MEMBER SPOTLIGHT // Augusto Paiva

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Augusto Paiva’s stunning black and white photos combine the elegant beauty of an “old” New York, with a nagging nostalgia often unseen in the age of Instagram and instant success. We’re proud to call Paiva a Starr Street Member and agree that there is no place as artistically compelling as Bushwick, and no light as photographically alluring as that at Starr Street.

From the sky scrapers of Sao Paulo, to the coastal drives of Cupertino, and now back in the studios of New York, Paiva is always on the lookout for fashion designers, make up artists and models open to collaboration. Find him, enjoy his powerful work, and feel free to reach out via Instagram @augustopaiv.

We spoke to Augusto about what inspires him, what brought him to Starr, and what excites him about black and white photography.

Enjoy his words and images!

— Joey @ Starr

SS: Tell us a little about yourself. What brought you to Starr Street?

AP: I’m a Creative Director & Photographer based in New York City. I recently moved back to New York after spending 5 years working as an Art Director at Apple in California.

I’m originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I graduated in Advertising before I went to study Graphic Design in Australia for a year. Those years were very important as a start to find my own visual language but things really took shape after I moved to NY in 2011 to work for Nike and a few years later working on giving a voice and a tone to Apple Music through graphic design and photography.

New York and California are, of course, a crucial part of who I am as a photographer and Starr Street being in a highly creative neighborhood like Bushwick plays a big part on why I chose to be a member.

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SS: What's your artistic vision and do you feel Starr helps you bring this out when you shoot here?

AP: Black and white photography feels like the only way for me to speak through an image right now. I love it’s minimalist, but yet very bold, way to say something. I’ve always been drawn to simplification. To the idea of taking everything that is unnecessary to create a very clear and pure image while still trying to evoke an emotion.

Maybe because I’ve moved cities so many times in my life, I’m very attached to this dream-like aesthetic. To recreating that feeling that you can go back in time and revisit your memories and friends. Like when you wake up from a dream and all you can remember is someones eyes, hair, some vague idea of location but a strong feeling of vulnerability and nostalgia.

A few years ago I was very lucky to meet Ralph Gibson and Renato D’Agostin and spend time with them. Their work and creative approach have been engraved in my images. The Somnambulist by Ralph Gibson is probably my all time favorite photography book.

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SS: What lead you to become a Starr Street Member and how has the experience been?

AP: I got recommended by another photographer friend of mine and it’s been great so far. I really like the size of the studio and its natural light. Another great thing is how easy it is to book the studio online and to communicate with the staff whenever I have questions.

Thanks for stopping by, Augusto. And thank you for your membership!

We can’t wait to see you back at Starr Street soon!

Joey Rubin