Devoted to the analogic photography, Arthur Meehan realizes pure and unadorned nude female portraits that become genuine pieces of great beauty. Though a tiny, analytic eye he captures natural beauty as it is and depicts it simple but very deep at the same time.

I like the old school way of shooting and then developing and printing. I really dislike the whole digital thing as it has taken the mystery and romance out of photography.

Which is your first photographic memory?
Printing in the darkroom.
We know your interest in photography happened by chance. Would you mind to tell us how this happened?
I was studying business at a university and a friend invited me to come and see him do some printing in the darkroom and I loved it.
You say your artistic heroes are the sculptor Rodin and photographer Edward Weston. What about their art has made the most impact on your series?
For Rodin it was his passion for the female form and for Weston it was his dedication to keeping things as simple as possible when photographing and using only daylight to shoot his pictures.
What do you enjoy most about the photographic process?
I like the old school way of shooting and then developing and printing. I really dislike the whole digital thing as it has taken the mystery and romance out of photography. Everything is about now and no one has the patience anymore of waiting to see if you got the shot or not. I also feel that the digital revolution has made everything look the same. It’s all retouched and you have no idea of what is real or not.
You are devoted to sublime flowers and nude studies. Which is the reason why you are investigating these two themes thoroughly?
I started with women because I love the endless shapes and feelings one can obtain and I view the flowers as another female form. I usually shoot flowers when I need to be alone and think. It is a sort of therapy for me. To me visually there is not a difference between the shapes of flowers and women.
Your portraits are pure and unadorned. Your female figures are genuine and authentic as nature intended them. Your tiny, analytic eye captures natural beauty as it is and depicts it simple but very deep at the same time. How could you reach this effect?
I really don’t have an answer for this one because I am not sure how I do it myself. I just shoot what I love without thinking to much or making it complicated. I guess one could say that it is just how I see women.

I started with women because I love the endless shapes and feelings one can obtain and I view the flowers as another female form.

Your photographs are unique pieces of great beauty, pervaded by a subtle sense of romance. Through light and shadow, you seem to ask your audience to seek for something deeper inside your composition. What’s hidden beyond the shapes of your beautiful shots?
That’s for you to imagine. It can be whatever you want it to be.
The celebration of natural beauty and perfection can be seen in your “New Flowers” series as well. Here, your parrots and ranunculus appear as graininess painting; behind your shots, petals are soft, fragile to touch, they seem to smell good. You are able to catch them in all their simplicity, and perfection. How could you be so finely deep?
I think that when I go through dark times in my life, I somehow subconsciously gravitate to the light. I escape into my own world of beauty and vision.
You seem to be able to speak gently to your models, reaching their heart. That, is even more true if considering the pregnancy series. Which relationship do you usually develop with them during the shooting?
I am very relaxed and never have a preconceived idea about the shoot. I just have the models come to my home and we have a coffee and talk and then just slowly find our way into the shoot. It’s a very quiet, gentle and organic process.
How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
None.
What leads you to become a professional photographer?
I just love it.
Your next project.
I am showing at the Festival Eoropeen de la photo de nu, in Arles France. It takes place May 5-14- at the Espace Van Gogh.
Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is I think to much and my greatest quality is my honesty and loyalty.
Make a wish.
I just did!

Davide Padovan is a young Italian photographer devoted to nude and portraits series. He captures visions, where a sense of loneliness contrasts with the invasion of private spaces. He works on long series of photographs made of different shots combined one to the other, making sense when all together.

I’m just looking for what I see, nothing else, nothing more. It’s just another point of view about the body.

Which is your first photographic memory?
My first photographic memory is a Polaroid we took at the kindergarten during a birthday party.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I will probably go for the photograph of the guy diving in the pool. I guess I took it 4 years ago.
A famous person you would like to portray.
Rossy de Palma.
A famous picture you would have liked to take.
One of the Brooklyn Gang series by Bruce Davidson.
We know you are passionate about long term series, precisely of feminine portraits. It seems that while working on a series, you investigate inner themes, you observe with an analytical eye, you are in search of something deeper. What are you looking for while shooting?
I’m just looking for what I see, nothing else, nothing more. It’s just another point of view about the body.
Light plays an important role in your photography. Precisely, it helps to draw feminine beauty, to outline feminine profiles and bodies. Light enters the inner spaces, but this is never an invasion. It’s delicate, soft and gentle. It touches lightly your bodies. Light mixes with shadows, and emotions emerge. How do you reach this effect?
Well, I always try to look for a decent combination of natural and artificial light (such as lamps) but at the end it’s just a fortuity.
Beauty emerges from your shots. The beauty of common women, without make up, pure and genuine as they are, while lying in messy beds, sofas, or just on the ground of bare flats. How do you feel while shooting? Which kind of relationship do you develop with your models while shooting?
I ask to them to be as much comfortable as possible, in order to be able to take the best picture.
Speaking about “A Common Sense Of Disorder”, portraits alternate with dynamic black and white photographs. At first sight, the situations you are documenting are opposed and contrasting, they seem to have nothing in common. What’s the conceptual idea under this choice? Is there a trait d’union between the shots?
I think there is a number of images that you can find often in this series, under different kinds of forms, like a repetition. It’s quite unconscious, I think. I try to combine them, not always with a good result, actually.
You are a deep observer; you search for the surreal reality around you. Your photography captures visions; there, a sense of loneliness contrasts with the invasion of private spaces. Where do you usually find your inspiration?
I don’t know if I am a deep observer; there is no inspiration or something like that, I think I took picture of what interests me more, and captures my attention.
Your portrait sessions are more frequent than other kind of projects. However, your portfolio collects interesting exploratory projects, where the surrounding landscapes play the main role. What could you say about your approach to nature? What is your relationship with your surrounding reality?
Nudes and portraits represent just the 50% of my production and I always try to make a connection between them and other kinds of images. I think that landscapes are a natural consequence. If you analyze the human behavior, natural or not, the landscape is a second step where to put your feet, I suppose. Moreover, you are forced to have a relationship with the landscape. It’s just there, in front of you.

