Did you see our latest Vida campaign, shot on the coast of Portugal? Beautiful, right! Meet the incredible woman behind the lens, Renata Tognoli. Born in Brazil, Renata now spends her time between Italy and Portugal with her young son Kauai and her husband. Drawn to the culture, history and food in Italy and the wild coastline of Portugal, Renata enjoys the best of both worlds. With a passion for photography, food, surfing and interior design, Renata has a beautifully creative spirit. We sat down with Renata to discuss her photography, navigating motherhood after losing her own mum, and that work-life balance.
Introducing Renata Tognoli.
You grew up in Brazil, tell us a bit about your childhood there. What are things from your childhood that you are looking forward to sharing with your child?
I really want to share with my children everything that I had as a child: my freedom, kids' parties, family trips. I was very lucky to have the childhood I had, but actually, the first thing that came to my mind was the love I had from my parents. They did everything for me, I want to be able to give that same love if not more to my son. Love is the foundation of everything.
You are currently based between Italy and Portugal...we are so jealous, what a dream. What do you love about Italy and Portugal? What is your favourite way to spend your day when you are in each place?
Every country in the world has something special; I guess for Italy, it’s the culture, the history and the FOOD. Portugal has a wild coastline and is a very safe place. Coming from Brazil, safety is the first thing I look for. In Italy, I love to spend time with the family, go to the Dolomites to ski and drive around discovering new little corners to shoot. When Kauai is in kindergarten in Portugal, I divide my time between photography, surfing and interior design; when he is back, it is 100% mum life.
You are a photographer with a passion for vintage cameras, how did you discover this passion and what inspires you?
I've always been a lover of vintage style! As a teenager, I loved to buy clothes in second-hand shops, admired old black and white photos and vintage cars. My passion for photography really began when I got my cyber shot in the 90s. I took it everywhere with me, photographing my trips, parties and time spent with my friends.
As a mum, it can be really tough when we lose our own mums, who are often our rocks during pregnancy and motherhood. How did you navigate this difficult time?
I miss my mother; I think she would have been the best grandmother in the world. I know she would have done anything for my son. Navigating motherhood without your mum is difficult for sure, but we just have to keep going! Luckily for me, I have a huge amount of support from my husband and his family. I'm blessed to have always had amazing people by my side during the difficult times in my life. The biggest lesson I took from losing my mum, was that we all should go after our dreams and never regret anything that makes us smile.
You often use your platform to highlight racial inequality, is this something that is close to your heart, how did you decide to use Instagram to bring awareness to this issue?
Whenever possible, I want to try to pass on my knowledge about racial inequality. The cause of everything is the ignorance and the misinformation out there. Back in the day, it was more difficult to raise our voice and be heard, but now with social media, everyone could be a source of information. I also think that a post here and there is not enough, what really matters are our actions daily, like correcting someone who uses discriminative words or maybe helping someone who is a victim of racism...we need to look around and pay attention to that every day.
We love the idea that our lives are full of chapters! What were some of the chapters you closed when you became a mother, and what was it like opening the new chapter of motherhood?
Being a mother is a big change without a doubt. For sure, things change like hours of sleep, time spent with my husband and time for myself, but there's that thing called LOVE...a mother's love wins over anything. I loved becoming a mother, I feel more powerful than ever before.
At Auguste, we are so passionate about highlighting incredible working mothers and all mothers that make it work, with many of the women in our team being working mothers themselves. How do you make it work?
My husband and I dedicated a long time of our life ensuring our jobs had flexible hours so that we could support each other and both move forward with our careers despite being new parents...When I shoot my husband stays with Kauai and I go to work and vice versa. I think support is the key in a relationship and if you want to achieve your goal you need someone with the same dedication and attitude.
What was your favourite piece from the collection and why? What do you love to style your Auguste faves with?
The Yolanda Cyd Midi Dress is definitely my favourite piece, I think it accentuates our natural womanly curves and I love to style it with a vintage denim jacket. Here in Portugal, there is always a little cold breeze at night, so I love to pair it with a lightweight jacket.