Interview: Ismael Prata

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Meet Ismael Prata, one of the best portuguese fashion photographers

Our paths crossed nine years ago, at the beginning of Manjerica. With a discreet northen accent and a contagious good mood, Ismael Prata is one of the most important faces on the fashion scene in Portugal. He is regular presence at Manjerica, but also on Vogue Portugal publications and renowed fashion brands.


How did your journey as a photographer begin?

In college, I enrolled in an analogue photography workshop with modules on developing black and white films in the laboratory. That was my first contact. Then, after doing some photographic work, I started to focus my photography in fashion.


Did you always know you wanted to photograph fashion or were you interested in other industries/topics?

Even before college, fashion photography/video was a universe that fascinated me, but at the time, 2003/04, it seemed an untangible reality for a teenager living outside the major metropolitan areas. I ended up going into architecture in 2005, and practiced for a little over 3 years, but it was roughly in 2009 that I understood better the dimension of my taste for fashion photography, and started to explore those fields in parallel.


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What is the biggest challenge when you photograph for a fashion brand?

Using a gastronomic metaphor, it's understanding the ingredients you have (light, model, equipment, location, styling... ) and the best way to combine them in order to make each one complete and produce the best result.


Who are the photographers and artists that inspire you? 

- Txema Yest; He's a fcking Artist!!!
- Min Hyunwoo; I'm completely in love with his work.
- Andreas Ortner; Clean, minimal, great light and colour. I really identify with him.
- Lachlan Bailey; I love the atmosphere and vibe of his stories.
- Adam Franzino; Flawless vibe
- Branislav Simoncik; Somewhat, a mentor. Out of the box thinker.
- Camilla Akrans; Pure visual poetry
- Cameron Hammond; Game changer. Best swimwear photographer out there, miles ahead of anyone else.


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Is there a Manjerica bag that you particularly like to photograph? Why do you like it?

I'm a big fan of the Mia design, but for photography I think the Lídia allows me the less conventional results.


Your photo shoots are filled with music. Any particular music (or playlist) that inspires you and gives you a boost?

I create playlists on Spotify (they're public) for that purpose, choosing the most suitable playlist depending on the vibe of the shoot or the team. For example:

🎵 Chillout Backstage
🎵 Photoshoot Rock
🎵 Photoshoot Electronic
🎵 Photoshoot Pop Culture
🎵 Photoshoot Latin America


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Ismael prints his artistic talent into every photo he takes. You can check his amazing work at and @ismaelprata