Pedro Bonatto is a fine art and advertising photographer based in Toronto, Canada. He creates environmental portraits with a cinematic and painterly look, drawing inspiration from mythology, history, fashion and world cultures. Pedro’s dramatic and moody style focus on conceptual storytelling through images that aim at transporting the viewer to reimagined worlds.
This creative approach to portraiture permeates both his personal and client work, having been applied to gallery exhibits, advertising campaigns, movie posters, book covers, and fashion editorials. Pedro uses a combination of natural and studio light to create his style, believing that photographs should not only elicit emotion, but also serve as objects to think with.
A descendant of Italian, German and Spanish immigrants who settled in the South of Brazil in the early 20th century, Pedro is the son of a painter and a journalist. From an early age, he has been exposed to the visual traditions of photographic reportage and realistic oil paintings. That influence has propelled his exploration on how fiction can be a secret passageway to deeper understanding and appreciation of human expression.
Pedro received a BA degree in Communications and Advertising in 1999 and developed a wide range of interests and practices, from filmmaking to product design in government and corporate institutions. In 2009 he moved to Canada, and received a Master of Design degree from OCAD University in 2012, where he created his first fine art series, Portraits of Science with twelve portraits reimagining obscure figures in the history of science inspired by mythology, science fiction and fantasy, and that work led him to start his practice in advertising and fine art photography.
In his series The Orientalist, he travelled through six countries in three continents photographing musicians and dancers who are influenced by Middle Eastern culture in the West, inspired by the aesthetics of Orientalist painters from the 19th century.
In 2018 Pedro created the Wanderings Podcast, featuring interviews with artists, designers, scientists, filmmakers, authors and entrepreneurs. In informal conversations, Pedro explores topics that inspire his personal photography work, including history, mythology, science, music, fashion and world cultures.
On his spare time, Pedro explores his other artistic calling as the lead percussionist with The Blue Dot Ensemble, a group fusing music traditions from across the planet. Together with his wife, dancer Iana Komarnytska, Pedro travels the world creating music, dance and photography projects that bring together a variety of world traditions, which are often reflected in his fine art and advertising work.