Hi Wicked Hunters,
Welcome back to another week of The Art of Photography Podcast.
José Ramos is a landscape photographer and psychiatrist based in Lisbon, Portugal. His photographic career began in 2004, with a body of work strongly focused on long exposure technique and storytelling. His images are multi-layered, starting with the immediate attention-grabbing landscapes bathed in exquisite light, moving to the symbolic detail of archetypical natural elements, and then completed with the written reflections accompanying each artwork.
José divides his time between his artistic and medical career, strongly feeling that there is a creative synergy between both crafts, where the commonalities and differences of each discipline mutually enrich and foster his artworks.
His photos have been featured in National Geographic printed editions and many other international photography magazines, exhibited in collective and individual shows, and sold as large format fine art prints and NFTs.
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Jose Ramos 0:00
summing up the purpose is to ever voice trying to convey the things that are important that I really want to share with others. We are all together in this so I think every one of us as kind of the duty I would say to try to enrich the world we are in and photography seems like a beautiful way to do it
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 0:29
Hey, wicked hunters Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast, where we share photographers journey and how photography have given us hope, purpose and happiness. And today, we have someone who been very inspiring to his voice to me, as well as his photography, he take amazing sunset sunrise as well as photography in general. So today, we have Jose, hey, Jose, how you doing? Hi there, how are you? It’s very good to be here. I’m pretty excited. And thank you for the invitation.
Jose Ramos 1:03
And I greatly admire your work. I want to apologise to everyone because of my English. I’m not a native English speaker, but I’m doing my best. And I hope everyone understands me well. And so I’m pretty excited to be here today. And to have a conversation with you.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:21
Oh, man, you’re just too humble. Your English is perfect.
Jose Ramos 1:26
Sometimes I struggle with words, I’m very used to my Portuguese, which has a very rich vocabulary. And sometimes I get a little bit lost with English, but I’m doing my best.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:37
Fair enough. Fair enough. So, you know, like, I’ve been following you for a while look at your photography, and they are just incredible. Like, you know, it really speak to you. Right? It really pops. But before we get into your photography, give us a little bit background about you know, who you are and how you come about photography.
Jose Ramos 2:01
Okay, sure, I could give you the short version or the very long one. So I’ll just try to find a balance not to bother our listeners. But I usually say that first of all, long before photography, I was passionate about nature. I was born in Portugal, in a small town in the south of Portugal. So we were quite used to go to nature, I used to do a lot of mountain biking, I always felt these instinctive needs to be in quiet places, beautiful places, forests, etc. And right from the beginning, I’ve always lived in nature. I didn’t have any artistic background in my in my family, unfortunately. But I know that from quite early, I wanted to express myself and I wanted to use art in some way. I used to live literature, philosophy, spirituality. But then I got into music. Actually, as a rock band still in this small own town when I was still a teenager and heavy metal bands. We are we were kind of the outcasts in our town. But already had this need to, to express something. And I used to use music to do this. At the same time, I continued my ventures into nature with no artistic purpose. Then, when I was 18 years old, I had to go to college and I went to medical school in Lisbon. And I found myself all of a sudden, completely overwhelmed with 10s of things to study, and barely no time to devote to music. We used to play electric guitar. And I was really struggling with that because I needed an outlet. Medicine was extremely demanding 10s of mental work and not that much in terms of expression. And as if that wasn’t enough, I was in a big town I was in Lisbon and contact with nature was greatly reduced. So it was absolutely everything. A big big angle over of both nature and creation. And my encounter with photography. It was extremely spontaneous. Digital Photography just became a thing. This was probably 18 years ago. Yeah, I’m now 14. This was 18 years ago, I was in the middle of my of my graduation. And I asked my parents to buy me to offer me a digital camera. It was a three megapixel compact camera, no artistic purpose at all. I just wanted it to be as small as possible. I didn’t care about megapixels, anything like that. But the interesting thing is that when I got the camera, which I just wanted to capture some snapshots of my daily life, it just made me so starts looking for things that were special things that were beautiful and inspiring. And as soon as we, as I realised, I was starting to venture much more into nature than before I started capturing images. Still, I didn’t have any artistic purpose in debt, but the images were just kept on my harddrive, I was starting to feel the pleasure of capturing the beauty that I was seeing and recording it with the camera. And that was until a friend of mine suggested me. This wasn’t so long ago, 1817 years ago, to share some of my nature images on online. There were no there was no social media back then we already had photo communities. So I started posting in a website, which still exists today, which is DeviantArt. It had an absolutely incredible photo community back then, every one was there incredible artists. So I just accepted to put one or two terrible photos there. And I was extremely surprised with the community energy. I got comments, I commented on other people’s photos, it was extremely clean in terms of energy, there was not the current vibe, numbers and everything else. So all of a sudden, I was finding the creative outlets, which joined both my my wish to express what I felt, and also my love for nature. So it was kind of a perfect combination. It replaced music, it became my favourite form of expression. And so I just got absolutely addicted to it. Then I entered my specialty in psychiatry, when I officially finished graduation. And things just kind of exploded from there. Because I got extremely even more fascinated with photography, when I learned about its power, not only for expression, but also for wellbeing for so many things. And then publications, exhibitions, photo tours, and social media and everything else started appearing. So I just found myself having to kind of divide my time between practising medicine and doing photography. So I just got fully addicted. And we are here today because I’m continue. I still continue to be addicted to photography.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 7:31
That’s incredible, man. Like, this is why I love like, you know, this podcast because like, in just six minutes, I know you more than I would have, you know, following you for all this time. And so yeah, that is so cool. You used to play in a band. I used to be a drummer, actually. So,
Jose Ramos 7:49
so that’s awesome. What musical style may I make?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 7:54
I used to like a punk rock. That was okay. It’s like cool. That’s just like the blink 182 sort of a thing. But it’s really interesting because you you say you used to like music, and then you kind of found photography and you shift across you still like music or kind of what makes photography take over from being able to express yourself through music instead?