The analogical medium is not better or worse than digital, it’s just a different choice of medium. You need to think little bit more and, of course, it tastes different.

Where does your love for analogical medium come from?
The analogical medium is not better or worse than digital, it’s just a different choice of medium. You need to think little bit more and, of course, it tastes different.
Lights, shadows and emotions interact and mix in your photographs. Looking at your art, we can say your shots have a proper soul, they speak for themselves. Is this made on purpose?
Well, I think that pictures are not able to stand alone. The culture of the social media destroys the inner sense of series or projects. In the 90% of the cases they are just single images to be consumed immediately. They are just images. On the contrary, my images are born to stay together.
Your next project.
I don t know, I’m working on several thinks right now, but without good results at the moment.
Your main flaw and quality.
Bad memory.
Slow.
Make a wish.
To take decent pics, at least in my point of view. To travel.

Born and raised in a small farming community in rural American, Troy Colby creates handcrafted worlds coming from little childhood memories. Devoted to black and white photography, he composes images full of hope and dreams. His shots come from the heart and ask viewers to come to their own emotions.

I really love black and white and the qualities that it can bring to the image. I feel we bring our attachments to color to the images.

Which is your first photographic memory?
I really cannot think of any. I remember very little of my childhood. I do remember spending a lot of time looking at my grandparent’s old photo books every time I went over to their house. I would do the same with my parents as well. Other than that I really struggle to remember those moments as a child.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
A book—High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Song, Man that is a super tough one. I am a huge music buff; I think my record collection is now in the 2000 mark. Right now I would say it is Nine Inch Nails, The Fragile. For a movie, I am going to say The Empire Strikes Back. The simple reason is that Luke has started to become a Jedi and is getting stronger. Yet they take a huge beating at the end of the film and they are still standing. It is bittersweet moment in the film yet you can feel the hope that still remains.

Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I would more than likely go with the image of my middle son when we first started really working together. It is an image from “The Dream of Flight series”. He is standing in a field with sticks roped onto his wrists looking upward. The image is full of hope and dreams and it has also set me on this current path. I think we can all relate to wanting more and longing for something better.

A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
Oh man, that’s tough. I would have to go with “The Fishmongers Daughter” by Michael Garlington. It changed how I viewed photography and what could be done with photography. Not sure it that is famous enough. If not, “John the Baptist” by Caravaggio is a long standing favorite that I could spend hours viewing.

A famous person you would like to portray.
I used to really follow professional skateboarding growing up and then rock bands but I think someone that I find to be really interesting as an actor would be, Timothy Olyphant.

You seem to favorite black and white pictures. Is there a precise reason behind this choice?
I really love black and white and the qualities that it can bring to the image. I feel we bring our attachments to color to the images. Without color we strip these notions and it becomes more about the context within the image. Plus, many of my earliest inspirations used Black and White.

We know you were born and raised in a small farming community in rural American countryside, a place you will have missed a lot later on. How much did your backdrop help you refine your final vision?
I do miss the open sky and no one around. It helped me learn to make something in this landscape that was unique. Also the simplicity of the landscape translated into my work in how I approach things. Being isolated I think allowed me to be me without the extra influences.

Most of the times, you work with your son. Could you tell us something about this collaboration? Is it changing, as far as he is growing up?
First it was out of necessity. I needed a subject and landscapes at the time were of no interest to me. Living in the middle of nowhere using models were not an option either. So I just started using my children and wife when possible. Over the years it has evolved into just using my sons. My middle son is the one I typically use beside my project documenting my youngest. The work is changing and evolving slowly. He is becoming more conscious of himself as he enters his teenage years. So I am really not sure how much more time he will be willing to work with me.

You portray him wild and free in a close connection with nature. He is usually inside it: sometimes his face is covered behind a leaf, other times he hides himself inside a bush, or he is lying on the grass. What’s the meaning behind this strong relationship between man and nature? Is it possible to read a return to origins maybe?
This body of work started right after we moved to more of an urban setting. It deals with the both of us finding our place in this new location. As the work progressed my son found his place and is very comfortable in the landscape, while I am still struggling to find my place here. It deals with just trying to adapt and understand this new place you are living in now. It is a drastic change from a town with only a few stoplights to a large urban setting. Everything changed, from how we make work down to how we even live now.

