Adriana Zehbrauskas


Adriana Zehbrauskas is an Brazilian documentary photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona. Her work is largely focused on issues related to migration, religion, human rights, underrepresented communities and the violence resulting from the drug trade in Mexico, Central and South America. Contributes regularly with the The New York Times, UNICEF, The New Yorker and BuzzFeed News, among others.

What was your latest book discovery? What are your favorite books of all time?

I just finished A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit while traveling recently in Colombia. As she writes, "It's not about being lost, but trying to lose yourself." I also couldn't put down True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel, a gift from friend Diego Fonseca.

Favorite books of all time ( I could go on forever):
Alexis by Marguerite Yourcenar is my all time favorite. It's a long, sad and tender letter, written by Alexis, explaining to his wife, Monica, why he must leave her. And that it was written in 1929 when she was only 24 years old blows my mind.
Crónica de una Muerte Anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold), by Gabriel García Márquez is also on top of the list.
I also love Death with Interruptions by José Saramago, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, Grande Sertão: Veredas by João Guimarães Rosa.

Most visited blogs, websites? : 

Blogs?? They still exist? I see a lot of websites of photographers and The New York Times is always open on my browser. I also go to Astrology Zone religiously every first of the month to check my horoscope (Gemini). Susan Miller nails it every time.
And oh, Facebook, the guilty pleasure.

What apps do you use the most and why?

Spotify and Apple Music. I have a soundtrack for everything and I'm ALWAYS listening to music.
WhatsApp - How did we communicate before?
Instagram - Of course.
Twitter - For news stories and favorite journalists but really, mostly because of the cute animal videos.
Google Maps
Headspace (it has saved more than once)
Banks + airlines + hotel apps

Whats currently on your playlist?

Finally this question. I am the playlist queen. I love making them, for me and my friends. I have a few friends with whom I exchange songs - it's a thrill to get an unexpected text message with a new song in it!
I'm currently obsessed with Erika Wennerstrom and I'm listening to it on repeat. Brazilian music rotates heavily as well - It's like comfort food, going too that safe place where you know you'll be fine, doesn't matter where you are.

What records would you recommend to hear?

Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz/ João Gilberto
Mezzanine by Massive Attack
AM by Arctic Monkeys
Céu by Céu
São Paulo Confessions by Suba
New York City by The Peter Malick Group featuring Norah Jones
The Greatest by Cat Power
Camino by Gustavo Santaolalla
Let’s Get Lost by Chet Baker

Brazilian music rotates heavily as well - It’s like comfort food, going too that safe place where you know you’ll be fine, doesn’t matter where you are.

Fresh movie finds? What films do you think everybody should watch?

Movies are a big inspiration for me and my work... there are soo many, but these should be mandatory:
In The Mood for Love by Wong Kar-Wai. Hauntingly beautiful.
Coffee and Cigarettes, 11 very short films by Jim Jarmusch around the everyday indulgence of coffee and cigarettes
Roma by Alfonso Cuarón
Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown by Pedro Almodovar
Sideways by Alexander Payne
A Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson

Which artists working today do you admire most?

This is tough. I'm surrounded by incredibly talented friends who are artists, musicians, writers, photographers. They all inspire me and I couldn't choose among them - see who I follow on Instagram and Twitter!
On the non-friends category: Thomas Joshua Cooper, Max Richter, James Turrell and Tadao Ando are brilliant.

What are some of your tv top tips right now?

Penny Dreadful - I absolutely loved it. And I want to wear all Eva Green's clothes.
Peaky Blinders
The Handmaid's Tale - The photography is exquisite, it gets me hypnotized.
Stranger Things Season 3 was great.
The Weekly
Any show with an anti hero drunk detective in some cold and rainy remote island.
And when I'm really stressed and need to unwind, The Big Bang Theory never fails me.

Who are you following?

I'm not big on podcasts, I prefer to listen to music, but I like Radio Ambulante, a great podcast in Spanish telling latin american stories. I also listen to The Daily, The New Yorker Radio Hour.


@almaobs - The Alma Observatory in Atacama, Chile
@poetastrologers - AstroPoets

What tools do you use in your work?

iPhone 11 Pro
Fuji X-Pro2
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
MacBook Pro
Adobe Photoshop
Photo Mechanic
WD for Mac hardrives
Moleskine notebooks

What magazines / newspapers do you read regularly?

I try to be updated with news from the US, Brazil, Mexico and Central America:
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The New Yorker
Pro Publica
Folha de S.Paulo
The Intercept Brasil
Revista Piauí
El Faro
El País America

What are your favorite gadgets?

My iPhone - my life is in there
AirPods - to listen to music in airplanes and charge my phone at the same time
Round Polarized orange lenses Ray Ban sunglasses
Kodiak Original weather proof boots - I can work in rough terrains as well as more urban settings and still look pulled together
Neutrogena Sunscreen 70FPS
Bodum travel french press mug
The RavPower charger my friend Arin Pereira gave me
Muji mesh pouches to organize cables and batteries


Adriana Zehbrauskas


Portrait image by © Dario Lopez-Mills