Hero of the week

Cátia Matos Finds Small Joys in Porto's Streets

Welcome to Hero of the Week, an ongoing series sharing stories from some of the best photographers in the Pexels community.

Based in Porto, Portugal, Cátia Matos is a scientist and photographer who captures some of the most compelling and deceptively simple street photography we've seen recently.

Cátia's photos have a meditative feeling, documenting the joy of a casual stroll along a familiar street. She has a knack for discovering and framing the memorable moments of everyday life: a clothesline decked out in all-black garments, a cat relaxing in the city sun, early morning light on the breakfast table.

We talked to Cátia about her photographic inspiration and what taking photos means to her.

Pexels: Tell us about what you do.

Cátia: I work as a spatial ecologist. This means that I try to understand how the physical environment influences life distribution on earth, both for animals and plants. My main research focuses on how roads influence amphibians' movement and behavior. Currently, I work as an environmental consultant for a company called Terrawise.

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

How does your job influence your photography?

Observation and traveling—both are of great importance while being a biologist and as I move around with my camera. I take it everywhere, from field trips, meetings, and on my daily commute to work.

How long have you been taking photos, and how did you get started?

I remember taking photos since I was a child, with my father's Kodak 35mm. Always trying to capture family moments, holidays, and nature.

Much later photography became part of my own movements, from the moment I would leave the house in the morning until my next flight. Photography is my escape, the way I feel the world around me.

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

What camera gear do you use?

I use Fujifilm X100T. Easy to carry around and beautifully captures light.

What are your favorite places to shoot, and why?

Urban and seascapes. Clear dawn or dusk light brings peace while I photograph. I enter a meditative state. I love playing with light and shadow and seeing the results in different themes and subjects.

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

Who are some other photographers or artists that inspire you?

Currently, my favorite photographers are Christina Mittermeier and Acacia Johnson. Both contributors for National Geographic with inspiring work on photography and storytelling.

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

You selected the photo above as a favorite on your Pexels profile. Why is it important to you?

From a photo walk in Porto, my city. It always reminds me that every movement is a choice. The first step in any direction.

Pexels Heroes is our invite-only community of the top photographers on Pexels. Find out more and apply to join here.

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

Photo by Cátia Matos · View Photo

Say Thanks To Cátia Matos

Written by the Pexels Team · Jan 28

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