Licensing Contributor Felipe Dias is a Brazilian photographer and filmmaker who loves to shoot with his DJI drone. Drawing inspiration from the bird’s-eye view, he shoots dynamic coastlines and detailed city scenes from uncommon perspectives. Browse his Licensing collection here.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself as a photographer—how did you get started?

A: I discovered my passion for photography eight years ago while working in the military—at the time, I ended up watching the sunset almost every day.

Light is the defining reason behind my passion for photography. It keeps me going, even today.

Q: How would you describe where you are now compared to five years ago?

A: I’ve always been the type of person who was sure of where I wanted to go, but over the years I’ve changed my career a lot. Living as an artist has never been easier in Brazil. Today, I think I am following my instincts along a more coherent path, but am more aware that some things may change along the way.

Dique do Tororó by Felipe Dias on

Q: What tools have you used to develop your skills?

A: I have no doubt that a photographer’s greatest tool is their brain: from organizing all of the information that comes in to processing everything we see around us. If you watched the movie “Get Out,” will know what I’m talking about.

When I was starting out, I spent a lot of time reading articles on photography sites, but what helped me even more was watching movies with poetic languages. Music also inspires me a lot—sometimes I even consider some of my photos as dedications or expressions of a certain song.

DJI by Felipe Dias on

Q: You have a great personal brand—did this come naturally to you, or did you spend consciously develop it over the years?

A: I’ve always been in the mindset of never being satisfied with my work, which wasn’t great, but which also helped shape the way I photograph.

I believe that developing a photographic identity is a difficult task that requires time and practice. But once you start to feel it, you can at least be sure that you’re representing your life authentically in your photos, not just in context, but also poetically.

Cachoeira by Felipe Dias on

Q: Any advice for younger photographers looking to build their own personal brand?

A: Don’t start photographing to further your social position, or in the hopes of getting famous—if that happens someday it will only be a happy consequence, but should never be the goal. Photograph for the art of it, for knowing how to express yourself through images and emotion through light. If you follow this advice, I believe you’ll be memorable.

Farol da Barra by Felipe Dias on

Q: How has 500px helped you as a photographer?

A: Participating in the community helped me discover other photographers from my city, whom I never could have imagined knowing. I was also able to gain exposure for my work around the world—I’m always getting notifications from people that follow me from far-flung places who are enjoying my photographs.

Q: How do you use 500px to market yourself?

A: I see 500px as a great professional community: here, I can really reach the audience I want. I have worked hard to build a great portfolio, so that my best work will reach the eyes of big brands.

Fort beach by Felipe Dias on

Q: What’s your experience been like with licensing your photos on 500px? What have you learned from the experience?

A: I have a few photos available for Licensing, which was a smooth and easy process. I have not yet sold any images, but I recently discovered how much I should prioritize licensing photos exclusively, to take advantage of higher royalty rates, so I’ll be focusing on that in future.

Follow Felipe Dias

Instagram: @eufdias

DJI by Felipe Dias on