I try to always produce work from the heart. I was once told by a mentor,“ You can make images from one of two places. Your head will leave you wanting more while your heart will give you what you desire.”

Through your art you frequently recreated handcrafted worlds. Where does your inspiration come from?
Some of it is from dreams and the other is from what little childhood memories I have. I do like to watch movies and sometimes a certain emotion comes across that I find interesting.

In “This will pass. I promise you” you speak about your worries as a father and you document your son as he moves through childhood. You capture ordinary instants of familial life, parenthood, as well as childhood during times of stress and insecurity. In sharing your true story through your photographs, it becomes universal. What’s the inner purpose of exploring something so deep?
It is a tough project for me, simply because it is so personal. I have always built up a guard in all of my other works and this lets it down. He has super high anxiety and migraines often. Along with that he is very good at being very demanding and is always on the move. The project happened organically and is still on going. It helps me reflect on those moments and maybe, just maybe, become a better dad by understanding those moments.

You are able to bring so much emotion through the loving but painful portraits of your little boy. We are pretty sure your images come from the heart. How could you be so touchy through your photographs?
I try to always produce work from the heart. I was once told by a mentor,“ You can make images from one of two places. Your head will leave you wanting more while your heart will give you what you desire.” This is something I try my best to stand behind in all of my work. So far this approach has served me well and I think others can feel the emotion within the work.

By introducing your series “The Journey of Dreaming” you quote William Dement saying, “Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives”. If you had to use your own words, how would you define it?
I would say that dreaming allows us to go past this unkind world and enter into this dreamland that can be good or bad. But for the most part our dreams are our escape mechanisms from the every day norm.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
Depending on the body of work. With the “Bitter Sweet” there is a small idea but my son and I typically play with the idea on location and things can change. In “The Journey of Dreaming” and “Memories from Sorrow” there is lots of planning. This would include building the props and even sketching the idea out. In “This will pass. I promise you,” it is all of the fly and nothing is preplanned at all. It is a nice change of pace but there are many moments that get missed as well.

What leads you to become a professional photographer?
It was all by chance. I had a film photo class way back in High School. I chose to go back to school late in life and did so thinking I would be a film editor. Well I had to take a photo story boarding class. In this class we had to use a 35mm and a super 8 camera to make a short film and have film stills as well. From here I remembered how much I loved photography and took a few photo classes and then it snowed balled. I am half way almost with my MFA. So my journey is moving forward. I hope I can share my work and knowledge with others.

Your next project?
I am continuing on with “This will pass. I promise you” and plan on taking some images of my friends in more of straight portraiture style with a 4×5 soon. I also started a new project with my middle son (one that typically helps) in color, capturing those early teenage moments of drifting off.

Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is not having the courage at times to speak up or approach people. Another one would be is that at times I allow that self-doubt voice to creep up on me too much. Good qualities would be: I am hard working and self motivated. I also try to be very honest and fair, though sometimes a bit too honest.

Make a wish.
Well, I would wish for a few more wishes. Pay off all of my student loans! Live off my artwork and travel the world at my own pace.

Bearing in mind Kandinsky’s theory about colours, Carola Ducoli creates a new kind of art where music, dance and photography mix. Her shots speak gently to the observer. She experiments with shades, she tells sensorial stories where surfaces, bodies and shapes converse. She’s seeking for movements inside of colours.

I would choose this picture because it speaks about an intimate relationship, because it is a nude portray, because it is a film photograph and because it owns much of what interests me more about photography.

Which is your first photographic memory?
The first memory I have about photography belongs to my father. He has been making photographs of me all along my childhood. I remember that it was one of our favorite game when I was young. I was used to strike a pose among flowers, and dress me up with glasses and hats, pretending to be a fancy character. On holiday we were used to tell photographic tales. As a child, I loved photography because it brought back to me all memories about my family through precious photographic albums we were used to keep in the living room. Meanwhile, on my turn, I was creating the photographic memory of my own story through my father’s shots. That fascinated me.
Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
A book: Asylum by Patrick McGrath. A song: Dream brother by Jeff Buckley. A movie: Allegro non troppo by Bruno Bozzetto.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I would probably choose a self-portrait from the series “Trovarti in tua assenza”. The shot portrays a friend of mine, Giulia, second subjects next to me in the picture, that covers my eyes with her right hand. She looks at the camera, while hugging me with her left arm. I’m sat near her, on a grey cloth stand surrounded by the dark dim-light of the background. A soft, poorly spread out light surrounds both of us, in so creating wide shadows at our backs. I would choose this picture because it speaks about an intimate relationship, because it is a nude portray, because it is a film photograph and because it owns much of what interests me more about photography.
A famous person you would like to portray.
I would like to portray many people, starting from those I meet every day on the road. To identify just one person, it would be very hard.
A famous picture you would have liked to take.
I find hard to answer this question. Probably, I would have liked to shoot each and every photograph that touched me. However, I would not be able to do that as it would not be mine at the same time.

I woke up with the image of a tiny female body dancing and immersed in blue; it was hard to see because of a wired light, rarefied smoke. I fixed that image in my mind and I started traveling with my imagination about colours and sinuous bodies dancing.

