I am Clara Andrade, a documentary photographer based in South Florida.
My work lays on the perception of human relationships and their environment. Over 5 years photographing families and people from the most various backgrounds, the similarities between them started speaking louder to me than the differences. I'm often looking for relatability throughout contexts.
Our birth place, how and where we are raised says a lot about us - more than what we announce. Family relationships are this huge melting pot of emotions; love, tenderness, chaos, anger, sadness, peacefulness. Sometimes all in the same day, same hour. But our memories will fade and they are biased. I want to bring an outer perspective and show you both the amplitude of your life and the small details that shape your days.
A personal story.
grab a chair
I was born and raised in Minas Gerais, Brazil. A state full of mountains, cheese and mid afternoon time for coffee and conversations. I grew up in a very simple way with peaks of childhood happiness and the eventual family challenges. I remember my favorite time of the year was summer vacation, when the whole family would pretentiously fit a Fiat 1995 and drive 6 hours to the beach town. Mind you, we were 3 big kids in the back seat. There was no AC and my dad smoked 2 packs of Marlboro. Can we say Millennials grew up with wild parents already? Anyway, the smell of saline water would announce good times ahead. While I cherish those vacation photographs, they reflect a peak only. Today I wish I could see more of what lays in my memory back at home. The dynamics between my brothers and I after school, when one of them would put a Pink Floyd tape and make me do dancing back vocals. Or the Saturday mornings my mom and I would get all the way in the kitchen baking desserts for the afternoon. I wish I could see the table setup of necklace beads my best friend and I made to sell to people on the way to the farmers market. Or nuances between my parents that I probably forgot. By the time we start building new families, it's easy to loose touch with our first core one. But often this is the place we go back to understand ourselves. To cherish our story. To heal.
In 2009, I moved to Sao Paulo to ascend in a copywriter career. I met my husband in 2013 and we decided to move to the US. Later on in 2016, our son was born and he has made me reconfigure my whole being. had recently moved abroad and was trying to understand what being a mother was like while being away from both our immediate families and references. We had to build a common base between Brazil, India and US. It was emotionally rough to figure out almost without any help but we grew into a family that finds joy in music sessions after dinner, conversational school car rides, fishing in the backyard, trying new ice cream places or simply laying in bed longer. I want my child to know he doesn't need to wait for summer vacation to be happy.
Photography has always been there but it was in 2018 when I decided to learn all about it. It's been an enormous internal journey, more than anything. I take it very personally and aim to create images that come from a place of deep feelings and observation. I don't know how to stay afloat. And that very aspect is what has kept me seeing and searching for this beautiful inner ordinary life.