Jose Ramos 8:25
Yeah, that’s a very, very interesting question. And I would give a superficial first answer, which would be convenience. And I’ll explain why. Because most of the members of the bands, they actually also came to Lisbon to study. We were all 18 years old, and we tried several times to reunite the band and continue rehearsals. But the thing is that doing rehearsals in Lisbon is totally different from doing in our small hometown, where we were the garage of one of them, we just anqing we just hang out there, or virtually all afternoons. And in Lisbon, all of a sudden, we had to book a studio, we had to have a schedule, we had to pay, and we tried multiple times, and it just did not happen. So the thing is, all of a sudden photography gives me something that I love, which is my own space, my own silence my way of doing things of breathing, of taking my time. And even though I lost kind of the teamwork part of it, which is important. I gained a lot with photography. So firstly, it was convenience. But then I felt that I was gaining much more. expressing myself through photography, and the potential of sharing, communicating and discovering other people’s work was incredibly it was more amplified. So that’s why in a very smooth way photography replaced music in I live.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 10:00
That is awesome. Thanks for sharing that. And it’s really interesting how you say that, you know, you can’t have the superficial reason to start photography, but you get deeper and I feel like it’s a common occurrence, you know, after like, interviewing over 45 people in my podcast, that’s kind of what I see, you know, like most people start just just go on a holiday take photo, but they got really into deep on it. And it it seems like photography habits way to do that. Now, one thing that I’m interested in to hear from you is, you know, expressing your you say this notion about expressing yourself to photography, right? So how does that different between expressing yourself to photography versus expressing yourself in the music?
Jose Ramos 11:00
Okay. First of all, I want to just a little compliment to you, because you mentioned that we’ve interviewed a lot, a lot of people, I was quite terrified when I saw all the big names you have already interviewed. So I congratulate you for that, because it’s a very important thing that you are doing for photographers and, and also because I read your very interesting manifesto about the emotions that photography brings to our own lives, including some periods and when you have struggled, and you are clearly one of those that s photography need his life to express something in to get a deeper purpose and meaning. So I just wanted to congratulate you, first of all because of that, and it’s good, because I listened to many of your podcasts. And yeah, you always seems to search for these common threads, that people are not doing photography just for the sake of it, which is quite important. So go into your question about expressing myself through music and through photography. Once again, photography was so much smoother and elegant for me than music. In music, you have the craft parts, you need to practice a lot, you need to be extremely obsessive. If you want to play well, you probably felt that we did drums, I don’t know if you felt that as deep. Because it’s a punk rock. And sometimes punk bands want to be more spontaneous. Our metal band was kind of technical. So it got kind of complex. So you were to spend hours and hours and hours practising scales and everything else. And I just hated it. Because I already had the discipline for the studies. And I wanted for the expression in arts to be something more effortless, more spontaneous. So expressing myself with music, it was extremely empowering. It felt extremely good. It was fantastic when we were playing together when we were giving concerts. But there’s something deeper and more profound in artistic expression through photography for me, okay, so probably many people, mostly musicians will feel the opposite. But for me, the whole process, the slower thought process and creating process and the travelling and being in the middle of nature, and thinking about what you want to do. And all the time you have in the world to look at your images and try to understand what they’re telling you and write about him. For me. It’s a much much richer experience. So music is more like in your face. My visual filling is this one. I’m filling it right now. Please take hits, and you can go into the mosh pit right now insert at all. And photography is kind of a more, I would say existential craft. It’s a slower one. And well I like it more right now.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 14:13
Oh, amen. That is That is awesome. I love hearing that, you know. And I appreciate what you said earlier that you know, that’s very kind of you. At the end of the day i i look for people who who have inspiring stories and one of the reason why I want you to be here is because the way you you tell story not only through your photography, but also through your words. So, you know, I don’t just speak anyone who big have a big following. But you know that what you just said earlier just shows you know why I want you to be here because you really take meaningful approach to your photography right now, it’s really interesting how you say that In music, you kind of have to work hard to get good at it. And then you become you burn out, right? You hated what you’re doing, because you’re just practising too hard. Now, when it comes, I mean, with anything in life, right? If you want to be good at it, you gotta learn. And then you got to practice. And I’m sure you’ve had a lot of practice a lot of trial and error with your photography as well. So how, how is that different with your experience in music? And what sort of advice you could give for people who are feeling that way, you know, who are feeling like, they’ve been at this photography for so long they practice and practice and practice and they hit a wall, and they just burn out?