Starting from your project “Vasili Vasil’evic Kandinskij”, you experiment with colours, photography and music. You tell stories of flying shapes, bodies, figures. You paint surfaces. Where does your inspiration come from?
It may seem common and ordinary, but the series “Vasili Vasil’evic Kandinskij” comes from the morning memory of a dream. I don’t know the reason why, but I’ve got the luckiness –unluckiness they may say – to remember my dreams almost every night. That morning, I woke up with the image of a tiny female body dancing and immersed in blue; it was hard to see because of a wired light, rarefied smoke. I fixed that image in my mind and I started traveling with my imagination about colours and sinuous bodies dancing. Few minutes later, Kandiskij’s theory about colours came to my mind. I looked for it, I read it all again and I selected five colours to work on. I investigated both auditory and emotional features of each shade, and together with Noemi, the dancer, we tried to create the specific feature of the body moving depending on the selected colour.
A dancer lightly moves and floats in front of your camera. She rises and jumps, surrounded by colorful dust. Blue, yellow, green, purple and red shadows spread in the air, wreath the dancer in, and recreate subtle vibrations that inspire her dance. You seem to be interest in seeking movement inside colours. Are we closed to your concept?
Definitely. I think you have clearly understood my idea.
Your shots speak gently to the observer; they tell sensorial tales where spaces, bodies and shapes converse. We can perceive musicality and poetry in them. How do you reach this effect?
While searching for movement during the shooting, starting from blue suggestions, then moving to green and yellow shades, a choreography happened by chance. Each shade suggested Noemi how to dance. In a white limbo soaked by colored jellies and flour, inspired by the musicality and feeling suggested by those five colours, it was natural to create a dance where shapes and bodies were connected.
“Vasili Vasil’evic Kandinskij” is made of two shots per shade of colour. The result is the creation of smaller units inside the same big artwork. The two shots exist together; they represent our duality. In each couple, we identify the attraction and deep tension between the two shots, like a force connecting opposites and creating something unique where none of them can stand by its own, nor can it live without its counterpart. What is hidden behind the concept of duality?
I have always liked the concept of duality, the duo, the couple. In “Vasili Vasil’evic Kandinskij” I believe that one spare shot is not enough to tell the inner soul of each colour. On the contrary, we need to show its before and after, the alter-ego, the action and the consequence of it; it means to tell a short fraction of movement, two instants of the dance, faraway one to the other; it means to tell about the opposing, complementary duality of every colour.

I love my photographs. I live them as they were the imaginary tales of my life. Anything I take pictures of, it assures me. My pictures remind me about something of myself, they bring me with them.

While approaching to the use of colours, you bear in mind Kandinskij’s theory of colours and the two possible effects colours can have on the spectator: a “physical effect” and a “psychic effect”. Could you explain us something more about it?
Following Kandiskij’s theory about colours, we know that they may have two effects on the observer. Firstly, the physical effect: more superficial and based on temporary feelings, those coming from the retina collecting information about one colour instead of another one. Secondly, the psychic effect that, on the contrary, refers to the spiritual vibration through which colour gets to the soul, in so generating a feeling. The psychic effect of a colour is determined by its sensible qualities: colour has a smell, a taste, a sound. Red, for instance, reawakes the feeling of pain, anger, or even passion in ourselves. The connection doesn’t come from a link between ideas but it’s due to inner features and to its “inner sound”. Bearing in mind that the sound of colour is a vibration, a wave that reaches our inner chords, Kandiskij describes all colours depending on feelings and emotions and he compares them to musical instruments. The composition of a painting depends on the colour, something that, despite our mind is limitless, shapes into a form. Colours cannot live without their shape. To Kandiskij, if a colour is associated with its favorite shape, all effects and feelings coming from colours and shapes, they will consequently increase. Yellow has a privileged relation with triangle, blue with circle and red with square.
You say you love analogue photography to express your thoughts. Sometime your shots are accompanied by words, short poems, deep reflections, few rows of memories and notes that reveal your intimacy. Which relationship do you build with your shots?
I love my photographs. I live them as they were the imaginary tales of my life. Anything I take pictures of, it assures me. My pictures remind me about something of myself, they bring me with them. It could be a romantic vision, I know, but I believe that every photograph is a little piece of the person taking it.
We know you experiment with different art techniques, spurs and expressions, from photography, to painting, scenic design, sculptures. What do you investigate through your art?
I love to experiment with art. I love to mix different media, to sew, to stick, to colour, to build and to find different shapes in order to express what I’m interested in telling. Due to the fact that I really love to experiment, I do not excel in anything in particular. On the contrary, I can do a bit of everything. I investigate thoughts, feelings, lives, tragedies and joys, both mine and other people ones.
What drives you to become a professional photographer?
The fact of doing something I really like to do.
Your next project.
I wish to find soon the time and psychophysics ability to think about it.
Your main flaw and quality.
Impulsiveness. I’ve got a great energy.
Make a wish.
To get to the end of my life with no regrets; to die in calm and tranquility surrounded with love.

Guendalina Fiore is a Rome-based photographer specialized in creative and portrait photography. Her artworks describe herself through a genuine and eclectic style, characterized by a sense of familiar warmth. She tells stories about ordinary people living ordinary lives, something anyone could be familiar with.

