A universe filled with pastel hues, transcending into cosmic galaxies where faces are replaced with flora and airborne scarves traverse seascapes, taking on lives of their own. This is the world of Portuguese photographic artist, Teresa Freitas, who shares her unique brand of surrealism via her delightful Instagram account. Freitas lives in the idyllic seaside village of Cascais, from which she gains much of her inspiration, taking walks and capturing her surroundings before endowing them with a dreamlike twist. Everything from the sea to the sky, gardens to flowers is portrayed in a magical sense.
In an age when anyone in possession of a mobile phone can take on the role of photographer, Freitas is a firm believer in the fact that photography is, and has always been, about the person taking the pictures and not about their camera. “There was definitely a cultural transformation with mobile photography. It doesn’t focus on the depth of photographic skills, but in the sharing of the image,” she says. But while Freitas herself works primarily with mobile photography and editing, the majority of her works are the result of careful planning; the products of her vast imagination and unique vision. “If we’re talking about photography as art, I believe that its essence lies in the creative act,” she explains.
Freitas' latest pieces focus on portraiture and surrealism – two of her favourite subjects – and see stormy seas stirring in teacups and figures distorted by mirrors and paint streaks. Yet it is perhaps the weather that serves as the photographer's most enduring influence, her works ambient studies of light and shadow that perfectly evoke the seasons in which they were captured. “The brighter and more colourful images are usually taken in the spring and summer when it’s sunny, because there's more light and the opportunity to go outside. The darker images are taken during autumn and winter – with some exceptions – where natural light exists in a smaller period of the day,” she says simply.
Freitas is a brilliant example of the new wave of photographers using Instagram to share their art to maximum effect. “From day one, I shared my vision of things and had enormous pleasure in exploring the visions and worlds of others,” she says of the platform. So what can we expect from her in the future? “I’m just trying to push it further and deeper,” she declares. “I need to feel there is a clear evolution in what I’m doing, remaining true to my style and my own self.”