Jose Ramos 15:47
Yeah. It’s also a great question. And I love this kind of interviews, not just the typical technical questions, I prefer these ones. Yeah, first of all, I didn’t want to send out the message that for me, photography is absolutely easy, because it’s not, I have already struggled a lot with photography, not in terms of creative block, because I have kind of a controversial opinion about that. I don’t think that there’s creative block when our subject that we capture is nature, which is something kind of endless, in its beauty and possibilities. But I think we can F inner blocks. So photography, it took me a long time to get to where I am right now. But it was not as hard and as tough as it used to be music because with music with the practice of the instrument when I was practising, I didn’t feel like I was doing something inspiring. And when I’m learning photography, I’m in the middle of nature, or not closed inside my room, looking at nothing and trying for my fingers to move as they should. I’m in the middle of a beautiful forest, taking terrible photos, or in a seascape doing terrible photos, but I’m there. So the act of doing photography is just a small part of everything, just a small part of hiking, of looking at the sunset of chatting with friends while you are doing a walk sharing with your partner. So we just became extremely spontaneous, because I just loved everything about the process, not just the click of the button. But all the process was good right from the beginning. And just like you said, my first images were not satisfying at all. I’m one of the few that still has this whole portfolio online. If you go to my Deviantart, you can see my terrible photos from 18 years ago. And I think it’s kind of a small legacy that I have just to show how terrible one can be in the past, and how one can kind of improve, but I still have a long way to go. So if someone feels stuck going to your main question. I would say and probably this is kind of related with my practice in psychiatry, and also with my notions of how photography can have meaning to you. I think that if you if you are genuine, when we’re trying to really express something that’s inside you, you need to have a purpose, you can just want to share the beauty of nature, this is a very deep purpose. It’s not something superficial. But as long as you want to do something and reach something, I think you will always channel all your insight into it. So it will just appear people that are struggling, usually, they feel blocked, because there are some outside expectations from them. For them that kind of overwhelmed them. Beat numbers beat many beat survival beat anything. And all of a sudden, when you start being absolutely genuine towards your goals, your body will react Your body knows it. There’s some sorts of this is controversial also, scientifically speaking, and I should only say scientific accurate things. But your body just signals, the stress, it signals the lack of genuine unity. And some people ever very natural talents to enter into some sort of false self state where they pretend to be something but most artists, they just can’t do it. So if someone has a big, big creative block, I would mostly suggests for them to stop a little bit, turn out the noise of social media, the numbers, the competition the game and just think about what they want to bring to the table what they need to channel from the inside. And I think this makes a huge difference. Okay, it’s easier said than done. But well, I think it’s the best advice I can give now.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 20:08
Wow, that is one whole lot of wise words in just few minutes. Yeah, listeners, if you, you know, you probably going to have to go through this few minutes over and over again, if you hit a roadblock or a mental block, because I think what you just say there really hits in the nail. And as you were just saying that I, I was I was, I was thinking about the time when I hit a burn out. And actually, you’re right, at that time always Like, going up with the expectation to shoot something that is, you know, that is appealing to the social media mass, right, not really the thing that but not not really shooting for myself. So that’s really interesting. I’m glad that you share that, because I think a lot of people might not realise that until either, you know, come across this, several podcasts talking, you know, with someone like you or actually being told. So, thanks for sharing that. And I’m glad I’m talking to you today for sure. Because I’m sure other people out there will draw inspiration from this. Now,
Jose Ramos 21:25
it’s my pleasure. And just sorry for interrupting you just a little bit because I just wanted to add something, which is probably also quite important to the people that might be listening to us. It’s that I’ve also been there, I don’t want to come across as the guy that knows it all that I’m the psychiatrist. So I’m protected for from all kinds of mental illness. I usually say this to my patients. In the middle of all medical specialties psychiatry, as the the most the most increased prevalence of mental illness problems, okay. So I just want to transmit that doctors also suffer, just like photographers and artists. And I’ve also been there I’ve been in the game number, I felt, I wouldn’t say burnt out but and successful. And I remember plenty of times of trying to enter what I mentioned as kind of a false self state, where I wanted