Carlos Alberto de Melo

Photographer: Maggi Reading

When Marysa asked me if I would be interested in taking part I was really excited. What a clever idea and such an innovative way to involve ordinary, non-professional 'snappers'.

I thought about using one of the members of the climbing club I 'play' with – Carlos, being extremely photogenic, was my first choice. We initially photographed him climbing but I don't think the shots were good enough. Finally on a very wet afternoon I chose St John's Church at Waterloo. I think the Vicar and the 'gentlemen of the road' who seek shelter there were amused!

Carlos has lived a really varied life from the tales he has told me. He trained as nurse and worked in casualty. He has always been very 'sporty' and has managed to master many sports – climbing, skiing, motorcycling.  Unfortunately he had an awful accident so that stopped and he took up road cycling. When he arrived in England he then went into the restaurant trade and managed a restaurant in Wandsworth, joining our mountain sports club soon after. The rest is history. Unfortunately he left London and moved back to Brazil to start a family.

by photographer, Maggi Reading

This portrait was taken as part of a series of group and one-to-one portrait photography workshops led by photographer Marysa Dowling. Each participant located a portrait sitter and decided on a location where the shoot could take place. Marysa then met the photographer and sitter on location, and supported them to produce their portrait. Afterward they met together at The Photographers' Gallery, as a group and with their sitters, to look at what each other produced.


Carlos Alberto de Melo, Brazil, © Maggi Reading Courtesy of The Photographers Gallery, London