Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Francesco Caruso (Italy)
Tell us something about yourself
Francesco Caruso has been taking photographs since he was a boy. His first snaps date back to January 1979 and since then he and his camera have been inseparable. He began to work professionally in 1997, with advertising work which took him to Florence, Rome and abroad. Today he divides his time between Tuscany – where he was born – Milan, Rome, USA and London, devoting his time to stars of the stage and the screen, capturing sensuality and expression, and at the same time developing his involvement in the world of film. His first photographs for “Panorama” magazine date back to December 2004 and his CV includes work for some of the most important men’s magazines in Europe - Max, Fox Uomo, Maxim, For Men Magazine, Zoo ,FHM, Panorama.
How and when did you get into photography?
I started when I was a child because my grandfather Antonio was an hobbyst photographer
There was not the digital and I was immediately involved in photography magic process.
I had to wait to see the results and it was so exciting finally discover my works, in a couple of years I started developing film and printing my photo so the magic was complete.
What does photography mean to you?
Taking photographs means looking for feeling, emotional states and expressions and trying to capture the moment. When you capture certain expressions or moods then you’re truly able to transmit emotions. When a photo, especially if it’s a commercial one, leaves the observer indifferent, then something’s not right. It doesn’t work and you haven’t achieved any kind of communication. But when it fascinates you, when you don’t know why you can’t stop looking at it, when you’re captivated by details and you find yourself thinking about it, then you can say that it’s a job well done. A photo belongs more to the observer than to the photographer, a bit like poetry in the film “Il Postino”, when Massimo Troisi says to Philippe Noiret, the poet Neruda, that “Poetry doesn’t belong to the writer…it belongs… to those who need it.”
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Two things: work and experimentation. To a certain extent they are complementary and represent, in a way, the dilemma of balancing the commercial side of the business and art. I add my personal touch through study and experience, and it’s definitely a product of cultural factors, but also of passion and instinct: it doesn’t only come from the subject that I photograph and the environment that surrounds them, but also from my lifestyle and my personal tastes.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I had a classical education: I grew up in the Tuscan countryside, in the cradle of the Renaissance, and by looking around I realise that it’s enough to walk through Piazza della Signoria in Florence, for example, to fully experience the art of the body and the beauty of its forms, in statues and paintings, but also simply in the gentle landscapes that surround us.
Studio, on location or both?
I work in both but I prefere locations.
Basically, I’m interested in the relationship between body/material, physicality and the value of the human body in contact with the nature that surrounds it. Even a sofa can be important sometimes: the material it’s made out of, its shape and colour.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Absolutely yes, for that reason I work with my team on an idea and then choosing all the stuff to realize that. There is a great work behind realizing an idea, starting choosing the right model, choosing location, makeup and hair styling ........ and when you are on the set everybody works for the idea become true. Usually that happens.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
All the shooting for my book MUSE has been great ,
but if I have to say memorable, surely the shooting for the LILT Calendar in 2009We made it for rising found for reserch against cancer
I shoot it with a great team and 6 great models on the most beautyfull vessel of the world the Amerigo Vespucci and it has been really memorable.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I work whith Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, Phaseone and big format camera too depending on what I have to shoot I presfere lenses like 70mm 100mm 150mm usually (relating to 24x36 format) not zoom lenses
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
I have no recipe for photography business I can only give new photographer an advice to start in a good way their journey into photography
this book helped me a lot understanding what really is photography and I hope will help you all.
“On Photography” written by Susan Sontag enjoy the reading
What do you think of our new magazine?
I like very much the magazine, is very well done and I think it has a great editorial line