to emulate something or someone when every image at to be absolutely epic and bombastic. And it just doesn’t work. Because that’s not how we were, how we are wired. And it’s extremely, it’s extremely harmful for everyone. So I want people to know that I’ve also endured and struggled quite a lot with those kinds of feelings. Perhaps I had some extra tools to think about it. So I’m still finding my way, truth be set. I’m currently in the process of trying to reconceptualize many things that I’ve been doing this is mostly related with the controversial NFT space, which has some very good things along with it, but I’m also in the path. So I haven’t found the solution at all. I’m just trying to learn how to protect myself as much as possible to make this path genuine. So that that’s the main message. Sorry for interrupting, you can continue.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 23:30
No thanks for having that. I think that’s really important to hear that, you know, even the best of us gone through all that. I feel like the social media have this notion that makes people who are in the social media looks perfect, right? But at the end of it, we are just human. Now, you say something really interesting, earlier about, you know, you go into this as well. And, you know, you have this this issue as well. But you know, like you say you are trained, right, you have the tools, but something that I realised from my own experience is when when we look at someone else we could, we could clearly see it, right? It’s like oh, okay, you’re, you’re you’re you’re having this struggle, this challenge and you should you should do this a, b and c because you should show it from you see it from the outside. Now for ourselves, it’s different because we are part of it, we are emotionally attached to the problem to whatever it is like you know, the survival method or sorry, the survival state that you mentioned, for example. So what is your advice to be able to take to be able to recognise your own state and to be able to give, take your own advice and actually implement it as if you are talking to us someone else,
Jose Ramos 25:01
when once again another extremely challenging, but interesting question, the kinds of questions that I like. Because there’s a reason why I said it’s easier said than done. Because it’s all extremely, I wouldn’t say easy, but it’s more comfortable when I’m sitting in the doctor’s chair, and quite difficult when I’m on the other side. So that’s why I said that I have some tools to help me navigate it. But that doesn’t always make it easier. It’s like, it’s like diagnosing or treating someone from your family, you just don’t do it. Because you aren’t attached emotionally to this person, you cannot have lack of biases that will kind of contaminate your, your evaluation. So sometimes it’s even harder for a psychiatrist to be suffering mentally, because it will start creating all sorts of theories, it will start triggering lots of alarms of what’s going on with me, am I becoming a patient? Will I need medication, and then all the brain process to approach this sometimes becomes harder when it’s related with ourselves. So the thing is, most of all, I always try to build back to what I mentioned before, which is the feeling that on your inside, you feel comfortable, you feel pleasure, while you’re trading your art, you feel that there’s some sort of narrative that is related with you, it’s aligned with your goals, it’s aligned with who you want to be in this very short life. It’s aligned with what you want to transmit to other people. And it’s only when I do this, and this is completely unrelated with psychiatry itself, it’s only when I do it is that I probably get a little bit more grounded, and managed to look at things from the outsides. I also have some further tools, because I’ve been doing a lot of research about using psychedelics for treatment of psychiatric illness. And I tried to bring a lot of that also for my creative expression to my photography. And I mentioning this because in the end, we are all so immersed in our own selves in our rigid ways of thinking, in our rigid ways of feeling that when we get out of this huge bubble, and we look from the outside, it’s so much easier to fix things. And this is achievable through therapy through medication through other means. But we can also do it ourselves, as long as we are not mentally Hill, as long as it’s not absolutely uncontrollable, we can stop and look at our insight, we can meditate, we can think about what we’re doing, once again, the purpose. So that’s what I had to do with myself, I could not be my own psychiatrist, I had to be used, they’re thinking about why it’s just they’re suffering so much, and what’s wrong? And what kind of external forces are being toxic? And what did I want it to transmit with my time spent with art. So this was kind of the path that I was able to, to follow.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 28:32
Fantastic, thanks for sharing that and explaining that. Now. You mentioned something very interesting in the answer the the you know, you in order to get away from this, what they call it the burnout, you are focusing on your purpose, right? In photography. So share with us a little bit what is your purpose? What is photography to you, and why do you take them? Now I know in the beginning, you have an entirely different reason. But now you are here, and it gives you a lot of fulfilment. How does that do to you?
