“I have become more interested in using photography to examine and challenge people’s perceptions of life, people and events around us.”
Edo Zollo is a documentary photographer from England. In his project “Lodon Life” he is portraying a big city in a constant state of change. In another series he’s currently working on, he’s dealing withe beauty in older women. For Edo Zollo photography is a medium to examine and challenge people’s perceptions of life.
Interview with Edo Zollo
Edo, on your website you said that in 2013 you wanted to embrace new adventures. Now we are close to the end of the year. What has become of your plans?
It has been an excellent year for me. I’ve been working on several commissions’ works. I’ve had a large increase of followers online and the project “Beauty in Older Women” which I’d started earlier this year is reaching a closure. Overall and outstanding year for me.
One of your recent projects is called “London Life”. What is it about?
Been living in London for many years, I like to capture its energy, vibe and constant changes. I’ve met a lot of people and yet very few have stayed. London is a city of port, a lot of people stop by and few stay for long. That’s what I’m trying to capture with my photography.
What reaction do you intend to provoke in people looking at your photos?
I have become more interested in using photography to examine and challenge people’s perceptions of life, people and events around us. A photograph can be a powerful way to break down prejudices and change points of view.
What does a single photograph need in your opinion in order to stand out and get noticed? Especially keeping in mind the abundance of visual imagery in today’s society?
“Create your own style and focus on what’s matter to you.”
This is a very good question. I’ve recently gone to see a photography exhibition of “iPhone” photos. I mean, iPhone? Today’s everyone with a smartphone is proclaiming himself a photographer.
I think in order to stand out you have to be yourself, don’t try to conform or trying to “fit in” or doing what’s trendy now. Instead create your own style and focus on what’s matter to you.
Every photographer is going through different stages in his formation. Which “landmarks” do you recall that have marked you and brought you to the place where you are today as a photographer?
“…that’s when I re-discovered my passion for photography.”
My landmarks were accepting my Dad as a photographer and recognize that he has taught me a lot. For years I did reject my Dad’s photography career. I guess when you are a teenager you want to rebel, not follow your parent’s advice. Dad was a very successful photographer. The day I took my camera, uploaded some photos on Flickr and saw the positive feedback I got from strangers, that’s when I re-discovered my passion for photography.
Last but not least, let’s switch roles: Which question would you have liked to be asked in this interview about your work that I didn’t ask? Please feel free to add it – as well as the answer.
Q: Would you like to talk to us about your current project: Beauty in Older Women? We are intrigued.
“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.” W. Shakespeare
A: My current photography project focuses on and celebrates beauty in older women through a series of photographs of women aged 65 and above.
My aim is to challenge people’s perceptions of getting older. The percentage of older people in the population as a whole is growing all the time. Yet the ageing and elderly are still often ignored, or considered unattractive. The media tells older women in particular to ‘fight ageing’ with cosmetics and procedures such as botox: maybe beauty treatments can delay the aging process slightly, but we cannot avoid it, it is a fact of life.
I wanted to explore the reality of women getting older yet still feeling attractive, and to emphasise the wisdom, experience and beauty of age.
I’ve travelled from the North to the South of England, photographing 10 women, from age 67 to 79 years old. These 10 photographs feature the women in classical portrait poses, but in contemporary urban settings.
“I have been working with a social researcher, to ensure the questions are carefully thought out and open for a variety of responses.”
In order to give the participants a voice, each photo comes with a statement from the subject, saying why they took part, what message they would like to give to other women their age, and how they feel about image as they get older. I have been working with a social researcher, to ensure the questions are carefully thought out and open for a variety of responses.
The project has gained the support of Hanover, the leading provider for older people looking for high quality retirement housing, with over 22,000 residents on over 600 locations. I am pleased an organisation that caters for older people values this visual exploration of beauty, ageing and vitality. Hanover would be able to use their networks to publicise this exhibition, hopefully bringing it to the attention of a good-sized audience of older people.