“I find richness in everyday life, not in staged or arranged things. I don’t like to “build” or “create” a photo. If it’s there and it strikes me, I take a picture – if not, I keep on walking.”
Federico Peretti (born in 1980) from Buenos Aires (Argentina), is a multimedia-talent and self-taught photographer. He never set foot in a photography school – but his passion for taking pictures developed over time alongside his work in film productions and as a director. When it comes to photography, Federico Peretti is an autodidact.
He divides his work between editorial assignments for different Argentinian print and online media, film productions and personal projects.
Federico Peretti is the author of the book “El otro fútbol” – “The other football”, recently published, which takes a different look at Argentine football – away from cameras and spotlights. It’s a raw and authentic documentary work of what it’s like in Argentina’s minor football leagues.
Interview with Federico Peretti
Federico, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
My first camera was a Kiev 19, which is a kind of like a Nikon, just made in Ukraine during the Soviet era. My camera was from the year 1986 with a 50mm MC Helios 8IH lens.
Why did you become a photographer?
Actually the process of leaving photography as a hobby and dedicating me to it professionally, is still a little bit diffuse. Although I am a member of the Argentine association of photojournalists and work as such for several print media (and online), yet I still do lots of projects in film and advertising to complement my work – and so still I have this amateur feeling about photography as work, regardless of the income it generates me. I go always have a camera with me, (even if it’s my cell phone and Instagram) and live photography in mind, even though it’s not my only activity.
What does photography mean to you?
A great way to express my ideas, my interests, my way of looking at reality around me.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
None and all. As I said before, photography is a way to express myself, and all the time I find work I like and others I don’t like so much. But they all serve to compare with my own work and to polish my vision. But the truth is that I could not name one photographer and say: “I like all his work!” or “I see myself completely reflected or inspired by his work.”
Uff, so many. Maybe the one I find on the web and mark as my favorites on my Flickr profile. I like the simplicity of everyday life.
Your favorite photography quote?
Oops, no idea. I see pictures, I do not read about them.
How would you describe your photographic style and way of working? How do you realize a shooting?
I worry a lot about finding the right framing that interests me, and I always seek to find details that may not be eye-catching objects at first glance. And I find richness in everyday life, not in staged or arranged things. I do not like to “build” or “create” a photo. If it’s there and it strikes me, I take a picture – if not, I keep on walking.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
It’s important to have a unique style. The best that can happen is that someone takes a look at one of your pictures – on any subject -, and just by the framing, treatment of color or simply by the objects in the picture, this person can tell that you took it. I think it is good to respect one’s personal style and keep on sharpening it.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
Aesthetics and credibility.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
In the things around me, in the neighborhood where I live and in the most common activities of everyday life.
How do you keep up to date with new developments in photography, to keep on learning new things?
I do not really stay informed, and perhaps that’s a defect. I learn about new equipment, for example, when I search for something I need and I can not settle with what I have. So if I investigate, it’s with the purpose to get to where I want to go. As to new trend, I don’t care for them that much. Recently, it seems that many photographers use HDR, which I find the ugliest thing in the world. Surely I’m wrong, but the photos that are claimed to be aesthetic are kind of like a tourist postcard, and in my eyes, aesthetics comes from “reality” and authenticity – and innovative framing, not from megapixel quality.
What do you think is more important: a perfect use of the camera or a photographic idea that is creative and a good concept?
Creativity and a good concept, no doubt. But if you don’t have a good camera control and by mistake leave the important parts out of focus, the best idea is useless. So I think that these are two things that go together at some point.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
Canon 7D (50mm, 28-55mm, 70-200mm), Kiev 19 (50mm), Diary Yashica, Lomo Fish Eye, Lomo Action Sampler – and my cell phone.
What’s your favorite website on photography?
Flickr or Tumblr.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
Grab a camera and take a walk!