Jose Ramos 29:13
Yeah. Well, photography, just like I told you before, I think I’m still in the middle of the path. I probably will never reach the end of the path because it’s all about the journey. This sounds like a little bit of a cliche, but it’s the absolute truth. But yeah, the the initial purpose it was just to capture spontaneous moments. And then all of a sudden it became a channel to to express things that weren’t inside me. You could ask Why have I chosen nature? Why not go to portrait photography, street photography, documentary, photojournalism, etc. But just like I said, In the beginning, I’ve always been fascinated with nature. I think there’s so much more More to nature than what’s immediately apparent. And for me, images have a lot of layers. I know that someone that looks at my portfolio, if someone doesn’t spend more than 30 seconds on my portfolio, like probably 99% of people do on social media, because it’s everything is so quick and accelerated. But if people look at my portfolio, they’ll see lots of Hi Candy, as I usually say, very captivating images, lots of colour, I’m not afraid at all to work with colour. And I know this is also a little bit controversial. But if people look at my images, they will see intense slide long exposure, immersive compositions, and people would think, okay, there’s another guy just doing pretty nature images. And that said, let’s move on, let’s look at something else. But the thing is, be it with me or with any other photographer, his images will always have more layers. And when you stop to look at an image, when you look at the intent, when you look at the biography of the person, when you look at the purpose, you’ll see that there’s the immediate aspect of looking at it and being captivated. And when you grab someone’s attention, and that person wants to spend some time trying to understand what you’re doing, that person will see that there are more elements on the image, there are potential symbolisms in the image. And if the person the artist wants to write something about it, you will probably see that there’s a story attached to it. So my meaning right now, my purpose is most of all, to grab those subjects, which are extremely important to me, and channelled him as well as possible through nature. I think photography gives me the privilege of being able to get someone’s attention in a very beautiful and spontaneous way. And channel, something that is meaningful to me, it can be just the image, someone might choose not to read anything at all about it. And that’s perfectly valid. Or it can go much further than that. So my purpose is to captivate to show how beautiful is the ecosystem we live in, and then try to pass the message regarding conservation, regarding mental health regarding purpose, meaning, relationship between mankind human kinds, and the planet we live in, not taking things for granted spirituality 10s of things that are very, very important to me. That’s why I say I’m still in the middle of the path, because I can say that I have some kind of branding, and I hate this word branding. I think people should not need to emphasise branding at all, because they are so much more than a brand. But I’m kind of all over the place, conceptually speaking, and I’m trying to channel this message in a more effective way. But while this is a spontaneous conversation, and summing up the purpose, is to ever voice trying to convey the things that are important that I really want to share with others. We are all together in this. So I think every one of us has kind of the duty, I would say to try to enrich the world we are in. And photography seems like a beautiful way to do it.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 33:35
What a beautiful word. Word that is Jose, I think what you say there on that last sentence, you know, to enrich the world, you know, whether it’s through your photography, or music, or whatever it may be, you know, or simply just expressing yourself, I think that is an absolute important thing to do. So you know, what you said is just incredible about conservations and mental health. It’s all the things that not always been talked about, but it’s so important to focus on. Now, one thing that I want to ask you is going back to what you say, right? In order, we don’t want to get caught in this numbers game about Instagram, or Twitter or whatever it may be right sales, whatnot. But at the same time, they are important, especially for artists who are doing it full time, right, because they are a way for them to get seen and to share the message. So one thing that I’m interested to hear your thought on is how do you find that balance? How can you focus on the numbers so that it can support you to do more Have what you love, instead of crushing your true purpose, or your initial purpose on why you want to do photography in the first place?
