Meet photographer Debora Ribeiro

Handsome Things chatted to photographer Debora Ribeiro about music, photography and why she’s starting to think tea is overrated.

What is you background and how did you get into photography? 

I was born in Lobito, Angola, left as a baby and I was raised in São Paulo where I dabbled in ballet until early adolescence. I moved to Cape Town at 14 where I grew up, loved and lived, up until very recently.  There I aspired to be an artist and fashion illustrator. I experienced modeling, finished a degree in Fashion Design at DAF and finally realized my undeniable love for photography.

I always had photography influences in my family, my grandmother used to work in a photography shop and my father is a true lover of photography, he used to develop his own material when he was young and I love looking through his albums from back in the day, they are all so full of magic and a most of my inspiration comes from him.

I’m currently living in Lisbon for the past 2 years, finishing a photography degree at Ar.Co. – Art and Visual Communication School.

I treasure life and I’m such a dreamer. Can’t stop laughing at myself. I love tea but I’m starting to think it’s overrated so I’ve been indulging in espressos.

Digital or film?

Both. I love film, I love spending ours in the lab developing the film and the whole process of printing and manipulating the negative, dipping the paper in the chemicals and watching the latent image come to life in my own hands. It’s a slower process, more expensive also and methodical, nevertheless, it’s very creative and stimulating.

Digital nowadays is essential! It’s fun, it gives us more freedom to create and invent at a faster pace. And I treasure digital for that! It’s the method I use for work while film is more on a personal level.

What inspires you?

I’ve been traveling since I was a baby and haven’t been able to stop, wander-lusting spirit. Traveling gives me drive, inspiration and I get anxious when I settle in one place for too long.

A free spirit at heart I’m also inspired by nature, mysticism, the earthly and ethereal.

My influences come from culturally substantial artists and writers of the 20th century. The works of Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz where art and fashion go hand in hand. And a lot of music like Joy Division, Interpol, Incubus, Björk, Jefferson Airplane, Arcade Fire and Bob Dylan amongst others.

I’m obsessed about everything beautiful and I try to find beauty in the mundane.


Thanks Debora!

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