João Carlos

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.

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João Carlos and the Storyteller’s Legacy

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."

"Speed is a critical factor while I'm on the job and when I'm backing up my work."