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Represented by L'Éloi, photographer Neil Mota was born to a Scottish mother and Portuguese father. He's one of four brothers and a father of four boys. Looking through old family portraits with his grandfather inspired a curiosity and passion for photography. Neil has a background in portraiture and has been shooting portraits for fifteen years and working in the fashion/beauty industry he's always excited to collaborate with other artists. He's currently working on a book of portraits of drug users and the homeless.

01.31.12

Inspiration and A Light Meter

If you have a degree in what field is it? I have a degree in photography from Dawson College.

What was your strangest assignment? Being able to learn and do what I love everyday is my strange life assignment.

Which photographer would you like to meet? Paolo Roversi... and Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.

What famous person (living or dead ) would you most like to photograph? Keith Richards.

Aside from your camera and lighting, what item could you not work without? My light meter and, more importantly, inspiration.

Is there anything you would not retouch? All of my portraits are unretouched. Beauty is imperfection.

From where do your best ideas originate? I have plenty of ideas waiting to come to light. As far back as I can remember I’ve always had an active visual imagination.

How do you overcome creative block? I just stay inspired. Spending time with my sons keeps me honest; being able to look at the world through a child’s eyes for a second time is a gift.

Do you have any creative pursuits outside photography? Cooking. I love to cook.

What music are you listening to right now? Die Antwoord.

What’s your approach to balancing work and life? My work and my life are one.

What’s your favorite quote? “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” —Nelson Mandela

Do you have any advice for people just entering this profession. Take your time and discover your voice. “Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, ‘rush’ and ‘more’ usually mean ‘less.’” —Neal A. Maxwell

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? That everything falls into place with time.