It’s Monday! Meaning it’s time to feature another one of our talented members—this week, we’d like you to take a look at an image from Fernando Santos, also known as Chicky Nando in the Community and during our chats on The Grid. Seen above is his image, “Reward.

1.) Can you tell us a little bit about your photo?

This image is titled “Reward” and it is the #2 in a series of 5 images for my project called Furnace, which is a visual interpretation on the #metoo movement. This was shot at Pinhal de Leiria, Portugal, a big forest of towering pines first planted 700 years ago, that unfortunately 80% burned down last October 2017.

I was participating in a photo meetup with other photographers. We were shooting firemen and models to create images to honor their work fighting the terrible wildfires we experienced in Portugal in 2017. At some point, I started realizing the images I was creating were strong and could be used in a completely different direction.

This image describes the reward the model is getting after being abused (on image #1). She is still hiding behind a mask as she doesn’t want to be identified as a victim. It is intoxicating outside even though it looks warm and sunny. She’s got bare feet, dressed in white, almost like a goddess, but she is just one more in the middle of so many others who have been burned by the abusive wildfire. Yet, that little reward makes her feel special. Well, the story goes one and you can see the whole series on my website.

2.) What gear/software did you use to create this image?

I’m a Canon shooter and this image was created with natural light, my 7D Mark II and my favorite lens: the 70-200mm 2.8L IS. It was edited in Lightroom. No plug-ins or Photoshop have been used.

3.) What do you like to photograph?

I’ve been photographing landscapes and seascapes for many years and loved it until a few months back when I realized it was rarely fun anymore to do it. I had the feeling that I needed to reinvent myself as a photographer. I needed new challenges, I needed to learn new techniques, to put into practice so many other things that I wanted to try but never really did. At this moment, I’m enjoying portraits – a lot. I’m also having loads of fun photographing flowers. The flower photography is totally Melanie Kern-Favilla’s fault! Her beautiful images that gave her a KelbyOne Gallery award and later her class on KelbyOne made me want to give it a try, and I’m loving it.

4.) How long have you been a KelbyOne member and what made you decide to become a member?

Honestly, I can’t remember anymore how long I’ve been a KelbyOne member. I’ve been a member since the NAPP days. How long was that? I decided to become a member after watching some videos from The Photoshop Guys with Scott Kelby and the team at that time. I wanted to grow as a photographer and I needed guidance. I wanted to learn Photoshop and Lightroom. I wanted to learn more about Photography. Being in Portugal, the online training was the only possible option for me and I really wanted to learn from the best, so I decided to go with (now) KelbyOne.

Like what you see and want to get to know Fernando better? Take a look at his website and follow him on Instagram!