I tell stories that talk about ordinary people living ordinary lives. Something anyone could be familiar with. I’m for a kind of photography that is more narrative and less conceptual.

Which is your first photographic memory?
Hard to say! Probably some pictures of myself taken by my dad.
Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
Nice question! I’m gonna pick the movie “About time”. It’s not a blockbuster and not many people know it but it’s a comedy that perfectly represent my idea of happiness. Choosing a song is very difficult right now because there are so many that I can’t even remember all of them. Let’s say “Cry Baby” by Janis Joplin. Lastly, the book “ Pride and Prejudice”.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
“The Dreamers”. The one of the two tattooed lovers laying in bed in each other’s arms.
A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
A picture of Henri Cartier-Bresson (I don’t know if it has a title) shooted in Italy in 1933. It’s a a black and white photo of two naked lovers (yes I love lovers) in a lake. You can see only the back of the guy holding the girl who is laying in the water with her legs around the boy’s hips.
A famous person you would like to portray.
There are so many! I would like to portrait Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander or Mick Jagger.
Let’s start from your personal project “Youth”: you unveil instants of intimacy in the everyday life of a young generation, you are the interpreter of those pure, genuine emotions featuring the lost innocent and carefree days of youth. You fix gestures, gazes, non-verbal elements able to touch the observer’s feelings. How could you reach this result?
I think all of this is an unconscious process. I don’t really think about what I want the observer to get, I just recreate moments according to my personal idea of beauty and to my own sensibility in that specific moment.
I always try to extrapolate the best from the people I’m working with, each one of them give a different contribution to my work. My goal is to represent moments of life that could be familiar to anyone, not a simple portrait of a beautiful girl.
If the observer feel something looking at my pictures, as you said, then I’m truly happy.
While observing your photographs, we notice that the human figure is central to your art. Who are the subjects of your works? What have you discovered up till now, by investigating the inner nature of people?

Mine isn’t an investigation actually. I just love portrait photography. For example, sometimes I think that a landscape could express much more with a human figure in the picture. I prefer to work with my friends and people who I already know because I know what I can expect from them and I’m never disappointed. I believe that you get different results according with the feeling of the people you are working with. The fact that I’m not investigating the inner nature of people is testified by the fact that I ask them to interpret a role and not to be themselves. But there is so much of the interpreter in the character that you see in the picture.
A subtle, gentle touch of melancholy can be perceived throughout your photographs. You portray moments of time: brief, fragile instants that will not come back. Where does this melancholy come from?
In a certain way my work describe who I am. I could be considered a melancholic person and I firmly believe that sadness is a stronger feeling than happiness.
It doesn’t mean that I want to spread sadness with my photos of course but I know that even if I’m representing a moment of joy, as could be for love or friendship between young girls, there is always that feeling of melancholy and nostalgia that characterize my work.
Your photographs have a direct communicative potential and a visual impact on the observers. You are a visual story-teller of secret stories. Stories that do not need words to be true, just the right time and place to be lived. Who are these stories about? Where do you take your inspiration from?
I tell stories that talk about ordinary people living ordinary lives. Something anyone could be familiar with. I’m for a kind of photography that is more narrative and less conceptual. My inspiration comes from many different sources. First of all, of course, other photographers. I’m mostly fascinated by photographers from the past like Vivian Maier, Alfred Eisenstaedt and Henri Cartier-Bresson. It’s probably because I particularly like that historical period, the America of the 50’s and 60’s. There are also many contemporary photographers I like as for example Peter Lindbergh and many more!! I’m also inspired by filmmaking especially regarding light and themes.

In a certain way my work describe who I am. I could be considered a melancholic person and I firmly believe that sadness is a stronger feeling than happiness.

Your works have been exposed in many cities all around the world, from London to Chicago, from Barcelona, to Shanghai, and they have been published in many known magazines also. Lately, you’ve taken part to the “MOPLA Group Show” in Los Angeles. What is driving you to become a professional photographer?
Some years ago my answer would have been “ I only take pictures for myself because I like it”. Now my point of view is drastically changed. When you achieve some good results that you wouldn’t have expected and you see that what you do is in some way appreciated, you start thinking that maybe photography could be an option. The fact that, little by little, I’m getting discovered by the photographic world makes me wanna do more and better. The level of the people out there is so incredibly high that the only way to make it is to keep yourself motivated. It’s not always easy!
Your next project.
I haven’t been shooting a lot for my personal projects lately so I have many ideas in my mind to put into practice. Some of them will be single shooting. I also would like to collaborate with new people as fashion stylists and make up artists to try to do something a bit more “elaborated” than my usual. But my most ambitious plan is to work on a brand new project with my best friend who is a writer. I already know how I want to title it and how I want to set it up, but I still have to arrange all the details! It will talks about life in its most general and wide meaning.
Your main flaw and quality.
My flaw is probably that I’m a bit too insecure. My quality is that I’m a good and trustworthy person.
Make a wish.
I wish to find my place in this World.

Luca Bortolato is an Italian photographer based in Venice. Dreamy, fairytale like and gentle, he designs his images in an almost minimalistic way. His pictures are real dialogues; they tell silent mysterious stories and they reveal a small part of himself. Fascinated by the power of pictures since always, he investigates his identity through others

I’m a convinced supporter of the idea that we are exactly our pictures. This means that they reflect our intimacies and sensibilities, as litmus paper.

