Luiz Braga was born in 1956, in Belém (Pará State, Brazil) and had his first contact with photography at the age of eleven. In 1975 he set up his first studio to work with portraits and, at the same time, entered the School of Architecture, from where he got his degree in 1983, even though he has never worked as an architect.
Up until 1981, he photographed mainly in black and white. His first exhibitions (1979 and 1980) comprised dance scenes, nudes, architecture, and portraits.
After this phase, he discovered the vibrant colors of the Amazon popular visuality and, at the invitation of Funarte (the National Arts Foundation), he traveled throughout the region and thoroughly improved his photographic essay, which would later be exhibited under the title No Olho da Rua (Centro Cultural São Paulo, 1984) and be considered his first step towards his authorial maturity.
In A Margem do Olhar (1985 to 1987), he returns to the shades of black and white from his early days, and depicts the Amazon caboclo and his surroundings with dignity. Exhibited nationally in 1988, this essay earned him the Marc Ferrez award by the Instituto Nacional da Fotografia (National Institute of Photography).
His enchantment by the colors of his region and the pictorial possibilities extracted from the confrontation between natural light and the multiple sources of light of the boats, parks, and popular bars resulted in the essay Anos Luz, which earned him the “Leopold Godowsky Color Photography Award” in 1991, from Boston University, and which was displayed at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Masp, in 1992.
One of the main features of his work is the approach, which moves away from the stereotypical and superficial views on the Amazon. The other is his mastery of color, which made him a reference in Brazilian contemporary photography.
He held over 150 solo and group shows across Brazil and abroad, and his photographs can be found in important public and private collections such as the collections of the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) in São Paulo, the Centro Português de Fotografia, the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) in Rio de Janeiro, and the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, among others.
In 2005, he celebrated his thirty years as a photographer by including several segments of his work on the exhibition Retratos Amazônicos at MAM/SP, and on the exhibition Arraial da Luz, the largest in his career, set up outdoors in an amusement park in his hometown, and which was seen by more than thirty-five thousand people.
In 2009, he was one of the Brazilian representatives at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
He lives and works in Belém.