Jose Ramos 35:11
Yeah, that that’s very interesting. And I want to do another important disclaimer, which is my income also comes from photography. Unfortunately, in Portugal, doctors wages, they’re not good at all. I know, this happens in a lot of countries. But we get lots of invitations to go work to the north of Europe and other countries. And there’s absolutely no comparison in terms of income. So right now, I’m kind of splitting my time between photography and psychiatry, I’m doing private practice, only to have time for art. So it’s like I care about it. I care about how people view my work, I care about income, I care about how to transform this also into business, and this is a business. So reaching that balance, once again, it’s easier said than done. Because when you are really struggling to pay the bills, when you need to put food on the table, you just need to have the numbers, you need to have the exposure, you need to have the licencing you need to have the collaborations, and it can be extremely challenging. And the problem is that most of social media of the social media game, it kind of obeys to preconceived aesthetic notion of what’s good, what’s of what results, there’s this great example of Instagram, Instagram kind of revolutionised, the way that photos should look. Before Instagram, it used to be the classical old school photography, landscape photography, with its strong colours, like I mentioned before, and then all of a sudden, you had a revolution, strongly attached to travel photography, and not to classical landscape photography, even though there’s a strong overlap in this, but people who want it to survive, most of them had to adapt. Now the thing is, can you keep being genuine, while changing part of your outputs and your colours and your countries? And the way you edit your images? I think it’s possible. I think there’s always a balance, because as long as you have some further purpose, they’re not just making money for the sake of it. I think it comes naturally. So the way I try to handle all of that is exactly by having something that I need to transmit to other people, and hoping that this resonates with enough people that will get me the much needed income, if that didn’t happen. And sometimes I wonder what if I went full time. The main reason why I don’t go full time, is because not only I love doing psychiatry, I also feel it’s absolutely essential for the arts, just the way I feel that art is essential for my psychiatry. But if I went full time, and all of a sudden, I could not pay the bills, I would not have any problem at all to jump into something that would be a little more profitable, both in the photography field or in other areas, as long as I add enough time to continue being genuine, and creating my arts, because once you stop doing it, then I think it’s kind of a rune. So it’s probably a matter of balance. And even though I’m against the game number, I understand why it happens. I think we need to play it just don’t be too caught up in it. Otherwise, if we all of a sudden start thinking that our value is fully placed in the numbers. That just means we lost contact with our insight, but I obviously like to have comments. I love to have exposure. I like to have followers, I like to be contacted by brands because it’s kind of an extension that you are doing work that it’s being noticed. But most of all I want the main purpose of being not just to be because people resonate with the message and the rest is kind of a bonus that spontaneously comes
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 39:28
that is really really good way of putting it and I love how you say, you know, the most important thing is about people resonate with your message and then everything else if that fits then it’s good. If not, then it’s okay sort of thing you know, well as you know, it’s different compared to trying to please every single person out there. So I think that is a really good thing to to notice or to recognise when you are a photographer or anyone no matter as a matter of fact, right? It’s never good trying to please everyone. Now, one thing that I am, I’d love to hear your thought on, you touch on photography community back then how genuine it was right. And in today’s world, I feel like a lot of that genuinely, sort of disappear. It’s more about like you say, you know, a numbers game, the exposure. More often than not, we interact with other accounts for the algorithm instead of for the genuine expression of our feeling towards the art. So one thing that I’m interested in is to hear your thoughts about how the community was before, and how do you feel the community is today? And what do you think we can do to make, you know, whatever we have today, a better place a better community a better interaction with each other.
Jose Ramos 41:11
Okay, well, thinking about the community before. And using the example of sites like DeviantArt, like I mentioned, I was in another site, which was photo seek, which does not even exist anymore. It had a very interesting rating system where people had to write proper, thorough comments, detailed comments on each other’s images that then would be voted by the community. And people who actually went through the effort to write meaningful critiques, they were benefited with this, because then they could post other comments, they could post their own photos. And the system kind of Fed itself in a very healthy way. The same happened with DeviantArt. Not with this ingenious system. But there was a big, big sense of community there were journaling there, there was journaling, there were very detailed comments, people established very meaningful relationships. There, there was already some kind of a draft of the numbers game, it existed, but it was not as focused as now because right now, it’s kind of hectic and frantic, fast machine of media consumption. So when you have more time to look at things, we’re not constantly being overwhelmed with stimuli. And social media sites are fully engineered to get not only your attention, but just your short attention, they don’t want your long spent attention working because that means less viewing less ads, less profit. So regarding what we could do, I have a good example right now, which is a very controversial example. And you know that I’m going to bring this up, because we we kind of met also through Twitter, which is the NFT space, which, in the middle of all, its big toxicity, it brought something very interesting, which is once again, the focus on the message and the focus on the relationship between photographers, as a community that needs to support itself and beyond the same boat to have success as a wall as a whole, and the relationship with collectors. Because all of a sudden, I realised that mostly regarded with landscape photography. It’s not a respected genre of photography. In the fine art gallery world, obviously, some people make it, but the big, big bucks, they are made with other styles of photography. And many people are realising through the democratic zation of the access to the NFT space, the collectors already sent traditional collectors, that landscape photography also has a place in these big gallery world in this big museum world. Where probably we can have a good balance between not being constantly exploited by Microstock, photography website, websites not being exploited by brands who want everything in exchange of not that much. Possibly, we have a place in this whole ecosystem of this all economic ecosystem where if we have a message, if we have something different, that we want to show to the world, perhaps we can have a sense of community, we can have time to interact with other photographers, artists collectors, and that will have the added bonus the Edit essential bonus of getting an income from this. So I would mostly love to see all the websites shifting from a perspective Have not just focused on quick profits and quick visualisation, but on taking the time to be with people and to be with art, obviously, this is wishful thinking, this is probably not going to happen. There’s way too much money in all social media websites, probably the voice of the people can make itself heard. It’s happening with all the backlash against reels on Instagram. And I think that’s, it’s good that it’s happening. But I don’t know how strong of a voice we can have to make that much of a difference. But at least we need to try. And I usually never did podcasts, I just love being this behind behind the camera. And I think that we need to start being a little bit more activists of our own craft, and of the place we deserve. In the global landscape, no pun intended, in the global landscape of the art world. To make things better, and to make interactions much better and out here, most of all,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 46:05
that was a good point, I must say. Yeah, that’s, thanks for sharing your thoughts on that, it is quite interesting how to see your perspective on this whole, how everything kind of fit in, you know, with the NFT with the landscape photography, and with just other photography in general, I think that’s, that’s quite an interesting take that you have in there. So one thing that I want to get into is that, you know, you kind of do photography, and psychiatry, being psychiatrists at the same time. And I love how you say that, you each each one of them need each other, and each one of them support each other. Right. And I think that’s, that’s really interesting, because I can totally resonate with that right. Now. One thing that I I’m sure the audience would like to hear, right, a lot of them love photography, you know, a lot of photographer love photography, that’s why they got into it. That’s why they buy they buy, spend all their money on these really expensive things. Now. If there is a chance for them to, you know, earn back and just get a side income or whatnot, to be able to fund their next travel or to be able to upgrade their next camera. How based on your experience, how would you advise? How would you recommend them to look into being able to find those side incomes?
