PDN: So clients come to you
for your ability to bring a team
together that’s appropriate for
a particular job?
PDN: What interests you
right now in contemporary
GS: Film. People went back to
using film. Abstraction. I always
loved photography and shooting,
and I know many photographers.
You have to know a little bit of
[photography] to work as an art
director, but it’s like music: You
can listen to a lot of music and
like many things, but when you
start playing an instrument it’s
a totally different thing. Now
that I’ve started going back to
shooting my own pictures, I am
still making up my mind about
it. But it’s very funny how at
the same time it’s so accessible,
and it’s so everywhere—you
go to Instagram for instance,
everybody takes pretty pictures—
not everyone makes that one
amazing image. It’s an element of
photography that is very delicate
and very hard to explain, but
when you see something that
is really amazing and different,
you know. Photography is really
fucking hard and it’s an amazing
art form and [it’s] very difficult
to get it right.
PDN: Where do you look at
GS: The Internet. Bookstores.
It’s funny how you can find
anything on the Internet,
but if you really want to find
something amazing, you have to
go to a bookstore, to a gallery or
museum, because that’s where
you find what’s not on the
Internet. And also that’s when
you get that experience…. It’s
a totally different relationship
to photography when you’re
looking at it in a book versus on
a computer. Like listening to a
record on vinyl. I look at pictures
everywhere, and every time I
hear about any photographer I
go check them out online, but
the things that I’ve found most
interesting were actually in
bookstores or galleries.
PDN: Now that you’ve opened
Kilo Industries, do photographers
reach out to you directly?
GS: It works in a few different
ways. Many friends who worked
at agencies, they left to become
photographers’ agents. Some
friends became photographers.
Today I pay much more
attention to photographers
than before, because when you
are working in an agency, for
instance, people are always
sending you emails or coming
by to show their portfolios, [but]
doing a million other things.
And of course you make time
to get to know people and find
new photographers, but now
that I’m doing my own thing,
I go and look for that, and I meet
[photographers] through friends
of friends. I meet many more
photographers now than when
I was working at an agency.
PDN: One of your first projects
for Kilo was work for Belgian
beer brand Hoegaarden. You
worked with Marcelo Gomes on
that. How did you two connect?
Why was he a fit for that project?
GS: I met Marcelo through a
friend when I worked at Mother.
He came by and we had coffee,
and when I saw his stuff I really
liked it. It’s hard for me to
explain why. There’s a sensibility
there that I think is very special,
very warm. The way he works,
also, such a small setup, using
film and all that. When I left and
I got my first project, I said this
idea is about showing nature
in a very personal way, and in a
very diverse way, and that’s why
I said, OK let’s do this together.
Also because I wanted actually to
learn how to shoot better, so then
I thought also: Maybe you can
teach me a little bit about what
you know. And of course when
you see the stuff that we shot,
99. 9 percent is his stuff, but it
was an amazing experience
PDN: Who are some of the
other notable photographers
you’ve worked with?
GS: At one point we wanted to
shoot something for Stella [Artois],
an iconic image. There was an
element of fame we wanted to have
with it. It was a simple image, but
we wanted the best photographer
to shoot that image, so we worked
with Annie Leibovitz.
In the beginning of our
work with Stella, we were very
connected with this idea of the
’50s and ’60s, and that sort of
Golden Era of photography and
cinema, and [Bert Stern] created
an image that we wanted to do
again, and we actually said let’s
not rip him off. Let’s actually
bring him to shoot it with us.
We did this other job with
Nacho Alegre more recently.
He was amazing to work with.
He co-founded Apartamento
magazine and I always wanted to
work with him. Sometimes there
is a combination of finding the
right person for the job, but also
I want to work with this person
and learn a little bit from her or
from him. I think that was the
best thing about working with a
global brand, because you get to
know amazing people.
ABOVE: In Mexico,Gomes and Sousa photographed Corona’s brewing process
and the stories of the people and places around it. Says Sousa, “In advertising,
if you’re working for a client, I don’t know if you should have a defined esthetic.”