PROFILE

André Teixeira

A black and white image of a woman at a wedding, dancing alone, her arms in the air. The background is black and she is the only figure in shot.

Canon Ambassador André Teixeira's dramatic and often highly stylised images redefine traditional notions of what wedding photography can be. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens at 1/60 sec, f/1.2 and ISO200. © André Teixeira

Portuguese destination wedding photographer and Canon Ambassador André Teixeira has travelled the globe with his camera, celebrating love in some of the world's most spectacular settings.

With an impressive career that has seen him cover more than 300 weddings in two decades, André has an enviable portfolio. Today, the Canon Ambassador is renowned for his striking, ethereal images which catch the attention of couples living many thousands of miles away.
"No two weddings are the same, everything is different," says André. "Even if you shoot in the same location, the lighting is different, the people are different, the ambience is different. It's a huge responsibility, but also a huge privilege."

Driven by a desire to dive into a creative profession from a young age, André first picked up a camera aged 17. After studying photography in his native Porto and graduating in 1997, he began his career working as a press photographer for a Portuguese newspaper, covering everything from motorsports and music to politics.
Location: Portugal

Specialist areas: Weddings

Favourite kit:

Canon EOS R
Canon EOS-1N
A black and white image of a musician kneeling on the floor playing guitar in front of a crowd of cheering wedding guests.

Wedding photography is not simply about the bride and groom, but also about capturing the unique atmosphere of a couple's special day – each event is different, says André. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM) at 1/100 sec, f/2.8 and ISO2000. © André Teixeira

With the advent of digital photography, André took a step back from the industry, feeling the medium had left talented photographers second-guessing their work. A break turned out to be just what he needed – and it paved the way for discovering his true forte.

"I was asked to do an engagement shoot a few years later, and that's when I fell in love again with having the camera in my hands," says André. "I was doing it for fun. I was like a new person with a new perspective and a new love for wedding photography. It helped me to build a fresh photographic career."

André and his partner Sofia, an interior designer, set up their own creative studio, BrancoPrata, in 2003. Today, his work takes him all over the globe and his photographs have been featured in notable publications including Brides, Vogue and Martha Stewart Weddings. His portfolio also boasts an Inside Weddings cover shoot, encapsulating a destination wedding in Puerto Rico.

"It's indescribable to go to a newsstand and see our photo on an international wedding magazine," he says. "We don't work for this, but when it happens, I'm so proud."
A colour photograph of a bride and groom walking down a path, as cheering family members look on.

The Canon EOS-1N was the camera that André used in his early days as a photojournalist and it remains his go-to tool for many of the weddings he shoots today. Taken on a Canon EOS-1N with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens at 1/1000 sec, f/2 and ISO200. © André Teixeira

A colour photograph of a bride and groom in front of a large, tree-lined mansion. There is a pale green and cream colour palette.

André has shot weddings in many glamorous locations and his work has captured the imaginations of couples around the world. Taken on a Canon EOS-1N with a Canon 50mm f/1.4L II USM lens at 1/320 sec, f/2 and ISO200. © André Teixeira

When it comes to kit, André still uses the same trustworthy Canon EOS-1N which he first picked up as a photojournalist. "I'm not that usual photographer who shoots thousands of photos on a wedding day, because I also still shoot film," he says. "The Canon EOS-1N never fails me."

In addition to his trusty Canon EOS-1N, André also shoots with a Canon EOS R and a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV). He also uses the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R with his wide range of EF lenses.

"The experience of being a photojournalist has given me the ability to wait for that decisive moment," he says. "Obviously, there are a lot of things that can go wrong – the light, the weather – but I'm always prepared for those situations. That's the beauty of weddings. When you have something that doesn't go to plan, it's all about trying to create something beautiful from something unexpected."

Working on around 14 weddings per year leaves time for André's other projects, which include portrait work and advertising. As for the future? "The only thing I truly want is to be as excited as I am now," he says. "My ambition is just doing my job and loving it as much as I do now."
What would you say are the key elements to successful wedding photography?

