While travelling and surfing along the coastline of Portugal, Miguel Titéca rediscovered his creative side by photographing the surf lifestyle
Growing up surrounded by art and artists in his Belgium home, Miguel Titéca soon began expressing himself on canvas, through music and with sculpture. The thought of creating art with a camera was somewhat alien to him, and he viewed the camera as a piece of technical equipment. In his adult years, Miguel fell in love with the ocean, spending many days with his friends on the Algarve coast on boats, surfing and paddleboarding. Based in Ferragudo, he found himself letting go of the stresses of everyday life and allowed himself the time to connect with the ocean.
His friendship with João ‘Brek’ Bracourt, the famous surf and ocean photographer from Figueira da Foz, was essentially what led Miguel to make the transition into photography. “I wanted to get back into painting, I needed to channel my creativity, but then I was hanging out with João, and he pushed me out of my comfort zone and towards the camera,” he explains. “He gave me a supercharged masterclass making it so interesting, easy and exciting.”
Having spent many hours learning from João, Miguel was comfortable with the equipment and felt that he would like to explore some new subjects and techniques. “I don’t want to be branded as a Surf Photographer. What I’m passionate about it getting my interpretation of what I’ve captured across, transferring my vision into the image.”
Keen to improve and take his newfound passion further, Miguel applied for a week-long course with the spectacularly talented French photographer Sebastien Zanella and was thrilled to be accepted. He couldn’t believe his luck, as only four people were accepted to participate. Miguel laughingly recalls the time as very intense. “I learned a lot! Sebastien was very honest with us all, and the time spent with him was invaluable. He told us some things that we were doing were wrong, he didn’t hold back, and I, for one, was grateful for his directness and honesty.”
Miguel’s style has changed drastically, moving away from the tunnels and waves where he learned how to interact with the machinery and subjects. His more recent work has many shadows, movement and textures to it, making it more personal and reflective of his personality. Full of inspiration, his sights are set on making a compilation of a series of 20 stories that he would like to publish. The series will feature subjects like the fishermen in Ferragudo going about their day-to-day chores. Others will be extreme sports, Capoeira, special characters, disappearing customs of the Algarve and outdoor lifestyle.
“Now I can pursue my passion, thanks to João removing my fear of the technological aspects and Sebastien showing me that the camera isn’t actually what makes the photo, it’s the person behind it. These men have been instrumental in helping me find this path.”
He already has an exhibition scheduled with Motel Moteur in Belgium, which is a great honour at this early stage in his photography career. Being invited to be part of this prestigious, altering location exhibition is excellent praise indeed and shows that his style is being understood and appreciated.
Miguel has begun to work with new printing and display frames to show his work and is enjoying the results. You can expect to see his work hanging in exhibitions in the Algarve soon, but for now, you can see his work and contact him directly with your interesting characters via his website. If you would like to suggest someone to be featured, Miguel would love to hear from you.