“For me, photography is observing first, a way to let behind traces of our personal experiences.”
Gianluca Tamorri (born in Rome) is an Italian photographer, currently based in Paris, France. After obtaining a Master in political science, he studied a second career: photography at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia. After receiving himself as a photographer in 2003, he assisted Italian portrait photographer Claudio Porcarelli and later on American art-photographer Michael James O’Brien. Besides his commercial and editorial work, mostly portraits, Gianluca Tamorri realizes his own documentary projects.
“A Journey to Kenya” (2012)
“The passing of the trip was, in a way, as quick as in the western world ,where man and science reign, far removed from the image of this country, where time seems to have stopped its course.
Here can be found the true essence of man in touch with unspoiled nature. Even where there is a city, it is as if it were there by chance, at the mercy of a wild and unpredictable nature.”
Interview with Gianluca Tamorri
Gianluca, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
In London when I was 27 years old. I was there studying political science at that time, when my father gave to me a Pentax MX. It happened suddenly out of the blue, without any reference. It was then when I became interested in photography.
Why did you become a photographer?
I think because I needed a way to express myself.
What does photography mean to you?
For me, photography is observing first, a way to let behind traces of our personal experiences. A photograph does not ensure the possibility of observing the reality, but it gives us a specific way to look at it. Former “New York Times” photography critic Andy Grundberg said that everything we see is filtered through the kaleidoscope of what we have seen up to the present moment.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
When I was an assistant, I worked for an American photographer called Michael James O’Brien. Even though my work is substantially different from his work, he gave me something very important to me: the sense of beauty.
What’s your favorite photography quote?
“There is in fact something obscene and sinister about photography, a desire to imprison, to incorporate, a sexual intensity of pursuit.”
William S. Burroughs
How would you describe your photographic style and way of working?
I don’t know, I do different things, but with the same way of working, trying to keep my mind clear.
How do you realize a shooting?
For my commercial work, I do mostly portraits. I don’t plan anything before the shooting. Portrait is about two people and personalities meeting each other. A good portrait then is the balance of these two characters.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
I think is not important to focus on photographic style, but rather to find our own language beside any aesthetic style. The style will follow, and shouldn’t be the mayor concern of a photographer.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
Just go outside and take photos, life will do the rest.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
Every photo can be a great photo. It depends if it meets our purposes.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
From different aspects of life. I like to read a lot, and I have a passion for art.
How do you keep up to date with new developments in photography, to keep on learning new things?
I like new technology and I think it is very important to be up to date. New technology for me has to be a support, not a way to mystify.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
Pentax 6×7 film camera, Contax T2 and G2 film camera and Canon EOS 5D Mark2.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
In bocca al lupo – Good luck!