Estonian gadabout town, trouble maker and designer Lazer one day just vanished from the streets, bars and parties of Tallinn. But he had not hung up his boots, popped his clogs or settled down with his pipe and slippers. No, he was in Brazil, happier, healthier and with a new wave of inspiration doing brighter and bolder work than ever before. Here is a snippet of this boy in Brazil… Where’s my passport?
Brazil – Estonia – Was it the weather or the women that took you away from your isamaa (fatherland)?
My friends like to think that it was “The Women”.. some friends think it was the “freedom and weather”.. but seriously… It was that I was drinking like 10 years..every weekend and weekdays as well .. depending how drunk and funny I get during the weekend. So I know that I’m a talented bloke and I need to improve my talents and do some great stuff, but if you happen to have a thousand friends who call you and ask you out for drink..hmmm you don’t have time to do some perfect art, photo, illustration etc. Seriously.. I know some of you think that this is bullshit, but as you see my photos (this is just the beginning) I really made some moves and soon you will see new illustrations and other stuff… because now I have time and the will to do stuff.. And yes of course IT WAS THE WOMEN too.. beautiful Brazilian girls.. it’s really hard not to like them. And the weather.. an endless summer, ocean and beaches. Big and crazy cities and strange people with strange thoughts. You know.
And right now, I really don’t think about returning to Estonia.. maybe someday, but I don’t have a problem with Estonia, I love Estonia but I live where I stay. It’s that easy.
How do you live day to day in Brazil, is the culture shock something you will ever be able to explain?
Living is easy in Brazil, especially when you have work in Europe and you can do stuff via internet. It’s great.
But yes. I do some photo shoots sometimes for Brazilians. Yes. There are many crazy things in Brazil, that I can’t explain correctly.. for example, you can kiss a girl who you don’t know but you can not touch them.. not ever.
The smiles of the people are so wide and real, what do you do to get pictures of such happy faces? Joke around, wait for them to smile or is there just so much genuine happiness around in Brazil?
Yeah. There is genuine happiness and they like to smile as wide as it gets. I think they have different DNA because of smiling every day, and they have great teeth, really perfect.
I use a Leica M8 and I need like 1.5-3 m distance to shoot a good portrait and so I get really close and then ask some questions. Sometimes they just look at my blonde hair and blue eyes and just smile.
I ask permission to shoot their portrait every time (maybe 2-4 photos without permission).. and I remember the faces and stories. I must say they are smiling a lot but not every time sincerely. This is just a facade sometimes. Then they don’t give a shit and you’re just a ‘white money pocket’ running around. Brazilians can lie a lot and if there is some money to take… they don’t mind.
Brazilian women are legendary and here you have the feminine collection: Part I: Crianças (children), Part II: Moças (young ladies), Part III: Velhinhas (old ladies) which takes the legend and makes it real, what sort of response have you received for this series of pictures around the world?
As I can see from my web and FLICKR portfolio statistics everybody likes a sexy body and tropical light. This is normal and logical. Some professional photographers say that ” Yeah .. that’s the easiest way to collect an audience”.. YES.but what the fuck!!! They’re beautiful and sexy and I don’t think that I shoot pornographic photos.. do I? Get a life, come to Brazil and shut up. There will be more sexy photos I promise. I love Brazilian women and they have every kind of mixture here.. morenas, mulatas, brancas, negroes, japonesas, you name it! A lot of work for a photographer.
Do you have your favourite pictures you have taken and why do you like them so much?
I really like those kids on the photo. They just were having a great time.
And that moment with the old man. perfect light and colours and model..
And those EYES.. just some drunk man with eyes like hell.
How much film do you take opposed to digital?
Soon I will shoot with only film, mostly black and white and right now I’m looking for a new film camera. Yes I have some old ones but I was thinking maybe a Hasselblad 6×6 for portraits. During art school I was shooting film and I loved it. I enjoy the whole process.
Crime is always a big topic when it comes to Rio and Sao Paulo, have you had many difficult situations and how do you cope when your property becomes someone else’s?
No, I haven’t been in many difficult situations. Sometimes there are some bad blokes but don’t go there where they live and don’t go wandering around the favelas.
