I spent some time in Brazil building my career, and establishing myself in Belo Horizonte and other cities in Brazil. In 2008, I received an award in NY and in Paris with a portrait of model Bruna Velho. I always tell this story as a turning point in my career. I was in Sao Paulo photographing the finalist for the Brazilian Ford Models contest, and this girl mesmerized me with her story, and I ended up making her portrait.
There is not a lot of fashion in that portrait, but when I saw the picture, it hit me; it was the first time I noticed how strong a photo could be as I edited it. I noticed how strong that picture was and I submitted it to a few contests, and I ended up winning all of them [Bruna Velho by Gustavo Marx- 2007 IPA, International Photo Awards, and Prix de La Photographie Paris]. I also sent a few other photos to these same contests. I ended up winning first place in the fashion and beauty categories here in NY. I felt very proud of myself with this award, especially when you take into consideration that Michael Thompson won 3rd place in this same competition with a photo of Gisele Bündchen. I came to NY to receive the awards and ended up meeting with a few agents and closing a deal with one of them. That’s when I thought; I have an agent, this is the time to move to NY. I had to convince my wife, and six years ago we moved here. Two years ago we had a little boy. We now have a little American in the house [LOL]. And that’s how it all happened and I ended up moving back to NY.