“When I started photography, I was driven by far away stories. But with time I realized that even going far, the pictures said a lot about my inner views and therefore I started to observe things I know more about, the world that surrounds me every day.”
Guia Besana (born in 1972) is an Italian photographer, currently based in Paris (France). She’s self-taught when it comes to photography. Guia Besana is represented by Anzenberger Agency.
Interview with Guia Besana
Guia, why did you become a photographer?
I didn’t realize I was becoming one. I knew I was driven by the arts, but didn’t really know in which branch. Coincidences of life led me to this choice.
What does photography mean to you?
Talking about my personal work, it’s the place where I process inner changes and my observation of the world. Otherwise, a way to make a living.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
I was more inspired by life experiences than by other photographers, but probably the works that interest me the most are by Julia Margaret Cameron and Cindy Sherman.
“I’ll see a photograph of a character and try to copy them on to my face. I think I’m really observant, and thinking how a person is put together, seeing them on the street and noticing subtle things about them that make them who they are.”
Your favorite photography quote?
“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”
How would you describe your photographic style and creative process?
When I started photography, I was driven by far away stories. Getting away from my home sort of cleaned my mind and all I saw seemed new. With time I realized that even going far, the pictures said a lot about my inner views and therefore I started to observe things I know more about, the world that surrounds me every day.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
I would say one has to be very careful editing and to ask oneself why we take a certain kind of picture and what is important for us to communicate.
“Under Pressure” – Crowdfunding project by Guia Besana:
“In 2010 I started to work on a series called “Baby Blues”. The reaction to this work was unexpected. Responses where immediate and gave to my work further meaning. I understood how personal photographic essays can become an important journalistic theme and therefore be shared by many. “Under Pressure” is the provisional title of my new series. As for now this series is stored in my mind.
The idea is to describe women in contemporary society, with their neuroses and conflicts but with a twist, representing themes involving women identity. Photography is a source of inspiration and as it occurred for my previous series, which framed articles on several women international magazines, I would like to spur your imagination.”
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?
Probably my sudden visions, they are what I take notes about and then try to translate them into images. Photography is only a mean.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
Humbleness, persistency, luck.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
Compelling for one specific thing (technique, concept, emotion…).
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
My own experience and that of people who surround me.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
Toyo Large Format, and Canon Mark II.
What’s your favorite website on photography?
It’s a site called “Guess the Lighting”.
What photography book would you recommend?
I would recommend to spend some time in a book store and find the one which inspires you at first glance.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
To ask a professional photographer to explain thoroughly how life as a photographer is (aside from photography itself: family, economy…) and to keep a personal project always lively while working on commercial assignments (if possible).