed hundreds of weddings and photo shoots in Brazil and other countries around the world. We have worked in England, France, USA, Portugal, Curaçao, Colombia and any other place where there are good moments to register.

While photographing weddings, I’m always searching for the emotion, the moment, the movement… I like the action, the unexpected, the surprise, and the realness of the moment. I photograph what I see, feel and believe. I believe the strongest images come from the heart, and through them it’s possible to tell simple and daily life stories that touch people for generations.

In Brazil, weddings are usually set at night in very low-light churches. There are big parties with lots of attractions and hundreds of guests. They go through the whole night and sometimes we stay until sunrise! We work with a lot of action and difficult light situations all the time which can be very challenging! ;)

In the past few years, we’ve had some award-winning photos in many contests like the Rangefinder Wedding Contest (2014 first place), PDN’s Top Knots (4 times), Nikon 100th Anniversary (2017), My Wed Awards (2017), Fearless Photographers (8 times), PX3 Prix de La Photographie Paris (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Best of the Best Engagement Junebug Weddings (2014, 2017, 2018), WPPI (4 times), Wedding Best (best Brazilian wedding album in 2014, bride and groom’s choice) Wedding Awards (2011, 2012, 2013 e 2014 ), Inspiration Photographers and others. We are partners with DreamBooksPro, a European photo albums maker, and we speak at various conferences like Fotografar, Wedding Brasil, and Photo Image Brazil.

Today I am able to realize my dream of telling stories while photographing other people’s dreams. I love unpretentious daily life situations that bear the human essence! The birthing, the growing up, the marrying and the natural cycle of life! That’s why I love photographing families and their big and little moments! The union, the love, the happiness, the transformation, the realization. Fragments of life, fleeting moments that I don’t want to be lost.

I want to keep them for the next generations, and create memories. My aim is to eternize life. After all, there is nothing better to the soul than celebrating life and love!

As for my equipment, I have used Nikon for many years, but have recently experimented with Fujifilm and really liked it! I use two XT-2 cameras, and I was amazed by Fuji’s more compact bodies and lens. They are much lighter than my old D4. I guess my current Fuji equipment weighs less than half the weight of my Nikon equipment. It’s great for travel and much easier and pleasant to carry throughout many hours of a wedding. The next day, my back isn’t killing me.

One thing that made me really concerned about the change from a DSLR full-frame to a mirrorless APS-C was the quality of the image and the much appreciated bokeh. Off course there are differences, but they are too subtle for an ordinary observer. I was highly impressed by the image quality of the small XT-2 Fujifilm cameras and their lens. I’ve done several magazine covers and photo shoots with them, with really great reception from art directors, brides and grooms, and clients in general.

My favorite lenses are the Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2, which I use in the making-of, the ceremony and the beginning of the party; the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 for portraits; and the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, which I keep attached to my camera during the party because it’s very fast and bright. All Fuji lenses are extremely well built and have excellent optical quality.

Sometimes, when the dance floor is too crowded and wild, I use the Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 or 8mm f/2.8 with manual focus. For static situations like decoration and a wide open venue, I use the Fujinon 10-24mm f/4 or the Rokinon. When the church is too big, I use Fujinon 90mm f/2, which has very good flattening and crop effects. For pictures of the wedding rings and very tiny details, I use the Fujinon Macro Extension Tube MCEX-11, which is very small and fits in any bag pocket.

I love to photograph using only ambient light, but when needed I use Godox TT-350 flashes, which are very compact and have a built-in radio, Yongnuo YN360 LED or Lumecube.

The bag with which I carry all this equipment is a Think Tank Photo Airport Navigator Rolling Bag and I use a Think Tank Slim Changer for quick lens changes. For photo shoots, I carry all I need in a small Think Tank Retrospective 5. I also have my 128GB memory cards and my SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s. I use Powerex batteries in the flashes. For editing images, I use a MacBook Pro 15.4 Retina Display.

I hope this will help you! Good photos for everyone! ;-)

MY KIT:

Cameras:

Fujifilm XT-2 (x2)

Lenses:

Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 XF R WR
Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 XF R
Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 XF R
Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 XF R
Fujinon 90mm f/2.0 XF LM WR
Fujinon 10-24mm f/4 XF R OIS
Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 UMC Fisheye II
Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS

Lights:

Godox TT-350S (x2)
Yongnuo YN-360 LED Video Light
Lumecube

Bags:

Think Tank Photo Airport Navigator Rolling Bag
Think Tank Slim Changer
Think Tank Retrospective 5

Other Stuff:

Fujinon Macro Extension Tube MCEX-11
Sandisk Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card 95mb/s (64 and 128GB)
Powerex PRO AA High Capacity Rechargeable NiMH 2700mAh (x24)
MacBook Pro 15.4 Retina Display, Touch Bar, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 2017

www.renataxavier.com.br

Inside Renata’s camera bag:

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  • Hi everyone! I’m very happy to be featured by Shotkit! It’s a reference site for me! To be here with a lot of great photographers that I admire is a honor! Thanks Mark! Just a little update: now I have a new little baby: the Fujifilm XT3 and I’m lovin’ it!!!