– How and when did you become interested in photography?
Come to think of it, seems like I was interested in photography from a very young age. I used to “borrow” my father’s camera to do a few clicks when I was 8 years old, and later in high school, I used to be the “school photographer”. Of course, I wasn’t aware of my interest in photography at the time. It was many years later, on my 24th birthday, when a friend gave me an SLR as a birthday present, that I was hooked. After using that camera for almost a year, I realized that this little mechanical box could also be used as a tool for creating. That’s when I went to college to study photography and, later, attended workshops with two great photographers, Chris Killip and Mary Ellen Mark.
– Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?
There ‘re many, but the ones whose work I love are Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Mimmo Jodice, Bernard Descamps, Toby Old, and Larry Fink who was kind enough to write the preface in my second book “Urban Diaries”. As for my art, I consider myself first and most a photographer and not so much an artist per se. The way I think about it, I do not use photography to make art. I rather use art to make photographs. But if I accept the term, I would like my art to inform, educate, enhance the passion for life, and perhaps intrigue the mind.
– Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?
I started photographing with film, so black and white was easier and more fascinating. I still photograph in black and white with both film and digital, (although my first book “Days Away” was in colour), because I think there is a certain kind of abstraction native to black and white. The absence of color makes a photograph refer less to the real thing. Plus, I still find challenging the transformation, the translation if you will, of everyday colour into black, white and grey, while staying true to reality.
– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?
I like to work on projects, in the broad rather than the documentary sense of the word. Long term or sort term. Sometimes, I might work on more than one, or with more than one cameras. A medium format film camera and a digital one. I use wide angle lenses on both, with approximately the same angle of view. If I decide to commit myself to a very specific project, I will try to learn more about it, to get to know it. If I can, I will approach it first without a camera, to get acquainted with the place and/or the people. So, it really depends on the project.
– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I feel like I don’t have complete control as to my photography is going. Where it is going is where it will go and there I will go. I don’t force things. I let them happen. Usually one thing leads to another and most of the times, through work, new possibilities appear, new horizons open. For the time being I’m photographing musicians and actors. Who knows what comes next.