Eduardo Longoni (born in 1959 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine photojournalist.
He had studied history at the “Universidad de Buenos Aires” (UBA), when he started to focus on photography.
As a photographer, Eduardo Longoni is self-taught.
His formation was a typical case of learning on the job working as a photojournalist.
At the age of 19, Eduardo Longoni joined the news agency “Agencia Noticias Argentinas”.
In 1987, Eduardo Longoni created his own agency (EPD/PHOTO), covering for both domestic and foreign publications.
His photographs, especially those documenting the violent military dictatorship in Argentina from 1976 to 1983, have been exhibited not only in Argentina, but around the world.
For example in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, USA, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Egypt, Japan and the former Soviet Union.
“Photography is, you might say, the great love of my life. I love the life that it allowed me to live. My photography is simple, direct, and documentary. And above all things humanist.”
In 1981, Eduardo Longoni was one of the founders of the exhibition “El Periodismo Gráfico Argentino”, which today is the most prestigious one in Argentine photojournalism.
The works of Eduardo Longoni have been awarded several national and international prizes.
Among them: the bronze medal of “Interpress Photo of Moscow” (1985), the second prize in the competition “Concurso Jóvenes Latinoamericanos” organized by OEA (1987), and the prize ADEPA (Asociación de Entidades Periodísticas Argentinas) for the best work in photojournalism in 1993.
Interview with Eduardo Longoni
Eduardo, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
My first camera was an Olympus OM 1, a 35mm camera, analog. I worked with black and white film for years. Then I used Canon, Nikon. I was never a fan of one particular brand though. For me what counts is the eye. The technique I learned just to forget it quickly again and be able to focus on my photos.
Why did you become a photographer?
Since I was a teenager, I was fascinated by language. For me, photography is my way of telling, to narrate, to express myself. I’m curious and the camera allows me to get into places that otherwise I would never had the chance to get to know.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s my way of life, my way of expressing myself – and the tool to make a living. I think I see and breathe photography at all times. Photography is, you might say, the great love of my life. I love the life that it allowed me to live.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
Certainly my reference is Henri Cartier-Bresson. I always go back to his photos, its their simplicity and force that seduce me. When there is something in my photography that I do not like, or when I can not find the path, I look again and again the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson. And I calm, in his images there is the spirit of photography.
What is your favorite photograph and why?
Behind the Gare Saint Lazare, by Henri Cartier-Bresson, is my all-time favorite photography. It is the synthesis of the decisive moment. It has everything: movement, aesthetics – it’s a masterpiece.
Your favorite photography quote?
My favorite quote is from Lewis Hine, and it goes like this:
“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.”
How would you describe your photographic style and creative process?
My photography is simple, direct, and documentary. And above all things humanist.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
I think the style is born out of trial and error, of what we watch all the time. Of the things we keep enjoying and it’ll also be nurtured every day with the new, with new ways of approaching one’s own work or a new project. The most important thing in photography is a good vision and knowing what one wants, camera and technique are just tools.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
Keep it simple and powerful at the same time. The image has to engulf the observer, grab him or her by the lapels and don’t let go. Sometimes we spent a lifetime photographing to achieve only a handful of strong images.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
Of life, of my surroundings, and of my curiosity. I learn watching. Not just photography, also cinema, theater, street scenes. And internet has democratized the image, but it’s not my favorite way of seeing.
Photography digital or analog?
I photograph with both techniques simultaneously. But black and white film is still my favorite.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
A Nikon F5 with black and white film and digital Canon G10.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
We must embrace photography fully if it truly is a passion. If you love photography, it’s the best job in the world, the best way of expression.