Which is your first photographic memory?
A picture of my dad. It dates back to the 60’s. It portrays him during the military service. It was the first and unique time I saw him without mustaches.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
“The Count of Monte Cristo” by Dumas.
“Rising” by the heart breaking Lhasa de Sela.
The only boarding school I’ve ever wanted to attend is the Welton Academy in “The dead poets society”.

Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
They are three, actually.
Each of them represents an important moment in my path, a sort of turning points:
1. La Consapevolezza / The Awareness (the first picture of the first black and white roll, from which I got more than I had ever expected).
2. Gli Azzurri / The Light Blue Ones (it was the time of colours and suspended places. After a deep research, they would have found me).
3. La lucidità / The Luminescence (all of my last year production. My work has never been so clear to me).

A famous person you would like to portray.
Me.

A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
If I had done it, it would have not been the same.
I’m a convinced supporter of the idea that we are exactly our pictures. This means that they reflect our intimacies and sensibilities, as litmus paper. As a consequence, it is impossible to recreate an image that already exists in someone else.

Let’s start from your last series “Mericans”. Here, you portray a slice of life in New York, the city that never sleeps, “the apple made of restless metal skyscrapers; the place where flavours and smells of thousands of skins and nationalities mix”, you say. What made you decide to realize it? What is the reason behind the title choice?
“Mericans” differs a lot from the rest of my artistic production.
I was the first one to be surprised about it.
I had never been interested in “Street Photography” (a term too much used, I think).
I travel quite often. However, my camera is never with me, just because I need to live deeply and fully the reality around me.
New York started as a diary of memories from a place where I would have never come back. At least, not in the short time. I started from something that I already knew very well: the concept of identity. I’ve never been interested in faces; they have always been as a mirror to me, where to drown. In those days, New York becomes a reflection where to look at myself.
Since the beginning, I have recognized the tangible sense of solitude and melancholy I was used to, into a city interested in showing exactly its opposite.
It seems that the city could offer thousands of different opportunities to those who live there, to those who try to, and to whom, like me, come from distant places with no intentions to stay there for long.
People were there, as they were repeating to them that at the end, everything would be fine.

We are now thinking about “Alterità”, the series of female portraits you exhibited last summer in Milan. Six big sizes portraits of young, pure women. They are alone and naked in front of the camera. We don’t know who the subjects of these self-timers are, as we cannot see their visages. Their identities are shown just by little, tiny details of their bodies: a tattoo, a couple of moles, the line of their lips. “Alterità” is not just photography, it mixes with performance as well, because all visages of the series have been removed by a precise, net tear. What does this series reveal about yourself and your search for personal identity?
All my artistic path speaks about me.
It is like a draining, extenuating research over the many sides of me. It was a kind of exorcism of the parts of me I love and I cannot accept at the same time. As a result, it has gradually become a sort of “photography of acceptance”; a path dedicated to discover my inner side; a self-analysis made through other people. To me, people have always played the role of filters between reality and me. In “Alterità” I investigate the self-portrait, but by leaving space to the subject to photograph him/herself without me interacting in it.
Later, then, I have taken my identity back with a strong act, a rip, a scream able to underline my action of taking back all that I had missed till then. It was the act of bringing back the picture to my personal icon.

The photograph starts a long time before the moment of holding the camera. We both need time to build a trustful relationship. This happens through words and acts of listening; it happens little by little

Women are often the main protagonists of your art. Your women seem both fragile and strong at the same time. You portray them naked, half-naked, or just through few details of their elegant bodies. By your intimate photographs, they seem to be able to unveil themselves totally. How could you reach this effect?
Just by listening to them.

How do you feel while taking picture? Could you tell us something about the relationship you build with models during the shooting?

The photograph starts a long time before the moment of holding the camera. We both (me as the photograph, and the model) need time to build a trustful relationship. This happens through words and acts of listening; it happens little by little by filtering all our nudities, something even scarier than the act of laying naked in front of a stranger. We are both a medium through which to reach ourselves. It is a dialogue, and it always will be.
We fall in love with our thoughts and our act of dreaming.
At the end, the photograph in itself is just the result of a study based on our difficulties in opening to the others in a sincere and spontaneous way.
Everything starts from my deep love for other people’s inner being.

A wild minimalism permeates your photography. Ethereal places and elegant skinny bodies emerge from blurry horizons where the sky mixes with the sea. The seaside can only be barely seen. Waves keep their methodical movement towards their temporal unicity. All seem permeated by silence and mystery. Spontaneously, your photographs arouse histories in the observer’s mind. How could you get to this final result? Do you follow a precise project while shooting or do you prefer to take photographs naturally?
I’m always looking for synthesis in my images. Everything starts from something extremely full, that gradually undresses. Excesses release. The centrality of the subject determines by itself the importance of the surrounding scene, in so creating by itself a sort of “non-time” inserted into a “non-place”.
While investigating ourselves, we get never to clear closed answers. On the contrary, the research leaves space for imagination and it makes other questions arise. In so doing, my images are the result of a number of questions I usually make to myself. They force me to accept and deny everything again.