Some day somebody will take my money, but you know in Brazil they take your money and that’s it. In Europe they fuck you up and take your money. Some different kind of hate is in our minds. Why is that? In Brazil. they don’t have money, so they take it. Sorry, they have money but not everybody.
Where in Brazil have you been living and how have you been living?
I have been everywhere but I’m still moving around and shooting photos in new places. I don’t know yet where I’m going to stay. Living is easy and sunny although not everyday, but whose complaining.
Mostly I live in Florianopolis. It is a beautiful island. Lots of surfers and beaches (around 70). A party every day and good infrastructure. Not so cheap but ok. Great place to visit.
Recife is the next place. There is place called Olinda where you can see real carnival. This is something really different from the carnaval in Rio.You must see this and you will like it. Easy living, artists, surfers, beautiful girls and very hot weather.
More places: Fortaleza (tourist center.. everywhere you can see Americans), Natal, Joao Pessoa (really nice green and small city. Nice beaches end people. Very historical place.
And of course Rio, Sao Paulo, Salvador… etc.
I forget: Ubatuba and Maresias (best beaches and secret beaches in Brazil) Full of young people and fun. But Brazil is very big and there is lot of beautiful places, just go and look around.
Ernest Hemingway had Cuba, Jack London Hawaii, is Lazer forevermore bound to Brazil?
Yes. I think so. Soon I will speak perfect Portuguese and maybe I will write some words, someday. I don’t know. When you’re traveling alone you get some crazy ideas.
Share 10 amazing facts but not so well known things about Brazil.
1. Brazilians must tell you 10 times during the day that they like to take a shower (to everyone and loud).
2. Brazilians think that Europeans don’t like to t shower.
3. If your husband goes with another woman. You are not a good wife. It’s your fault.
4. There are mixtures of and every kind of race in Brazil.
5. Brazilian think that money is everything but living is fine without money as well.
6. Everybody needs love, and a man needs a woman and a woman needs a man. Simple.
7. Brazilians love grill and barbeque parties.
8. They have a great smile and great teeth.
9. Brazilian women know how to move their body.. epsecially “BUNDA” :)
10. You can live on the beach!
Anything to most definitely avoid on a first visit?
Don’t be stupid tourist. Learn some of the language and study some maps and you will be fine. Drink only bottled water please. And “cachaca” is a bad drink, really bad.. but I like it.
People like to shower and be clean but how clean are the beaches, is pollution a real problem, the environment under threat due to the levels of poverty and lack of proper waste disposal?
Yes. In Sao Paulo they have a special pollution weather forecast now, it’s crazy . And yes Brazilians don’t yet think about waste being a problem. They have some organisations (E-brigade) but everybody is still throwing cigarettes and waste onto the streets. The beaches are fine (but not in Rio). There are a lot of beaches and you can find some really clean ones. Brazil is BIG.
If you write a book then what is the title going to be?
“SOZINHO NO BRASIL” = “ALONE IN BRAZIL” . I think..
Is it really true, that you have stopped drinking so much? And what is much, Brazilian standards, do they think you are crazy?
Yes, I don’t drink so much anymore. Really. And Brazilians can’t drink a lot. If I go to a party with my Brazilian friends… I’ll go home alone or I go to some other bar and drink some more. They are not used to drinking vodka and stuff like that. You know what I mean.
And mixing tequila, beer, vodka, rum and maybe some things.. is a dead end for them. To me it seems like a nice party drink (smiles).
AND YES! They think that I am crazy. But they haven’t seen how much I can really drink… how for many days hahahaha:) weeks.. ok fun fun fun..
What is the slang for Question and Answer in Brazil?
Question = Diga (speak to me)
Answer = Olha.. (look..)
For more Lazer’s photos visit flickr.com/photos/vectorino/.
Lazer’s photos are also available on postcards. To buy, go to vectorino.bigcartel.com/.
Is life too serious to be taken seriously? Favourite animal is a dog, called Harry the Lurcher. Now somewhere in space.
I am happy for Lazer.
Life in a heart culture reflects
itself on the faces of its people. Head culture is a kind
of self prophseising damnation
common in the Culture of so
called Western Civilization.
Good on you Harry, Head and Heart Syncronisation is where