Interview: Photographer Alessandro Galatoli (Italy)
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Tell us something about yourself.
I’m 31 and I am a family man surrounded by women… I have two little girls, 4 years old and 3 months old. I was born in Rome but I moved to Florence two years ago and I am really enjoying my life here. Photography was one of my very first passions as a teenager but I only started digging into it in 2010.
I thought my job in the technology industry was my path until photography became the real center of my life that I felt I needed more space and time for that. With strong perseverance and the support of my partner I am now able to take my passion and make it into a full time profession. I attended classes and workshops, and I am currently connected to other photographers for debates and meaningful conversations about the tools and the meaning of photography today.
How and when did you get into photography?
When I was in early twenties I used to travel alone around the World and photography meant to me not to create memories but to file a record of my present in “that” present,.
I still have the first compact Sony camera that I bought when the single-use cameras I was using were no longer enough for me. Some day I will put the memory card into my computer to see what’s still on it.
It was my first DSLR that changed everything.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is everything. It affects every single aspect of my life. Photography is my way to see life filtered through the camera. I couldn’t live without it. It is like I am breathing in what I see, to breath it out post produced with a frame. I am constantly interpreting the reality through a camera lens, even when I don’t have any.
My partner is always arguing with me because she would like me to take more picture of us and our daughters when we are on a trip or on vacation… but apart from the physical weight of the equipment, those are the only occasions where I want to enjoy the moment without any filter on my eyes.
By the way she is also very disappointed because she says that photography invaded our house and it’s just everywhere, even in the fridge, she uses to say, where I keep cool my analog films for a better performance.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
This is a very complicated question. I don’t think I have only one style. Actually, I don’t think I have a style at all. My style is probably still in evolution.
I am a different photographer from one year ago and I will be a different photographer from the photographer that I am now in one year.
Photography for me has to be personal and subjective. This is the reason why I am not a landscape photographer. I need a human subject to make it detached from the objectivity of reality.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I take my inspiration from the movies, the books and the arts that I watch and read and admire. When I need inspiration for a set or a mood, I use social media and fashion magazines. I follow the links and the suggestions and then I go with the flood.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
I’m very emotional, I like to live the moment and that continues flow of conscious experience through the mind. Of course I can only do this when I’m working on a personal or private project.
Preparation in fundamental when I have an editorial, a workshop or a structured set.
Studio, on location or both?
Both. I do prefer natural light, so the ideal location would be a studio with big windows.
The external sets are great but a studio with the newest photographic technology can really offer you a thousand creative possibilities more.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I am a professional who loves what he does.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
There is lot of personal perspectives my work. I am aware that my photography is deeply influenced by the state of mind I have in that moment. So maybe the answer to your question is that life itself is my source of inspiration
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Probably one of my latest work, which I did in collaboration with Lomography. I cannot talk much about that, as it has not been published yet. I can only say that it was a new project from scratch, involving different subjects, at different times, in different locations. This special, vintage lens is very hard to manage, so this was a real challenge for me. At the same time it gave me this unique chance to appreciate the unparalleled lens flares that the new digital lens won’t give you.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
It doesn’t really make a big difference anymore, on a technical level, between the two.
I use Nikon and I must say that the customer support that they provide is exceptional.
I do a lot of portraits, so my favorite lens could be the 85mm f1.4, but another great lens that I love and use a lot it’s the 70-200mm, a great optics which I think it’s underestimated.
I use Sigma because its chromatic bokeh adds an impressive softness to the image.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Perseverance is the key to success. To be a photographer today is very difficult. Social networks are full of pictures and it is difficult to distinguish professional photography from unqualified amateurs. There are no tricks or secrets, only sweat and perseverance. It might take years to emerge, time will make the selection.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I found it very interesting because it gives space to a lot of emerging photographers.
It stands out with the quality of the editorials and that’s why people like it and share it.
The majority of magazines publish paid selections or still sell that visibility, that social networks like Facebooks give you for free. It is ridiculous but people do not understand it.
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