I’m a Bon Jovi song.

Hello guys

It’s been too long…
I have not been shooting any film lately. I don’t have the time or the mental energy.

I don’t want to stop posting in here but, on the other hand, digital has taken over. I’m afraid that to keep on posting Cooking Film will have to “Microwave” a bit too.

Some of you will remember my session with Gérard Depardieu. Well, that session was a test. My boss invited me, last December, to become the official photographer of the company.

What a huge step! For someone, like so many of you guys, who loves photography, having the chance to do it as a full time job, sounded great. The kind of a “dream come true”.

Don’t get me wrong, despite all my passion for film photography, as my hobby, it is graphic design that still wins over my heart and, as such, I’ve declined the invitation.

After several “rounds” we came to an agreement. I’ve accepted the photographer position but I still get to design special catalogs.

So… at the age of 45 (25th of February) I am now a professional photographer, which means that my income comes from taking pictures.

It has been crazy. Some days are spent in the studio shooting wrist watches, some days are out on location shooting something else. The next issue of our magazine will be the first with me as main photographer and no, you will not find my name anywhere.

When I was designing the magazine we worked with external pro photographers and I’ve attended countless sessions, helping out and representing the magazine. Some of those photographers have become personal friends and I’ve learned so much just by watching them work.

My name is not on the magazine because I don’t anyone to think that I’m taking this new position out of vanity. There will never be a Paulo Pires Photography page anywhere.

The truth is that having an “inside” photographer makes everything easier but… and a very big but (no pun intended), what about the results? Will “easier” mean “less quality”?

Is my boss saying that: ok you can do it, it’s cheaper for the company, you are always available and I don’t mind sacrificing some quality in the results for that.

I question my skills all the time in a demented way but if I let that line of thought win over in my mind I will not be able to enjoy this task, to move forward and to finally say: damn, I’ve been taking pictures for over 20 years, I know how to shoot, I’ve worked with some amazing photographers, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve used from film cameras to 35mm DSLR, digital medium and large format cameras. I’ve attended and shot many still life and model sessions. I’ve shot watches and jewellry, famous people and “VIP” parties.

Am I being a total arse full of himself by thinking I can truly add something fresh to our magazine, that I am indeed a photographer capable of delivering good results?

This is the time to step up, this is an opportunity served in a golden platter and I’m going to grab it with both hands.


The next issue of the magazine, number 50, is a changing point. New layout (not designed by me) but all the “non-brand” shots were taken and edited, when needed, by yours truly.

Theme: Neo Vintage.

I was commissioned the cover and a still life production, 10 to 12 pages, featuring watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre that fitted the theme.

The team got together and came up with the idea of doing something in a barbershop. Classy young guys, clean cut, tattoos, mustaches… sounded neo vintage enough.

For the cover image I immediately thought about a Sweeney Todd kind of thing. Maybe a tattooed classy young barber holding a blade. I could easily come with with a position for showing the watch too.

This was the starting point.


And here is the result.

Capa ET 50 -flatten

As for the still life pages here they are, 12 pages, featuring 7 watches.
My gear was a Canon 5D with the 50mm f1.8 and the 100mm f2 macro lens, a tripod and two small portable lights hand held by myself and my dear friend Cesarina.

barber 01

barber 02

barber 03

barber 04

barber 05

barber 06

So guys this is some of the stuff I’ve been doing… I want to post more but I’m also afraid that by posting work/digital content will scare away the ones that come in here looking for film photography content.

Cooking Film has become more than a simple blog. It’s the place I choose to share my thoughts about so many things, personal, pleasure and work related and this is where my life is, at this point, when it comes to photography.

PS: It feels so good to see the printed results!


  1. Mark said:

    Some great images, the front cover looks really good and I’m sure the magazine looks great. It might not be graphic design but the same thought process must go into the images and sometimes a break is a good thing. As there is only two of us in my business I actually end up doing less design and artwork than I used to as there is always other stuff to do but I do enjoy the design process more when I do get to do artwork.

    And I bet the images you create work within the designed page, much better than most photographers! 😉

    • You know my heart completely. One of the reasons I’ve attended so many photos session mas the “client” or senior designer, were to ensure that some images would fit the layout in a better way.

      It’s like having a wider view about things. It’s not all about the image, it’s also about the way the image will fit on the layout.

      Photographers?? Pffffff
      Those guys are nothing without us! 🙂

  2. Muito bem sr. Paulo. Diverte-te neste novo desafio e não percas a paixão pelo filme.
    A julgar pela amostra deste primeiro trabalho, sorte é algo que não precisas.

    Força nisso.


    PS: não mandes as holgas para o lixo 🙂

    • Obrigado Rui e não mandarei. Tive um início de ano complicado com muito trabalho mas vou continuar sempre e sempre a usar filme.

      Filme é paixão mas acredita que em poucas ocasiões o pude usar também para trabalhos comerciais. Talvez seja bom separar as águas, talvez seja bom misturá-las tb de vez em quando 😉

      Minha queridas Holgas, tenho 4. 🙂

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