I’ve never been interested in faces; they have always been as a mirror to me, where to drown.

Did it ever happened to you when you realize you have not your camera with you and you have just seen something very interesting to shoot?
I have always my phone with me, and I can take pictures with it.

Your next project.
I would like to be able to enter even more in my images. In a physically way, also. I’ve been working from almost one year on a new path, that includes just one single subject and a small amount of photographs, produced little by little. It’s a new, slow way to present myself, searching to stay clear headed.
At the same time, I’ve found again my interest in landscape. However, this time I’m not trying to speak about far unfamiliar places, as in the series “Mericans”. In the contrary, I’m investigating my land, a place so full of tales and familiar aspects that have always been part of my past. Photographs will be created while moving, taken directly from inside my car. The project will be a representation of my reality. I’m conceiving them as “Postcards”.

Your main flaw and quality.
Egocentric and self-centered.

Make a wish.
I wish it was tomorrow already.

Yana Toyber is an Ukraine-born photographer based in New York. She has been in love with art and photography since always. Under a gentle spontaneous touch, she portrays women, lines and profiles of feminine bodies. In her art, water plays an important role as well, transforming into a sculptural element of her photography.

Which is your first photographic memory?
It’s funny. There is actually a picture of me in my crib staring at a Polaroid. It looked like it was very deep in thought. Since it was documented, I clearly remember that night and the fun photo shoot evening I had with my family.

What made me solidify my career goal to become a photographer was how images always made an impact on me and seemed to burn into my consciousness.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
This is a very interesting question!
I always think I’m the star in my own movie called Yana. Book, I guess if we are talking fantasy I can relate to the Bene Gesserit Witches in Dune. Song, I can describe myself with two: Everything at once by Lenka, and Lil Kims’ verses in Quiet Storm by Mobb Deep.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
In my “Sacred” series there is an image of a nude women standing on lava rock back facing the viewer with her arms up as ocean water crashes behind the rocks.
A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
Tiny in “Streetwise” series by Marry Ellen Mark. She wears a black dress and gloves and a black hat with veil she appears to be hugging her self. Also so many images Guy Bordin took.
A famous person you would like to portray.
I don’t care to portray anyone else.
How did you get close to photography?
I have always loved photography. What made me solidify my career goal to become a photographer was how images always made an impact on me and seemed to burn into my consciousness.
Speaking about “4Sale”, we know it is part of a collaborative experiment you made with other female visual artists. Could you tell us something more about this interesting and unique co-operation? How did you feel while working on it and shooting your fellows?
There was a feeling of constant creativity while doing the project. It was also widely accepted by everyone who came across it. We received a lot of press and I feel we all grew as artists during the project.
“4Sale” collects a number of underwater shots where clear, elegant and sinuous feminine bodies emerge from a dark background. They are in pair, alone, their eyes are closed and visages are often covered by hair. The atmosphere is blurry, out of focus and unclear because of water. What does water mean in your art?
I used water almost as a medium in “4Sale” and other projects as well. Almost like a sculptural element.
The duo water-women is quite frequent in your photography (“Sacred”, “Embrio” and “Rebirth”, just to mention). Where does this conceptual and artistic choice come from?
It feels natural I like the energy. Partnerships are important to me. In my work negative space is often explored and I feel like shooting two subjects in a frame is often a beautiful way to start that exploration.

I’m currently starting work on a Documentary project featuring my transgender friend.

In your spontaneous portraits we perceive a celebration of feminism. Under a gentle touch, you portray women and the lines and profiles of their bodies, in so celebrating their grace. How could you reach this effect?
I guess it’s simply my vision. I honestly do work which comes to me on a subconscious level I believe. I feel like I’m just a messenger.
The same soft and gentle touch could be perceived in the series “Working for a man”, where you describe random episodes of the oldest, but also one of the most dangerous professions in the world: prostitution. These fearless women you portray are catched in between work and waiting, never in the sexual act. Where does your curiosity for this theme come from?
The series is called “Working for THE man”, actually. It’s an American saying about working for a corporation. At the time. I was interested in comparing marriage to prostitution. How depending on men for income is so common for women in this country throughout history. Whether it be in a marriage or as a prostitute. The differences and the similarities. How socioeconomic situations lead women to choose certain careers. The project wasn’t really about acts of sex.
You left your original country many years ago. Do you remember something from Ukraine? Have you ever felt that emotion Germans define with the word Fernweh, meaning the ache for distant places, and feeling homesick for a place we have (almost) never been?
I grew up in a very Russian neighborhood in NY so I felt some connection. There were many of us living there from Ukraine. I was curious about the town I came from and I got to visit family there in 2003. That visit pretty much ended any curiosity I ever had.
Speaking now about New York, the city you are living now into, what can you tell us about its nightlife, habits and culture you have usually shot?
NY nightlife changes very rapidly. It’s fun! And often Status driven as well.
You end your personal description by saying that you live with a monster. That catched our attention even more, we dare to say. What does this mean? Could you tell us something more about it, please?
Hahaha that’s my cat name.
If you had to choose an era, which years would you like to live into? Why?
I like living here right now! It’s a very exciting time and it’s all I really know. Any other time would be a fantasy.
Your next project.
I’m currently starting work on a Documentary project featuring my transgender friend.
Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is bossiness. My main quality is love through acceptance.
Make a wish.
I wish for more love, understanding, health, and money!

