Tomas Bravo

Tomas Bravo

Based
Mexico City, Mexico
Born
Mexico City, Mexico
Status
Photographer
Camera
Canon 5D Mark II, 1D Mark IV
“Maybe it's a romantic idea, idealist in a way, but I do not understand photography that does not involve a social function.”

Beat

My coverage usually ranges from day-to-day news to political events, crime, business, sports, street photography, feature stories and entertainment.

One Shot

. CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo
Recovered drug addicts participate in a prayer session at the "Outcry in the Barrio" ministry in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. Drug gangs have targeted rehab centres in the past, accusing them of protecting dealers from rival groups.
“I took this image at a rehabilitation centre in Ciudad Juarez, at a time when hit men were attacking these centres and killing huge numbers of people. I made contact with the pastor, who received me very kindly. I spent a lot of time with the guys before I started taking pictures, I chatted with them, and they showed me an incredible human side. This picture was taken during an evening prayer session. It’s a simple photo, but to me it represents the courage of accepting the errors you have made in life and trying to fix them - the courage of moving forward.”

Profile

I learnt the basic lessons of photography from my father, who is an engineer and avid photo enthusiast. Later, during my fifth semester at university, I took a photo class. Needless to say, that was a turning point in my life.

My first assignment was a news conference given by a local economy minister at the Government Palace in Toluca. I was doing my social service at the time and my colleagues asked me to go and cover the event. I felt like the luckiest guy on earth even though it wasn’t a big assignment.

I have learnt how to interact with strangers in the street, to lose my fear of being intrusive, and to be aware of the “decisive moment” when covering any situation.

The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, not only because of the magnitude of the humanitarian catastrophe, but also because I could see the other side of my profession: unscrupulous people who just went for award winning photos, no matter what happened there. That left a scar on my soul.

I’m excited by breaking news, of course, but I like shooting feature stories as well because usually you have more time to work and create a unique story.

When I photograph, I try to move people’s consciences. Maybe it's a romantic idea, idealist in a way, but I do not understand photography that does not involve a social function.

The respect and courage with which people move forward despite being in dramatic, often terrible, situations has been a big lesson. The way they succeed in an ethical way, despite obstacles, is one of the things I value most in life, and is something that photography has taught me over time.

Eighteen years ago I decided to leave everything behind in order to pursue my dream of becoming a photographer. And after all these years, through good and bad times, I’m still embracing the camera as a life-long commitment. Photography is my life.