Cacau Mangabeira

Official Photographer For Singer

“I love that we can walk freely outside here.” That was his oldest daughter’s reply when asked what she likes best about life in Gainesville. As he tells the story, you can see Cacau Mangabeira’s warm smile glow, only affirming that his decision to move to the US, and to the Gainesville area in particular, was not only the right choice, it was the necessary one.

Unlike most artists, Cacau had achieved both fame and fortune doing what he loves to do, and when he uprooted his family from Brazil, Cacau was at the height of his career. He was the official photographer for singer, songwriter, and actress, Ivete Sangalo, whom Forbes named one of the 20 most influential women in Brazil.

His work had appeared in publications such as Vogue and Rolling Stone. He traveled the world and had every outward mark of success: a large home, nannies, a chef, housekeepers, and more. The fairy tale life, however, cost him more than he wanted to pay. He wanted freedom, not just from the grind that accompanied the lifestyle of a renowned celebrity photographer, but also the freedom to live without fear.

“I love Brazil,” Cacau says, almost with a sad smile. “But it is so dangerous. When we went outside, we had to hide our phones, watches…everything.” The sadness fades to relief as he remembers what life was like before.
Having visited Gainesville at the start of his career nearly 25 years ago, he remembered the beauty of the area, the graciousness of the people, and the overall feeling of tranquility.

He longed for peace from “the hurricane,” as he referred to life in Brazil, and he knew that he would find it there.And indeed, he did. Life in Gainesville is a good type of quiet. There is no fear, no danger. His children enjoy all of the goodness that nature has to offer and they play with friends from around the globe, many of whom also love living in a place where they can “walk freely outside.”

Cacau Mangabeira, Director

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