The Carnaval is the biggest event in the Brazilian festive calendar, even more than the football finals.

The Carnival in Brazil is a major part of Brazilian culture. It is sometimes referred to by Brazilians as the “Greatest Show on Earth”. – Wikipedia

In 2017, the public holiday (Carnaval Tuesday) is on the 28th February, but the event goes from the 24th February to 1st March. In some Brazilian States, it will last longer than a week.

DISCLAIMER: Get ready for an overload of images!


While I’m not the typical Brazilian so I’m not a big fan of the Carnaval festival nor can I play football (I love football, just can’t play it), discussing our shoot with Christine, she mentioned she had a new costume coming from Brazil and we could do something about that. I liked the idea very much!


I feel like “because who doesn’t like to be pretty?” isn’t quite the right response LOL. I guess it allows me to be more free and confident, as I’ve never exactly been the outgoing/outspoken attention-seeking type. I was always the quiet one or the “conscientious student”. So it (modelling) allows me to break out of that shell and feel good about myself and sometimes just play a role or try something different. It’s definitely taken me out of my comfort zone at times but I’ve also just had a lot of fun with it 🙂 – Christine Bowley


Because Christine’s beauty is out of this world my choice of not retouching the majority of the images was very easy. She’s also a Latin dancer (of course) and a photographer! Check out her photography work here.

I love the joy, the passion, the love, the togetherness, the vibrancy and the spectacle of it all. The bateriaworking together as the heart of each school’s parade. The infectious beat of the drums that infiltrates the fibers of your being. The beauty of the Passistas and stunning costumes of the Samba Queens leading the way forward. The incredible floats and themed costumes/scenes to go with them. The passion that everyone involved feels and commits to the parade. And of course the dance. The expression of this joy, passion, confidence and energy through Samba! – Christine Bowley


Chico Buarque

So I wanted to do something different from my usual photography and completely out of my comfort zone, so the shoot was done at night, using a Rotolight Neo and the available light from the streets. My friend Morgan Carew came on board one more time to help out. I also wanted to add something else to the shoot instead of the normal Carnaval things and a Brazilian song came to mind.

Quando o Carnaval chegar (When Carnaval comes) by Chico Buarque

Chico’s song talks about his desires and the things he wants to do but doesn’t do because he’s saving himself to when Carnaval comes.

Here’s a translation to English found online:

For those who see me just standing there, distant
Who guarantee I don’t know how to samba
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes

I’m just watching, knowing, feeling, hearing – and I can’t speak
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes
I see the china legs of the girl who passes – and I can’t touch
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes
How long I’ve desired her kiss, wet with passionfruit
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes

And for those who offend me, humiliate me, step on me
Thinking I’ll put up with it
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes
And for those who see me taking beatings in life
Who doubt I’ll reply in kind
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes
I see the first beam of day emerging, asking us to sing
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes

I have so much joy postponed, suffocated
Oh what I’d give to scream

I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes
I’m saving myself for when Carnival comes… – Lyrical Brazil


Waiting for Carnaval

For the “saving myself for when Carnaval comes” part of the shoot, I decided to go with Black & White for the mood because Carnaval is such of a colourful event.

Finally, these photos where taken on and around James St, New Farm, QLD, Australia. The film look, RAW edit (no retouching and leaving signs and other street elements) are all intentional.

And the Carnaval comes

Finally the Carnaval comes (not really for another week). Again most of these images have not been retouched at all (truth be told, only 6 images from the whole shoot have been). Shot in the same location as the previous set plus the Riverwalk in New Farm, with the Story Bridge and Brisbane CBD as background.


Photographer: Bruno Domingues
Model: Christine Bowley (Model PortfolioPhotography Portfolio)
Assistant: Morgan Carew


Gear and Settings

Camera: Sony A7R II
Lenses: Sony 85mm f1.4 GM, Sony 55mm f1.8 ZA, Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART (Canon mount with Metabones IV adapter)
Light: Rotolight NEO (on and off camera)

Shutter Speed: 1/60, 1/100, 1/160
Aperture: f/1.6, f/2, f/2.8
ISO Speed: 800, 1600


Behind the Scenes

Some goofy shots I got and BTS taken by Morgan.