There is a lot of talented artist on the SouthCoast and one of them caught my attention recently.

Helder Sousa is a 50-year-old photographer, born and raised in Fall River, with an exquisite eye for natural beauty. His parents hail from the island of São Miguel, Azores, making him a proud first-generation American. His company is Sousa Image Works and this is his story.

I stumbled across Sousa's recent work over the weekend as he was showcasing the Portuguese Romeiros as they were walking from church to church throughout the city as a group continuing ancient cultural tradition.

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Sousa's interest in the Romeiros was well executed as he succeeded in his goal of capturing the raw emotion of the women and men.

"I'm very proud of being Portuguese and it's more of a cultural thing than a religious thing," Sousa explained, "I waited until the second to the last church because I knew they were going to be exhausted and would have that specific look I was searching for. They're tired and they were still hanging on and wanted to capture the essence of that."

By self-definition, Sousa is a documentary street photographer that does weddings and portraits. His portfolio captures people living in the moment, with authentic reactions, rather than posing as he strives to search for that natural look, smile and laugh. Lately, he's been taken on a handful of pro-bono projects and jobs working with diversity within the film industry.

Most importantly, he's persistent in his own personal growth within the business realm of photography.

"It's been a while since I've taken a step back from work and shot photos that I personally enjoy," Sousa said, "Just like music when you hear a song or a band, you know what that song or band is. I'm the same way with my photographs. I want people to recognize my stuff. Every day I'm learning and every night before I go to bed I watch two videos (from YouTube, etc.) to learn new things. I wouldn't be here if I didn't get help from others. Confidence is everything."

It's been seven years since Sousa picked up his camera and decided to aim in a whole new direction. It all began with a major life event that caused depression, so he bought a camera to keep himself occupied as a hobby. He soon found out that you can't put a price on happiness and day by day, he began to transcend by mastering his technique and focusing on the positives of life (pun unintended).

"I bring a little bit of darkness into my work, bringing out a lot of emotion and contrast to my photos as an outsourcing of my own emotions," Sousa said, "I'm at peace and happy doing what I'm doing, just me and my dogs. Money in the bank doesn't bring me happiness, but doing what I love brings me joy. I'm not a rich man, but I'm a rich man at heart."

Moving forward, Sousa would like to get into a gallery that's physical, not virtual with a focus on Portuguese culture. For example, the Madeira Feast, the Portuguese markets, etc.

"I want to capture 100% of my culture, and it all started with the Romeiros," Sousa said, "I want to grow, be out there, and start selling prints once I get a chance to showcase them, even if it's locally. My dream is to have my images hanging on strangers' walls. That's what I truly want and I'd like to thank everyone for supporting me and for all the love. The support is humbling from friends, family, and even strangers."

If anyone would like to see more photos from Sousa's collection of The Romeiros, he'd be more than happy to share them at no cost. Simply send an email to and he'll be happy to connect with you.

Fall River Photographer Captures the Pure Essence of Portuguese Culture

Helder Sousa has an eye for photography and a beautiful way of capturing the pure emotion of the Portuguese Rameiros.

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