Jose Ramos 47:50
Well, first of all, if I focus mostly on nature, photography, and landscape photography, looking at the overall situation of most photographers that I know, and I will say, unfortunately, once again, because I would love that landscape photography would be recognised as a type of art, which is worth by itself, in art by other kinds of side gigs. But most of all, as long as you have a good portfolio, as long as you are inspiring, as long as you know your way around editing, as long as you have good quality images to show, you have the classical photo tour route to follow, which is extremely profitable when when done, right. And it has a very interesting purpose specially for the people who live to teach. It’s an absolutely beautiful way to practice photography. I’m more of the solitary kind of person that likes to have its own space to do his photography. But for people want to have a side income with their images, as long as they have good visibility. And there we go with the numbers game. If they have good visibility, if they establish meaningful contacts with people, they will probably start being invited to show them to show them those places to show them how they capture those images. And in a very spontaneous way, they will be able to get a good income from that. And even more important than that, even more important than the numbers, the good old technique of taking people to your website where you can show much more about who you are not be totally dependent on social media but use it as a way to channel people into your own place. The place that you were you chose the design you chose how you present yourself and you are not just someone else in the middle of 1 million trade photographers. And when you do that, you get the chance for them to subscribe potentially a newsletter and then all of a sudden we have this privilege access to show to these people. What you really like to do, what are your messages, what you can offer them, and in a very spontaneous way, as long as you put your art into everything, and assuming your artwork inspires other people, I think site income will always appear. The big question is if it’s stable, and if it can become the main income, but getting side gigs, as long as you put some effort into it, I think it’s, it’s doable.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 50:32
Fantastic. That is great advice. And I want to segue to I know that, you know, you’ve your photo have been published in National geography in, in Spain, right. And, you know, first of all, congratulations, that That photo was incredible. Now, I know that for many photographers, that has been, you know, their dreams, including mine. Now, I’d love to just hear right while I have you here. What? How did you What are your journey to get your photo published with magazine like, NatGeo? And how, what advice would you give for someone who want to have their photo published with Nigeria?
Jose Ramos 51:15
Okay? Before and i Unfortunately, once again, I’m always regretting things, it’s kind of like a pattern, I need to analyse this as a psychiatrist. But I was going to say that unfortunately, I lost a huge opportunity to be noticed by NatGeo, which was their website, the your shot photographer, from NatGeo. And I didn’t used to pay attention at all to it. And I know plenty of photographers that’s kind of noticed by them, and add some sort of special place to not only publish in magazines worldwide, but also to be featured on their huge Instagram pages. So I missed that opportunity. And the way I got into NatGeo, was mostly, it was locally related. So there were these big groups. In both Portugal and Spain where people used to share their images, these groups were kind of scouted by the editorial team of Nachteile. And going towards the guidelines of Nachteile. I think they identified with some of my works, because NatGeo is still one of the few who once again, I know I’m constantly repeating myself, but they put lots of focus on the message. It’s not just about 3d images, I would actually go as far as saying that most of my images, they are not natural or material, because they are usually I would say less edited less impactful. They want to be a little bit more immediately related with the perceived reality. And I usually like to give some artistic expression on my images. But some of them they possibly could potentially fit the magazine. And I think that it was along with the story along with the fact that I always put great effort into describing why that image was different white at some meaning, why I captured it, why the viewers can relate with it, that I got the first context to publish with them. And as soon as you get the first publication, then it becomes easier, you have just opened a communication channel. And right now I have the privilege that I can reach out to them when I think I have something different and relevant to show them like a photo of the volcano that I did, like the Milky Way over an Ancient Bridge in the south of Portugal, which has never been photographed before. When I have something that I think that brings value to readers, I contact them and ask them if they’re interested in publishing it. If I started bombarding them with every image that I had, probably they would just block me and shut down our email contact. So it’s I think it’s mostly related with trafficking and adapting the message to the medium where we want to be published. And I also need to do another disclaimer, I’ve been featured on their visions of the earth section, which is just one single image with a small description. But I’ve never done editorial work for them because the work with lots of extremely talented photographers with a specific photo photographic purpose to show something and I didn’t follow that path. But it’s also another very valid pass to be able to be published there. So adapt what you’re doing as long as it’s genuine. Anyone identify with it to the place where you want to get published.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 55:01
fantastic advice, that is really good way to put you know how people can pursue that path. So thanks a lot for sharing that and congratulation to you. Now we are kind of coming into the last hour, you know, the one hour mark. And one thing that I always ask my guests in this podcast is that if there was one advice, whether it’s photography or life advice that you would give to your younger self or to other people in general, what would that be?
