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All import taxes and duties are included in the price (for EU, UK, Switzerland & US deliveries only).

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Thais Aquino, self portrait photographer

A Brazillian photographer now based in Hawaii, Thais specialises in taking Soul Portraits. A practice of self-realisation through nature and photography. We discuss the importance of authenticity, the power of vulnerability, and what it feels like to take the leap and finally work for yourself.

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Thais Aquino 3

What first got you interested in photography?

An urge to be in nature and in soul discovery. I’ve always been fascinated by beauty and its nuances. I came from a graphic design background in Brazil, and what got me into photography was a mix of escape from a purely computer world into a more yummy interconnectedness with nature. Now to perform my work, I literally travel from one stunning place to the other, embodying their unique beauty and inviting my clients to feel into that inherent connection with the earth. It’s awesome!

What is a 'soul portrait'?

Soul Portraits is a spiritual-artistic invitation into giving yourself a new experience of you. It is a photography session in nature, designed to deepen self-discovery, self-love and to celebrate our stages of healing and loving. It is a gift to the self. It’s pleasurable, liberating, deep and so much fun. 

What made you make the jump to move from NY to Hawaii?

When I realized my relationship to myself wasn’t one of celebration, admiration and abundance. I had been living and photographing for major brands in New York for 5 years and the emotional impact of the pandemic made me realize I deserve to live in a more naturally beautiful place, more tropical (I’m Brazilian, I really thrive in the sun). The decision to move to Hawai’i came as an insight, a few months later I was living in this really incredible land on Maui I was embraced by Hawai’i and my work bloomed like never before.

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Biggest joy and hardship of taking the leap and working for yourself?

Biggest joy: to create my own authentic offerings and price it to what feels aligned. To not bend to anyone’s rules, schedule or let others decide the worth of my time and work.

Hardship: by dropping 9-5 jobs I now work 24/7. Because I’ve got to be the project manager, the marketing specialist, the website builder, the editor, the copywriter, the social media manager, the customer support, the accountant, and still, show up grounded as the artist and create epic art. 

Any tips for people getting in front of the camera that are a bit shy?

My tip is: just know that the vulnerability of being photographed is also super empowering. You often receive more than you give. Maybe you just need to experiment more with yourself, and if you’re really having a hard time surrendering to the moment, connect with nature, look up to the sky, touch some plants, play with water, breathe with the wind, feel the breeze… and smile in gratitude for your life. 

Do you have a mantra?

The more truthful and expressed our boundaries are, the more generous and abundant we become. 

What does jewelry mean to you?

Jewelry has recently expanded immensely in my heart. My girlfriend is a jeweler in Brazil and now I get to really experience the alchemical charm and sentimental force of a jewelry piece (and the making process).


What's next for you? What's the big goal for 2023?

I know that if I can imagine, I can create. 2023 is a big year for me. There is a lot I’ve been dreaming up to and attracting. 

I want to tell more stories, elevate more voices and participate in impactful communities. I want to photograph people with major influence, public figures, that value my work and see art as activism. They may be renowned authors, activists, witches, educators, community leaders, philanthropists, etc.

I am also welcoming more work with celebrities I respect, as I know they carry interesting mythos. I wouldn’t mind, for example, taking Oprah’s Soul Portraits, we live so close, on Maui. 

Thank you for speaking with us Thais!

Interested in some Thais' work? You can find her here

Photography by Kelli Radwanski