You’ve seen her breathtaking photographs in our daily Morning Mug, you may have sat next to her on the train, or stood behind her in line at a cafe.
Katia Nunes hasn’t been here long, but she captures the local beauty that can be overlooked by people who’ve lived here their whole lives. Her outlet, photography, has been her mode of expression for the past ten years, and she said she is constantly growing and learning in the craft.
She does, however, hold onto the traditional methods of capturing an image.
“My best photos are analog,” Nunes explained. “Now, everyone can be a photographer with their smartphone. The real photograph — when you prepare and do the math — is the only satisfying way for me.”
Nunes abhors photoshop and any form of photo-manipulation. The moment of the image is lost when it is doctored, she said.
“A good image needs personality and if you manipulate it, it loses that,” said Nunes.
Nunes is old-school, and she takes pride in that.
“I remember the click of the old heavy camera,” she reminisced, happily. “I love that click.”
Nunes is originally from Brazil, and her native language is Portuguese. She first came to New York in 2014 as a tourist. While she was here she met someone who later became her boyfriend. She has been living here as a student of English as a second language at Kingsborough Community College for a year.
Before her journey in the United State, she worked as a nurse in a Brazilian emergency room for 21 years. If she were to pursue citizenship and work in the States, she would have to go through the process of getting a license again — an ordeal she is hesitant to endure.
Nunes dreams of making a living out of her photography.
“I can work like an artist,” she said. “If I go back to the hospital, what about my photos? My heart would be in tranquility to see my butterfly photos in a big exhibition.”
Right now, her photos are featured on Sheepshead Bites regularly, and on video montages that she makes through YouTube, over rock n’ roll music, which she said she is a fan of while sticking up the devil horns.
She also hopes to interact with other artists in southern Brooklyn by advocating for the formation of an association of local artists where they can showcase their work, and strengthen the artistic community in southern Brooklyn.
“I like this area, it’s so beautiful,” said Nunes. “My day-by-day is here. I see photos in every place — it’s so familiar. I just don’t see opportunities for artists.”
Nunes sometimes struggles with the identity of being an artist.
“I think you’re born an artist. Sometimes I feel I am [an artist], sometimes I’m not,” said Nunes. “When you have your vision, it becomes part of your personality.”
Nunes is still getting used to Sheepshead Bay, her new city, and country. Meeting new people has been a struggle, especially since she is still learning how to speak English.
“At home, people like to get together, have a party, have a beer, but it is different here. It’s hard to make friends,” said Nunes.
One thing that is similar to her home country of Brazil is American politics. She said the only thing that would keep her from staying here for good is our new president-elect. She pointed to how similar he is to the former Brazillian president Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached last year for manipulating government records.
“Your country is divided, it’s happening in my country too,” said Nunes.
Either way, she is happy to be in such an artistic city that gives her inspiration but also anxiety about being a small fish in a big pond. Judging by her photos, we think she has what it takes.