Jose Ramos 55:36
Okay, you save the toughest question for for for the end of the podcast. So let me just put my neuron my brain neurons firing and thinking about what could be potentially inspirational. But, well, taking from some of the things I’ve said during this podcast, I would tell and recommend people to first of all, look after their mental health. And I’m not saying this in that classical paternalistic style, of like, some cliche phrase, but most of all, feel comfortable when you are doing art, feel that there’s something you are showing of yourself, which is genuine, and which is good towards others when you are trading your heart, your art, and most of all, don’t get lost in the number game and value meaningful connections with people that will bring you way more satisfaction, if I could. And I’ve said before, during the podcast, that it’s easier said than done. And I find myself also caught up in the game of numbers every now and then the main message, I would stream to myself and tell myself to stop looking at the numbers and establish meaningful artwork and meaningful connections. That’s the most important and I think that will always bring something good, be it money being well being. I think it’s the path to go to choose.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 57:11
That is a fantastic advice. Jose, thank you very much for sharing that. All right. Well, you know, it’s been great talking to you. I love you know, just chatting with you. And I hope we get to meet in real life one day,
Jose Ramos 57:26
that will happen we need to make sure that will happen.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 57:30
Yeah, let’s go. So for people who want to learn more about you your story, your mission as well as your beautiful photography, what is the best way to connect with you?
Jose Ramos 57:44
Okay, I think the easier way and just like I said before, it’s kind of the, the the ideal starting point is to go to my website, which is www dot Josie Josie rammos.com I’m gonna say it in English and not in Portuguese. Or you can go to my Instagram page, which is Jo Jo’s there Ramos photography or to Twitter, which is Josie underscore, Ramos. Okay, so these are the best places to find out about my work. And feel free to reach out if you search by Tracy, psychiatrist photographer from Portugal, you’ll probably also find me on Google. So feel free to find me in any way you prefer.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 58:31
Fantastic. Thanks a lot for sharing that and don’t worry listeners, you will get the link on the description. So if you are listening to this and you’re not sure if it’s Jose or Josie, you know, just go on the link you’ll get you know exactly the exact link so that you know how to find him. Well, thank you very much for being here. Jose, that’s how you say in Portuguese, isn’t it?
Jose Ramos 58:57
Actually not. It’s juicy? Juicy. Okay. It’s not easy to pronounce. So I was telling you I prefer to give the the English Americanized version or people would not probably translate it properly to the right characters. So it’s using in Portuguese juicy. Is that Is that right? Yeah, that that’s pretty pretty close. Oh, wow. Yeah.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 59:24
I used to live in LA right. And all I have a lot of friends from Mexico and basically Latin America, but they think there’s pronounced Jose. So it’s different between Hispanic and Portuguese. Okay, well, that’s good to know. But yeah, thanks a lot for being here. Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom as well as your story. And hopefully, listeners you can find a lot of wisdom, a lot of inspiration from not only the journey but the advice that juicy Is that?
Jose Ramos 1:00:01
How almost I can say it’s perfect?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:00:05
Yeah. All right, well, um, listeners, if you haven’t subscribed yet, subscribe yet, make sure you hit the subscribe button. We’d love to hear your feedback. If you do enjoy this podcast and if you know other photographer who you’d love to have in this podcast, please reach out to me on my instagram or facebook, which is or Twitter, which is just at the weekend, and let me know who I should bring to to the podcast. But thank you very much for being here. I know, your time is important. And you have shared that time with me and I very much appreciate that.
Jose Ramos 1:00:44
Thank you for my absolute pleasure. And thank you for the opportunity.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:00:49
All right, well, weekend, as always, I’ll see you again next week. But for now, make sure that you keep shooting keep creating and don’t forget to stay smiling. Until next time