Enrica De Nicola is an Italian-based contemporary photographer. She expresses her inner self mixing different photographic fields and mediums, from portraits to storytelling. Through her genuine and innocent approach, the artist reveals both herself and her surrounding world.

Which is your first photographic memory?
When I was a child my mother used to take a lot of pictures of mountain landscapes. I have never given so much importance to them, probably because I’ve always associated them to the boring excursions that I was forced to do at that time. Lately, I have started to recover her pictures and to appreciate them, together with the interest for landscapes.

I think that the main aim of a photographer is to tell a story about something ordinary according to his/her personal language, and to make an intimate relation with places and people throughout it.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
A book: “A lover’s discourse: fragments”, by Roland Barthes; a song: “Het volk”, by Pan American; a movie: “Persona”, by Ingmar Bergman.

A famous person you would like to portray.
Björk.

Your visual approach involves different photographic fields: portrait, fashion, architecture and storytelling. Which of them allows you to express your feelings better?
At the beginning it was portraiture that allows me to fully express myself. Currently, I like to mix the different languages.

Black and white close-ups of children populate your series “Family Dolls”. Young boys and girls are depicted in all their innocence and simplicity. Their eyes speak gently for them, in so revealing their soul. Who are them? Also, we see hands embracing their soft faces. Who do they belong to?

They belong to their parents. The project is built around the conversation between gestures and gazes. I took the idea from some memories of my past: when someone asked me to pose for the camera, I used to react with a kind of intolerance. I felt forced. So, I started to look for children that could re-experience this same feeling. However, this first initial inspiration developed and the series is now focused more on the limits between affection and oppression.

While observing your young portraits, it is easy to be touched by the genuine gaze of your children. It seems that a light veil of sadness covers their visages. Children seem to wonder about something, to quest for something. Did you reach this effect on purpose?

Yes, I tried to. However, children’s attitude played a crucial role in the final result. I chose them carefully according to their behaviour, trying to predict their reactions to the situation, that was a little bit tense. I think they sensed me like an intruder, also because I was really close to them while shooting with a macro ring mounted on the Hasselblad. Moreover, they were very curious about the camera: they seemed to approach directly to it or try to studying something in the lens.

When I was a child my mother used to take a lot of pictures of mountain landscapes. I have never given so much importance to them. Lately, I have started to recover her pictures and to appreciate them.

How do you feel while working with such young people?
I feel comfortable. Everything is very spontaneous with children, although I had to interfere with them to give indications.

Dark, gloomy tones dominate the shots of “Still There”. Here, you become a documentary photographer. You investigate mysterious rural places by portraying simple details of the everyday life of their inhabitants. No human figures appear except for a couple of dull, tired eyes. Everything there seems to be permeated by a strange halo. Why did you choose these places? Which is your relationship with them?

It’s an area very close to my city and overlooked from the body of Garigliano nuclear plant. I’ve always felt attracted by that place, not only for the episodes that involved the river that crosses it, but especially for this strange cohabitation of nature and technology. The nuclear plant has the appearance of a bizarre alien object whose presence covers everything around that.

In “Still There” you observe the surrounding reality through inquiring eyes. No judgments, just observation. On this regard, it comes to our mind Elliot Erwitt’s quote: “Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place”. Do you recognize yourself in it? How does it fit to your art?
Yes, I do recognize myself in it. Indeed, I think that the main aim of a photographer is to tell a story about something ordinary according to his/her personal language, and to make an intimate relation with places and people throughout it. In “Still There” I’ve tried to give a very personal view of the area. However, at first sight the landscape is completely different from the pictures I’ve taken: it is a sunny Mediterranean area. I’ve inverted this appearance shooting only after the sunset and taking advantage of the twilight mood in order to highlight the sensation of a fairy place, because that was the way I perceived the area.

You collect moments of your life in a visual diary. You observe the world through car and plane windows marked by rainy drops. As a consequence, the world around you shapes into blurry, evanescent scenes and it moulds into splashes of colours. What does this project tell about you and the way you perceive reality?
It’s a kind of exercise. A car or plane window acts as just another lens added to the camera lens, surrounding the sensation of different levels of reality. In my “Diary” I observe the multiple way of being of landscapes, and I play with that.

In shooting urban architectures, your compositions are clean rigorous tidy sets. Your bi-dimensional views mainly shape through warm colours and bright light. Space seems to be filled but not lived and it transforms into a set design, where no humans are present. External walls of tall buildings, empty benches and endless rows of windows feel up the scene, leaving just a small space to the sky to emerge. What does “I miss you” mean to you?

The title refers to the absence of any human warmth. I’ve tried to suggest that feeling by playing with the rigor of the space, perfectly organized but not ready to be lived yet, exactly like the set of a cold reality.

Your next project.
I’m not sure about it yet, but I think it will involve a lot of still-lifes.

Your main flaw and quality.
I’m very moody. I’m very methodic.

Make a wish.
To travel more.

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