“I’m not a collector,” says Canon Ambassador Fernando Guerra, showing off his collection of over a hundred cameras. "I don’t think about their value or selling them, I just like how beautiful they are." Fernando is drawn instinctively to beauty and it is how he captures and brings to life stunning architecture in beautiful photographs. How does a building breathe? How is it used? These are questions he asks and answers. A building is nothing without people, after all.
“Before I started taking photos, I was drawing. Even at 15, I knew I couldn’t reach the top being a painter, but when I discovered photography, I understood that I could achieve whatever I wanted, as long as I put the work in. It all started in 1986 with my first camera, a Canon T90, which my parents gave to me as a gift. So, the sky was the limit and I fell in love with it. I was taking pictures of everything; flowers, insects, people – I was going everywhere. It soon developed from wanting to take a pretty picture to want the image to be part of something.
I didn’t have any interest in shooting architecture at all, but I did want to be an architect. So I went to university and then to Macao (near Hong Kong) as an architect, designing buildings. For me, architecture was kind of boring in terms of photography. I wanted to be like Alex Webb, shooting stories of people in villages and making the cover of National Geographic. Each time I had a project, I would go to see the site to check the building and take pictures on the way and on my way back to the office, but never of the building itself. I became a hunter of the city, chasing people – in a good way, of course – and trying to tell stories about Macau. It was fun, but I never thought it could be a profession and I was very happy being an architect. Nowadays everyone is a photographer. Back then, you really had to put your time and energy into it. I was using my 35mm camera to capture stories about my neighbourhood and my life. You have to buy the film, learn the techniques, and learn about the statistics of photos. And it was expensive.