“Photography helps me to escape from my daily life. After a long day, there is nothing more exciting than to take my camera and wandering around London, catching the life of this magnificent city. ”
Edo Zollo (born in 1974) is a documentary photographer currently based in London, UK. He studied photography at “UCL University”. For Edo Zollo photography is a way to explore and challenge people’s perceptions of life.
“Life is a circle.”
“Memories of my childhood: carrying my Dad’s camera bag, helping him with lens and films, spending his weekends at weddings.
I didn’t like it, I wanted to be free, I wanted to be out in the garden playing with my friends. Yet slowly I did rediscover the passion for photography. I never imagined that one day I would find such enjoyment holding a camera.”
“Artist Profile” – Edo Zollo
Edo, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
Photography helps me to escape from my daily life. After a long day, there is nothing more exciting than to take my camera and wandering around London, catching the life of this magnificent city. London is constantly change, which for a photographer is a great thing. There is a saying in London: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”, I’ve been living in London for over 12 yrs and I’m still loving it!
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
I’m a documentary photographer. As my work has developed, 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.
I have carried out a range of projects focussing on subjects that may have negative reputations, in order to show another side to them. My project “dangerous dogs and their owners” focused on dogs deemed too dangerous by the 1991 “Dangerous Dogs Act”. I have also photographed prisoners undergoing rehabilitation and people with full-body tattoos. I enjoy pushing the boundaries of assumption.
My last project was around people living with HIV. I was determined to undertake this project with the intention to challenge the still widely held misconception that HIV is largely restricted to gay men and people of black African origin. In addition to that, I wanted to offer affected individuals a unique opportunity to share their experiences by being included in this photographic exhibition.
The exhibition opened at “The Reading Room Gallery” in London in November 2012, and with over 350 visitors during its run, the gallery told us it was the most successful exhibition that the gallery has ever had. Afterwards it went to Manchester and Glasgow.
The project also gained a lot of media attention and articles were seen in national press, international news websites, The British Medical Association, HIV magazines, LGBT magazines. The project gained the support of Stephen Fry, who is a passionate HIV activist. We also appeared on BBC Radio.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
“It shows you that sometimes you don’t need expensive cameras or lenses.”
Ying Tang, www.yingphotography.com. I just wish I could be as good as her. I can spend hours and days just looking at her photos. She’s simply amazing! She has a great understanding of natural lighting, the way she use the lights on her shoots is terrific. It does show you that sometimes you don’t need expensive cameras or lenses. What makes a good photographer is your eyes and how you connect with your environment.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
“I love photography, not cameras. I love my teeth to be clean, but my toothbrush is just a toothbrush.”
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
I use Cannon digital for work and an Olympus OM10 manual for my own pleasure.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
Flickr.com because it’s for ordinary people. I log in everyday. I love to look at such variety of photo contents. It’s inspiring me to see what’s the hottest topic of the day.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
Please do not buy expensive cameras to begin with, instead start with manual if you can. Having an understanding of how a camera works will help you great deal to create good photos.