"Make sure your clients trust you 100%. If they're stressing about the photography too much it can be harder to achieve what you want. Light is very important, so you need to carefully choose where to shoot. Preparing everything in advance is key, so on the day everyone is more relaxed and then you can capture it all unfolding."


You've photographed more than 300 weddings across the world. What is it like to shoot destination weddings?

"Travelling the world to shoot something that is so special is a huge responsibility. My first wedding outside of Portugal was in New Zealand. Travelling for two days to the other side of the world was scary at that time, but it was a turning point in my career. It's extremely rewarding for a photographer to participate in one of the best days that a couple will ever have."


How do you make yourself stand out in what is an incredibly competitive industry?

"Consistency is key. If you're changing your style, people look at the images and don't relate it to you. Sometimes people say: 'Oh I saw this image and even before I saw the name of the photographer, I knew it was yours'. My inspiration doesn't come from the wedding industry at all – I'm inspired by a range of photographers."


What do you think the wedding industry is missing at the moment?

"I think people are obsessed with making everything perfect – sometimes imperfect can be so much more authentic. People work like robots – the perfect flowers, the perfect make-up, getting the perfect shot – and they forget that it's also a huge family reunion, with best friends coming together. Whether it's a small gathering or a big wedding, it's best to be more in tune with what's happening and embrace the imperfection, the things that won't go as planned. Sometimes people want to create the perfect magazine shot – forget about that."

One thing I know

André Teixeira


"Never forget who you're working for. You're working for people, not a magazine. I know that the most important photos for a couple might not be the ones that make the cover of a magazine – it's often something more personal. As a wedding photographer, you can't forget those key moments. Just be present, don't overthink it and enjoy the day as much as they do."

Facebook: @brancoprata

Instagram: @brancoprata

Twitter: @brancoprata

Website: www.brancoprata.com

Escrito por Tessa Watkins


André Teixeira's kitbag

The key kit pros use to take their photographs

André Teixeira's kitbag containing Canon cameras and lenses.

Cameras

Canon EOS R

A pioneering full-frame mirrorless camera that sets new standards for photographers and filmmakers. "One of the things I love about Canon is that you can pick up the Canon EOS-1N or the Canon EOS R and it always feels the same when you have it in your hands. It feels like a Canon all the time. It's timeless," says André.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The successor to the EOS 5D Mark III that André favours is beautifully engineered and a thoroughly accomplished all-rounder. "I feel very attached to all my cameras and the Mark III is no exception," says André. "I still use it, mostly at night where in certain light situations it produces very nice images."

Canon EOS-1N

"I started shooting on my Canon EOS-1N as a photojournalist and still use it today," says André. "It's a very comforting, reliable camera. It never fails me. My Canon EOS-1N is like part of my anatomy – an extension of me."

Lenses

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

The successor to the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM is a true modern classic: a standard wide-angle lens beloved by reportage photographers for its natural perspective, low-light capability and extraordinary optical performance. "I carry a lot of lenses for weddings as I need different perspectives, but most of the time I use a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM lens with my Canon EOS-1N," says André.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

With its incredible f/1.2 maximum aperture, the super-fast EF 50mm f/1.2L USM is a consummate low-light performer. "A must-have in every kitbag," says André. "This is perfect for portraits, and creamy yet sharp... an amazing piece of glass," says André.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

A professional short-telephoto lens, precision-made for low-light shooting and those situations where extremely shallow depth of field is required. Perfect for creative portraiture. "Everything looks amazing through this lens, even in low light," says André. "I love its focal length. I also use it for portraits and speeches."

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

A fast, lightweight, high-quality telephoto lens – the ideal tool for capturing indoor sports in low-light conditions and for shooting portraits. "I use this during speeches, when I need to shoot from a greater distance," says André. "Sharp, fast and an amazing focal length."

Accessories

Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT

The successor to the Canon Speedlite 580EX II that André uses is engineered for fast frame-rate shooting, and performs in the most demanding situations. "I use the Speedlite during party shots, mostly with long exposure times, to add movement to the images," says André.

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