Interview with Street photographer Alex Coghe

Interview with Street photographer Alex Coghe


– How and when did you become interested in photography?

I was 10 years old when I received my first camera, a cheap point & shoot called Fujica. I had this great Kodak’s encyclopedia of photography. I still remember a photo of girls with umbrella under the rain and running around a fountain. I can not remember the author but I can still feel that feeling to look at a precious photo in black and white.

– Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

Oh, yes. I have several photographers that I appreciate. But I will say just one: Ferdinando Scianna. He is very important to me for several reasons but, in particular, I feel very close to him to be a photographer and a writer.

– Why do you work in black and white rather than color?

I think black and white is the real language of photography. Sometimes I make color, but I say: color is sometimes a painful necessity, black and white it’s me.

– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

There is an important difference from single pictures and a project. And there is difference from street photography and social documentary. In any case a project is the result of a deep analysis, a long processthat matures through a thorough documentation and being immersed in the context that I need to document. It is something that needs to be prepared and the first step is without a camera. I’m working for over three years in the barrios of Mexico City and I feel the project is still far from over. I am making this project because I am living in a barrio, I think a photographer should talk of what he knows. Technique is very “simple”, my approach is very straight also with digital cameras I use the old school approach, I mean… manual focus (zone focus) and using JPG straight from the camera what you see is what I get at the moment to press the shutter button. I firmly believe that if you make a good work at the moment of the click you don’t need to work a lot the pictures if we are talking about social documentary and street photography. I am pretty aware there are photographers talking about the importance of process. The real process to me is when I recognize a moment as a photograph, deciding the best solution to have the picture I need and I press the shutter button of my camera. And this approach applies regardless of whether it is film or digital. With film I trust in a laboratory to make the work done.

– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I don’t know where my photography is going. But I am always working hard to improve as a photographer. I will be busy in Italy for a month and a half because I need to complete my ITALIA, DOLCE VITA project.

Website: www.alexcoghe.com

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