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 Janine Mapurunga, Documentary Photographer

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Number of posts : 1103
Registration date : 2009-05-17

PostSubject: Janine Mapurunga, Documentary Photographer   Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:14 am

Interview with Janine Mapurunga, Documentary Photographer
Interviewed by Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
Paranormal Hotline: (916) 203-7503


Question: Tell us something personal about yourself. Your family life, schools you went to. Hobbies? Recreational activities? Movies, TV shows, books you like? Your favorite song? Do you have any pets?

Answer: I was born and raised in northeastern Brazil, between Fortaleza and Vicosa do Ceara. I moved to California at age 16 and my family still lives in Brazil. I spent much of my childhood with my grandmother, whose values I hold very dear. Most of my recreational time is spent gardening, cooking and riding my bike, although lately I have been so busy that I am not getting enough time for pleasure. One of my favorite films is “Everything is Illuminated”. I don’t own a television. My favorite magazine is The Sun and I am so pleased to be reading “New Self New World” by Phillip Shepard. I take great pleasure in reading poetry. One of my favorite poets is Bukowski. My newest discovery is Todd Walton, who writes short stories, composes music and is an overall crazy man. I don’t have a favorite song because there is too much music that I enjoy. I very much enjoy the French composer Erik Satie and the contemporary Italian singer-songwriter Toni Bruna. ( As for painters, Laura Holwein is a fantastic contemporary artist whose work I greatly respect. As for dead painters, I can’t seem to get enough of Seraphine Senlis and Schiele. As a child I had pet chickens, parrots, dogs and a monkey. As an adult I had African fat tail geckos. Unfortunately I don’t have any pets at the moment. I have been traveling too much over the last five years. I do dream of having a dog and take great pleasure in petting random people’s dogs at any possible situation.

Question: At what age did you get interested in photography?

Answer: When I was ten, my grandmother asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told her I wanted a camera. She asked me to pick out the camera that I wanted at the shop and I asked the sales man to show me the cheapest camera he had. My grandma paid for it in five monthly installments. The Yashica MG3 camera is a small step up from a disposable point and shoot. It is made of 100% plastic, including the lens. It is fully automatic. I still have it today. She gave me the camera along with one roll of film. I thought very hard about what should be my first subject. I asked myself “what is the most important thing to me?” The answer was Hunter, my dog. I proceeded to create 36 portraits of the dog, each carefully thought through. I positioned him at different locations in the house, on the window sill, next to my grandma’s favorite flowers. After I finished the roll, I ran into the house jumping and yelling “I shot my first roll of film!” Because it was Christmas time, many of my relatives were there at my grandmother’s house – my mother, my uncles and aunts, my cousins. One of my uncles asked to see the camera and so I handed it to him. He asked me where to open the camera and I showed him the button. He opened the back of the camera and pulled out the film, exposing it to the light and thus ruining it completely. He said “This is not a toy. Cameras are expensive and are not for kids to play with.”

Question: You are involved with documentary photography. I never heard of documentary photography. Can you explain to us what this is?

Answer: To me, documentary photography involves following a story for an extensive period of time. It involves documenting what you see and experience rather than creating a purely fictional version of it. Documentary photography is an exploration of a topic; it is the telling of a story through photographs. This country has a long history of documentary photography. W. Eugene Smith and Mary Ellen Mark are two important American documentary photographers whose work has inspired me for over a decade. I incorporate a documentary approach to every project I undertake, including commercial projects such as weddings and family portraits.

Question: Are your photographs published? Where are they published?

Answer: I can’t remember all the publications that have published my images over the years. Let me see what I can remember. In the United States my work has been published in the LA Times, The Knot, Our Wedding, ABC Soaps in Depth, Prosper magazine, Sacramento Magazine, Sacramento News and Review, Organic Gardening magazine, the Journal of American Psychology, Financial Advisor magazine… These are the titles that are popping in my head right now. Abroad the list includes: Il Piccolo (Italy), Diario do Nordeste (Brazil), Conde Nast Traveler (UK), Brides Abroad (UK), Redes para la Ciencia (Spain).

Paul: Wow! We have something in common, I have been published in Sacramento Magazine, Sacramento News & Review and Conde Nast!

Question: What are some of the unique things, places or people that you have photographed?

Answer: The list is quite long actually, so I will mention one place: the island of Sri Lanka, south of India. I spent six months there working on a project between 2006 and 2007, when the country was still in the middle of its 25-year long civil war. Sri Lanka was once called Serendib and it is the place where I’ve experienced the greatest number of serendipitous moments. Things are quite magical there, although often times also quite terrifying and extreme. I can’t really explain it in words; you have to go there to experience what I am talking about. The sky is amazing. It is like a live being, an animal, a painting. There is a multitude of colors, flavors, smells, smiles, insects of impossible colors and designs everywhere you look. What an amazing place to be. I arrived in Sri Lanka at a pivotal moment in my career, when I was having a creative crisis; a moment when I was questioning whether to continue working as a photographer or change careers completely. After my time in that place, I realized there was no other profession I wanted to concentrate my life on. The magic of that place helped to reinforce my commitment to photography as a way of life.

Question: You are involved in a special project. What is the name of this project? What is the purpose of this project? What do you hope to achieve?

Answer: I am currently developing a project called Sacramento Farmers and Chefs, which I started last summer. It is a collection of portraits and interviews of local farmers and chefs whose work has a significant impact in the place where I currently live: the Californian capital. The food culture of the Sacramento valley is incredibly rich. I’ve lived in many countries in three continents but this is the place where I have access to the highest quality food at affordable prices. There are numerous innovative food professionals working in this region, people who are committed to not only working hard, but most importantly, producing food that is of the highest caliber. It comes as no accident that Sacramento has been coined the farm to fork capital of the country. My project aims to highlight the people responsible for the bounty that characterizes our region. Differing from all of my previous projects in which I document action as it happens, Sacramento Farmers and Chefs pairs documentary photography with fine art portraiture. I invite each participant to my home studio where I photograph them in the same manner: looking directly on camera and wearing a simple white t-shirt. The portrait session is then followed by an interview in which I ask the participant to tell me about his/her life trajectory. The first exhibit of this project will take place on September 14th in Sacramento.

Question: Thank you for this wonderful interview! I love your Brazilian accent, you are truly the Girl from Ipanema! Please tell us how your readers and followers can contact you. Do you have an email address?

Answer: My website is Sacramento Farmers and Chefs has two links: the website is and there is also a facebook page: A pdf of my current portfolio can be viewed at:

My email address is:

Thank you so much for inviting me into your world! You are truly a sweetheart!

SPECIAL NOTE: Janine will be joining HPI on various investigations and use her talents, perhaps she can capture a ghost on film!

Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
aka The Demon Warrior
Hegelianism Paranormal Intelligence (International)
Managed by Staci Butler, HPI Twitter Account Manager
My Bio Link at Ceri Clark's All Destiny Magazine!
Paranormal Cellular Hotline: For Investigation or Advice: 916 203 7503
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