Here at The 405 we love a bit of photography, whether it be behind-the-scenes photojournalism at a show, or something more abstract and artful. So, naturally, we like to take a deeper look at the photographers at work behind the cameras - what makes them tick, what inspires them, who they are as people.

We asked Portuguese film director/photographer Mário Macedo a few questions about himself and his work. His answers are accompanied with some of his most recent shots, as well as the video his Copenhagen-based film collective 73collective directed for Desert Sound Colony's track 'Cracks in my Soul'. Enjoy!

How did you get started?
Back in 2011 I went to Zagreb to live there for a month with some friends. One of them gave me an old Zenit camera he had since the '80s (I think it belonged to his father). From that moment on I would carry that heavy camera around the city, every day. I would shoot almost a roll of film per day and, somehow, that made me grow a huge vice on freezing moments of my reality. It became my memory aid and now I can't think how my life would be without all the photos I took of it.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration mostly in the beautiful moments of the ordinary. I don't search for specific things to take photos of, I just live my life and wait until I have interesting subjects to photograph. It can be drugged-out people in raves or just kids going mental about some bananas in a supermarket. I don't like to take photos that are staged, it loses all the meaning for me. I like the unmediated subject.

What risk would you take if you knew you could not fail?
I would allow myself to be kidnapped by some Colombian cartel and develop Stockholm syndrome for them and, in a way, become their friends and get full access to those guerrilla jungle people. I don't know, I guess if I knew I could not fail I would do all the dangerous things I'm afraid of.

What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
My whole childhood was kind of special, my parents always gave the best of them and I had a little sister that was a pretty cool kid all along. I guess a lot of my happy childhood moments go back to the family holidays we spent together but, then again, I also come from a small town in the north of Portugal, with a pretty religious background (and sometimes a bit pagan), which made me who I am today. I remember I was one of those kids who had the chance of spending hours playing football in the middle of the street or would take big walks in the forest that surrounds my hometown with my grandfather. It was a pretty chilled place to grow up in which gave me the necessary time to think about how life develops.

When was the last time you tried something new?
I guess the last time I've tried something new was when I started making fashion photography with a friend of mine. We're called MAMA. It is one of my first attempts to do something a bit different from what I'm used to and still use my style of photography (either way, I have to stage moments in this project).

Whose life do you believe you've had the biggest impact on?
I hope I have some kind of impact in everyone I cross paths with, from my family to my friends and girlfriend. But then again I'm still pretty young to have someone being affected by me. Nevertheless I try to surround myself with positivity and I guess that affects everyone around.

What are you currently working on?
Currently I'm trying to make a new film with my uncle, who just came out of prison. I want to spend time with him and understand how his way of perceiving life has changed after being incarcerated. I'm pretty attracted to the idea of freedom and what it really means. I think we all live a big lie when it comes to think we're free.

What's the most challenging thing you've ever created?
I try to make each project of mine a new challenge, either photography or film. I guess my biggest challenge when it comes to photography concerns the fact that I like to photograph strangers in weird moments and some of them don't enjoy that (specially in after-hours raves). In my film 'career' I try to connect with some of my family (and whoever I'm working with) on a really personal level. I like to get to know their fears and vices, I want to know them as their real selves instead of how they show themselves to the world. I'm still starting, so I hope that from project to project I always challenge myself in one way or the other (otherwise there's no point in even trying to do anything).

What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?
That life is as simple as breathing (and eating, of course). It's not more complicated than that and the end is the same for everyone so, in a way, everything is rather pointless. But the beauty of it is in all this pointlessness. No matter what, we're just here to collect experiences and enjoy what life has to give us. Careers and money are just a big lie that most people concentrate their lives on. Most people don't agree with me but then again I couldn't care less. You could call me nihilistic but I would say realistic.

What's the next big step you feel you need to take in your career?
I need to buy a new camera, something crazy good like a Contax G2 or a Leica M6. And I must start writing all those projects that have been hiding in my head (and my notebook). I need to stop being the lazy guy I usually am and become a more pro-active kind of person so I can create all the stuff that I feel like creating.


You can find out more about Mário Macedo's work by checking out his Tumblr.