Fashion, Advertising Photographer, and Filmmaker
Born in New York, João is an award-winning advertising, fashion, and fine art photographer and director of photography. He is a Nikon Ambassador and is a guest speaker and has been invited to speak at many prestigious events over the last two years including the Hasselblad stage at Photokinda in Germany, Hasselblad Studio opening in London, Hasselblad FOCUS events in Columbia and Brazil, and many more.
Ask João "JC" Carlos for the story of how he became an award-winning advertising photographer, and he’ll back you up to the time he was six or seven, the son of a Portuguese chef and restaurateur on the banks of New York’s Byram River, with two older sisters and way too much free time on his hands. He’ll tell you the cute story of when his mom gave him a disposable camera that Christmas and how he handed it back because it didn’t have a flash, instead preferring his grandmother’s Polaroid Sun 600. Why? Because when the far-flung family, spread over three countries, got together for holidays, the need for a flash could materialize at any second. Preparedness mattered.
João will be much more reluctant to tell you a different story that was no less influential in his career. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy rolled up the U.S. Eastern seaboard. João, who by this time spent most of his year photographing abroad, happened to be in his apartment located under the family restaurant. When Sandy peaked and Manhattan plunged into blackout, João’s apartment drowned under 12 feet of water. Within the apartment were years of images saved on optical discs along with a steel safe containing hundreds of prized negatives and two hard drives full of his work. None of it survived.
"I wish I would have always worried about having good storage and backing up everything," he says. "If I had, I wouldn't look back now and say, ‘Wow. I miss those 10 years of my images.’ They’re just...gone."
Perhaps coincidentally, João found himself chatting with fellow photographer Lucas Gilman not long after Hurricane Sandy. After so many accidents and failures, João was open to advice from a famously adept digital workflow wizard like Lucas. Lucas convinced João to give SanDisk Professional a try. João began with some of the company’s mobile drives, then migrated into the dock-ready Evolution Series.
Once he was sold on the reliability and performance of SanDisk Professional for handling field backups, João started to think about how upgrading his storage might impact other facets of his work process. The situation came to a head after a recent weekend of filming for an advertising campaign. The job spanned twelve shoots across four video formats and generated 6TB of raw data. Not only was João a bit stumped on where to put it all given his recently adopted triple-backup policy, he knew there would be similar jobs coming as the demands of his craft grew in size and scope.
In the early days, João began his RAID journey with the G-SPEED® Studio XL, an eight-bay, Thunderbolt 2 interface with up to 64TB* of capacity and sustained transfer rates of up to 1350MB/s**. Almost immediately, Joao went from 3 dozen individual drives to a single, easily transported RAID tower that could store huge projects while out on assignment, that same storage would offer the throughput he needed for real-time multi-track multimedia project editing and RAID protection for extra data integrity assurance. Today, Joao now utilizes the same shuttle system with G-RAID SHUTTLE 8 with Thunderbolt 3, which offers up to 144TB* of capacity and transfer rates of up to 2000MB/s**.
"I'll do a whole shoot, but usually only one image ever goes into print," João says. "Usually, I'm never going to use any of that what's left over. But I’ve got stock agencies that want to work with me, and now it’s like, ‘Wait a minute. I have an awesome archive of stuff that I need to go through and start using.’ With all of these other drives everywhere, it’s been too much of a mess. But with this one Shuttle, I can consolidate everything. It’s helped me organize myself so much better."
For a guy who started off dedicated to analog photography (and painting before that), João has done a solid job of reassessing priorities as his career grew. He now recognizes four qualities that must be present in his digital storage solutions: capacity, durability, reliability, and speed. The first three will seem intuitive to most people. Anyone shooting more than a minimal amount of content will need spacious storage that can be counted on not to fail. However, speed may be less obvious. For João, it was a priority born out of growing experience and mounting professional demands.
"Speed factors in when I'm on the job and I'm backing up," he says. "I’m not just shooting regular stills anymore. We’re doing a lot more video and these 3D images to create fantasy and impact. At the end of the day, after I've been shooting for eight hours and I've got terabytes and terabytes to back up and double-back up, everything still has to get ready for editing and going to print. There are no extra hours."
João defines himself as a storyteller, whether those tales are told through still images or motion. Too many of his early stories are irrecoverably gone, so he is now ardent about demanding the best protection possible. Yes, storage is a part of his live workflow, and now it’s becoming part of a new revenue stream. But more deeply, it’s about preserving his stories, his art, for the future. Disaster can strike randomly in many forms, and he refuses to leave his legacy to chance.
SanDisk Professional Ambassadors are leaders in their respective fields who use SanDisk Professional products in their day-to-day work lives. SanDisk Professional Ambassadors are compensated for their participation.
SanDisk Professional external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.
*As used for storage capacity, one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment and RAID/JBOD configuration. For RAID products, storage capacity is based on RAID 0 mode.
**As used for transfer rate or interface, megabyte per second (MB/s) = one million bytes per second and gigabit per second (Gb/s or Gbps) = one billion bits per second. Performance will vary depending on your hardware and software components and configurations.