Inspiration, obsession, and perfection intertwine in André’s portfolio, a collection of unique images of windows and doors around the world. With almost 10,000 pictures devoted to one of the projects, André Vicente Gonçalves continues trotting around the world in search for something very specific.
As something that goes unnoticed, these details are as different as can be in many of the cities we visit. André’s meticulous placement and impeccable lighting made something very evident though, the fine details of the doors and windows actually work together to contribute to the aesthetics of a city. We had a little chat with André about his work and his current projects.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional background?
My name is André Vicente Gonçalves and I’m from Portugal. I’m a professional photographer with a big interest in digital marketing. I have Licentiate degree in Photography by the Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias. Before that, I studied computer science in the University of Evora and in the University of Trento in Italy. When I’m not working with my personal projects, I’m dedicating my time mostly to Hotels and magazines.
How did you start the project ‘Windows of the world’?
When I was in Erasmus in Trento, I started travelling more frequently and I noticed how different the windows are from city to city. I had captured a lot of windows during that period in the Alps, Trento and Venice. The project then started taking shape when I put the windows side by side.
What was the process like, photographing so many doors and windows?
It’s very time consuming, for each day photographing I spend 3 days on choosing, tagging and editing all the photographs. At this moment I have about 9,800 edited windows, I lost count of how many overall un-edited photographs I have in my archive.
What are some challenges you’ve encountered along the way?
The biggest challenge is mostly funding, it’s very hard to work on personal projects without any funds. I had some sponsorships but only for specific locations and it only covers some expenses. It has been very difficult to make a living, especially when I live in a country like Portugal, where there aren’t many opportunities for artists.
What is a project you’re most proud of?
Windows of the World is the one that I’m most proud of, I have spent many years on it.
What is an endless source of inspiration for you?
Travelling is definitely the best source of inspiration, it’s the reason I have these kinds of projects.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I have a very straightforward approach and consistency is very important in my projects.
What is the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
I think the most valuable advice was to not undervalue your work, because then others will undervalue it as well.
What is your message as a photographer? In other words, what do you hope people will take away from your work?
To see the world from a different point of view, details matters.
Costa Nova, Portugal
Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?
Learn about digital marketing, because nowadays it’s more important that being a good photographer.