#MusicMadeUs

Filipa Lobo Gaspar: How Music Made Me

30th November 2020

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As part of our Music Made Us campaign, Filipa Lobo Gaspar explores her music influences from around the world, as well as her photography ones. Filipa is moving into the third year of her Music Journalism degree at BIMM Institute Birmingham

I’ve never had a direct influence when it comes to photography. This enthusiasm and fascination was built en bloc with music and writing. I believe that building my music knowledge, attending as many gigs as I could and following intelligent, creative and inspiring people has helped me to draw the paths to my own career.

Obviously, there are a bunch of influencing photographers which, with their personal style, made me look at photography in a different way and also drove me to explore various types of shots. If you are looking for brilliant and exciting music photographers, make sure you follow three of my faves: Vera Marmelo, Paul Bachmann and Rui Caria.

“It’s crucial to adventure yourself into new realities and new environments.”

Studying at a music university gives us, without a doubt, the perception of what it’s like working within the industry. More important than establishing firm contacts is looking for new opportunities, and consequently, leaving your comfort zone. When I first started shooting gigs in Birmingham, I sometimes had to go by myself, but that didn’t stop me doing what I enjoy doing. Therefore, it’s crucial to adventure yourself into new realities and new environments.

Moving to the UK

It can be daunting and challenging during the first months of moving to the UK from a European country, believe me. The feeling of not belonging, the cultural shock and homesickness might be the first obstacles that you will encounter. However, instead of spotting the divergencies between your country and the UK, try to find the similarities between the two and I’m sure you’ll experience incredible and unforgettable moments here. It’s key to not isolate yourself from the others just because you speak a different language. Trust me, there ain’t no judgement. People will love you the way you are!

The Representation of Female Photojournalists in the Music Scene

“The pattern keeps repeating itself: men have a bigger spotlight compared with women.”

Women are growing in this industry, it’s a fact. But, when it comes to their representation in magazines, newspapers or photography awards, the pattern keeps repeating itself: men have a bigger spotlight compared with women.

I read in The New York Times that “in 2017, according to Fashionista, only 13.7 percent of 153 covers from 10 leading American fashion magazines were shot by women”. Of course, that are incredible female photojournalists rocking the world of photography right now, but the professional disparities carry on being evident and accentuated. There’s a stereotype that needs to be broken.

When it comes to what the music scene could do to represent female photojournalists, it’s simple. Value and respect the person that spent time behind the lens seeking for the best photo and the exact portrayal of a band or artists. Don’t take images out of someone’s Instagram or website without their consent. Photographer jobs need to be respected and to be seen as a real profession.

Our Music Made Us campaign is told through the students, graduates, journalists, experts and passionate people who have been shaped by music. Discover their stories here

 

Author

Filipa Gaspar

Music Journalism student Filipa Lobo Gaspar is currently studying at BIMM Institue Birmingham. A photojournalist, she’s attached to a collection of magazines, ranging from Portuguese Punk to Metal and more commercial pop music. Filipa is a founding member of Birmingham-based music magazine, Guava Mag, which covers music stories from around the world.