BEHIND THE LENS
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL BY ANDREA SWARZ
Photographer and visual artist Andrea Swarz was born in Cali, Colombia. Her honest and authentic vision speaks not only of the story in front of the lens, but also of the woman behind it. Swarz’s sharp gaze and the emotionality with which she perceives the world have influenced her versatile career that spans from fashion to intimate travel and lifestyle photography. Her multicultural background is the filter through which she interprets her surroundings and finds natural beauty in the mundane and spontaneous. Considered a translator of the feminine spirit and daring Latin American style, she is also a master of natural light, which results in fresh narratives, based on the perpetuation of small moments and characters. With her particular way of seeing the world, Swarz takes us on a journey through one of the most acclaimed destinations in Brazil.
What brought you to Rio de Janeiro?
I’ve always been very interested in learning about Brazil. My mom lived in Rio de Janeiro in the 1980s while working in the swimwear industry and traveling to research the Brazilian swimwear market, which was very strong then. I was very inspired by her photos from that time.
What does Rio de Janeiro smell like?
Like coconut suntan lotion.
What does it taste like?
The people and friends I made there.
Your favorite activity in Rio?
Jogging throughout Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon.
What was your first impression of the city?
That it was similar to Cali with all the greenery surrounding it.
If Rio de Janeiro had a soundtrack, what songs would be included?
Love love by Gilsons.
Várias Queixas by Gilsons.
Saber Amar by Os paralamas do Sucesso.
What memories come to mind when looking back at this trip?
The image of people playing soccer on the beach– happy, doing what they love.
What’s most unique about Rio de Janeiro, something you haven’t seen elsewhere?
The topography of the city is very special. It’s a jungle that devours the city in a unique way and then the mountains that trap it. The people’s energy is also incredible.
When you travel to Rio de Janeiro, you cannot miss…
A walk by Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Going to Pedra Do Sal on Mondays to watch the samba dance. Sipping on a beer at sunset in Mureta de Urca.
Any tips when you visit?
It’s a big city. Many of the places are far away and travel takes time.
Oi beleza!, which means “Hello beautiful”.
Obrigado, the most common, which is ”thank you”; the pleasure of saying it is unique.
Bom día, “Good Morning”.
Tudou bem?, “all good?”.’
An interesting tip?
If you’re looking for a party, there aren’t many places. The party happens more on the streets, outside the bars.
What is beauty to you?
Anything that catches my eye and brings pleasure to my senses or my mind.
What camera do you use?
5d Mark IV and Fuji XT30.