The challenge of photography is to capture an emotion and keep it forever. Chiara is a young student who's able to tell her story and her friends' through exceptional empathy and delicacy. In analog photography she found the most efficient medium to reach this scope with more realism.
In this interview, she tells us about how she approached this medium and shared some thoughts about her works.
Hello Chiara. Would you like to tell us something about yourself and your passion for photography?
Hello to you! My name is Chiara, I am 20 years old and I live in Bologna, even though I was born in Agropoli, a village on the southern Italian coast. My passion for photography started when I received my first digital camera as a gift for the First Communion. I have always been shy, especially when I was even younger, but I always managed to express myself through photography; it really helped me a lot. Since then, I have always been self-taught.
Shooting on film is not common for a person of your age. How did you become interested in this world?
One Christmas my parents gave me my first analog camera: I had been fantasizing about shooting on film for a while and I wanted to put myself to test. Since the first experiments, I realized analog photography is the technique I prefer, and now I shoot almost exclusively on film.
What characteristics of analog photography attract you the most?
Its imperfections, and the fact that I have to wait for the results. It's a risk but also allows me to do some reflection. It gives me more emotions.
How did you find Lomography and what does it represent to you?
I already knew (and adored!) Lomography products since a while, but when I started doing analog photography I decided to try out the films: it was a fantastic surprise. The result was bigger than my expectations: I used both the Lady Grey 400 ISO and the Color Negative 400 ISO for these projects I really care about. I think I wouldn't have gotten such great results with other films.
Tell us about the projects you are presenting us here
Before the dawn is a project I have been carrying on since almost one year, and it covered three cities so far. Everything started in Bologna last July when, together with my lovely friend Lorenza, we decided to spend the night in the streets celebrating the end of the exams. We went out very late, walked, talked, listened to music. We simply enjoyed Bologna during a time everyone (or almost) is asleep and we stayed out since the sunrise, when the city slowly starts to wake up, the first buses pass and the bars open. The dawn has always been a magical moment for me. After this wonderful experience, I tried to involve other friends and so we did the same in Milan and Agropoli.
Sleep when you’re dead was created spontaneously: I was spending the summer with my friends in Agropoli, and we decided to go to the amusement park and be kids again. Through the photos I tried to document the genuineness of that night: all emotions are sincere... the fun, the laughter, the serenity. Especially for this project and for the pictures taken in Milan, I noticed that Lomography film accurately conveyed the colors, despite the fact they were taken during the night, without flash or tripod.
For Shades of Berlin I have used the Lady Grey 400 ISO film. For that trip, I took with me two cameras: a Minolta and my loyal companion of adventure Canon EOS 500. I wanted to put myself to test with black and white photography for the first time. I didn't know what to expect, but even this time I was really satisfied. I was afraid the absence of colors would have taken away something from the pictures, but I actually think they acquired another interesting side thanks to the strong contracts and the colors' rendering.
What are your favorite shots from each series?
Shades of Berlin: This was the metro stop close to the hotel I was staying at. It's my favorite because it reminds me of that particular Berlin neighborhood, which has a special place in my heart, and also because it represents a mood I often feel: the sensation of being out of place but also on the move.
Sleep: This is my favorite because it reflects the joy of that moment. I really like the delicate tones I manage to capture "naturally", without necessarily looking for them.
Before: For this project, I feel close to so many images because they remind me of the wonderful times spent with my friends, but maybe this one is the one I am the most attached to. The colors, accurately reproduce by the film, convey the magical and alive atmosphere, two adjectives that reflect what this project means to me.
I have noticed that, in many of your images, the subjects' faces are hidden. Is it an aesthetic or rather conceptual choice?
For me the purpose of photography, and of art in general, is to create empathy between the work and the viewer: it is sharing. Maybe because of this, I often portrait people from the back, hoping that the viewers may feel more involved in the photograph.
You recently published a photo book called “Presente, un’odissea” (The Presents, an Odyssey). What is it about?
This is my first book and it was launched in March. I have been wanting to publish a book in order to give a concrete shape to my work. Therefore, almost by chance, last summer I sent my project to a publishing house ... they really liked it and accepted to publish it! I was quite free in the organization of everything, and I am truly proud of the result and for the opportunities that it opened. I have met many people thanks to the presentations I have done so far in several Italian cities.
What projects are you working at the moment? And what do you hope for your photographic future?
I am carrying on several projects, but many of them are spontaneous, so I try not to limit my work that much. I am organizing future presentations, and also an exhibition in Milan after summer.
For my future I want to improve on a technical and personal level; I hope to continue not only to photograph, but also to enjoy each and every opportunity photography has to offer me.