"I direct as much as I need. I talk to the models and tell them their roles, what I expect from them. I shoot with two big screens so the models can see how they look. I explore different poses by doing four or five small variations on each look," he explains.
Lima knows that kind words can go far. Encouraging subjects is an important tool photographers can use to their advantage. "Everybody likes a compliment. It also helps me because when models feel confident, they perform their best," he explains.
Lima prefers shooting in his studio so he can manipulate lighting and put his high-tech equipment to good use. The advanced Martin HMI robotic lighting system is one innovation Lima relies on to streamline the capture process.
"There are only six Martin Light Composer systems in the U.S. Although designed for still life photography, we use the system for people, beauty, and fashion shoots," he says. "We texture it over saturated colors, which can be projected into any background or subject. The mix of continuous HMI lighting with the flash systems creates quite a unique look. I can control size, direction, color softness, and intensity of the light source directly through my computer."
Virtually everything in Lima's studio is controlled by Mac computers—not surprising for this self-proclaimed Mac addict. Operating from his MacBook Pro 15 with 2GB RAM and three G5 towers for retouching, Lima is the ultimate techie.
"Technology gives me an edge. Not only do I have more control over my lighting and shooting process, but I'm able to create almost anything. It's just a tool, but if you are creative and know how to use it, there are many advantages," he says.
During a photo shoot, he will show his images on two 30" Apple Cinema Displays. "Big screens are a must for photographers, models, and clients. They give you instant feedback and the ability to see the image much bigger than usual," he explains.
Lima's camera of choice is the Fuji GX680III, which gives him the freedom to experiment with different settings. "I love the camera because it lets me shoot like it's a view camera. Sometimes I want selective focus; other times, a distorted perspective. This is the only medium-format camera that can do that," he says.
For a man who's constantly in motion, it seems fitting that his next creative phase will be motion pictures.
"Little by little, I've been getting into film and video or motion pictures. I started a company, Ginga Films (www.gingafilms.com), with this amazing Brazilian director, Wiland Pinsdorf, and we've been doing commercials, music clips, virals, and corporate videos. I am really enjoying this new phase."
It's not surprising to his fans or clients—who often are one and the same—that Lima receives international recognition for his work. Recently, he was honored at the 2007 PX3 Competition in Paris, France, for his image "Anasol." The event drew pro photographers from 85 countries.
A grounded, charming amalgam of spirit and high-end style, Lima will continue to reinvent himself—and dazzle his clients—whenever new technologies and opportunities come his way.
For more Lima images, visit www.caesarphoto.com.