Ivo Tavares' Lens Narrate the Portugal's Architectures
February 28, 2024

Widely known for his great architectural photography skills, Ivo Tavares, has become one of the most popular architectural photographers in Portugal. Having been working in this field for more than 10 years, Tavares has taken the best shots of promising Portuguese young architects, capturing the beauty of architecture in Portugal and showing them to the world. 

Ivo Tavares

Ivo Tavares 

Ivo's Artistic and Photography Roots 

Since he was little, Ivo has been exposed to the artistic things contributed by his father who had a collaborator who was good in painting and spent a lot of time with him. This was what brought him to dive into the world of arts and ended up following arts in high school. After graduating from high school, he continued to study photography at the Portuguese Institute of Photography in Porto. 

At first, he didn’t straightly work as an architectural photographer, but as a photojournalist with a specialization in corporate and product portography. Over time, he felt that this was not what he truly liked to do then he realized that he had to do something that he truly liked which was combining two different areas; photography and architecture. After finding what he liked, he continued to thrive in his architectural photography skills until now. 

Ivo Tavares Ivo Tavares 

How Ivo Navigates the Challenges and Designs his Career 

Getting into this position was never an easy journey for Ivo. He has been through a lot of challenging situations since he decided to dive into the world of architectural photography. He approached numerous architecture studios to offer his photography but he came back with a disappointed heart because most studios questioned his ability due to his non-architecture background. It also made him realize that there has been a huge gap between architecture and photography. 

Ivo Tavares

Pediatric Ward of Hospital São João by ARG Studio

Despite giving up, he decided to take another chance to work with builders and real estate developers where he was doing the typical real estate promotion portography. After working with real estate, he started to extend his work with architects in Portugal.  Over time he managed to prove that his vision of architecture could have some meaning. 

Ivo Tavares

Lavra House by Ricardo Azevedo Arquitecto

If he could trace back to the old days, he doesn’t remember his first project which for some people becomes an unforgettable moment but he ensures that he has an image in one of the first projects where he felt that was the language he wanted, an interior photo against the light with a person in silhouette. He thinks that was when he realized that architecture was made for people and not for photography.

How Ivo Captures a Great Architectural Photorgraph

There are no such things that Ivo prepared before taking shots of an architectural project. Ivo avoids planning too much about what to do on the site and he also never visits the site the day before taking the photographs. From his perspective, if he plans a lot he will end up being disappointed because something is going to fail and there is no such thing as perfection so it is easier to deal with it. “What you see is what you get”, said Ivo 

Certainly, he has a few important things to be ensured such as cleanliness, accessibility, etc. But, besides all of those things, he likes to see directly the surprising things on the site and improvise it. Every photo that Ivo captured contains three hallmarks; people, color, and lighting which create depth, volume, and a great picture of an architectural project. All these pictures present an understanding story that lies in every architectural project. 

Ivo Tavares

Casa Costa Nova by Espaço Objecto

Ivo’s Particular Interest in Photographing an Architectural Project

He has no particular interest or tendency in architectural photography but he likes visual projects with color or contrast environments, and in terms of typologies he likes photographing houses and Portuguese architecture. Moreover, he also doesn’t have any ideology in architectural photography but he ensures that every photograph he has taken can mirror the work of the architects. "That's why photographers should be chosen not because they are known or because of their price, but because the architects identify with the language for that project", said Ivo.

Each photograph that Ivo's captured present a beautiful glimspe of the Portugal's architecture that hidden from the world. His ability of to tell the story behind every project through his captures, is a profound skill that other architectural photographers might not have. 

Prazeres 37 House by Fragmentos

Ivo Tavares

Casa de Bouro by Mutant Architecture & Design 


All images provided by Ivo Tavares 

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