“Questioning what you are doing in all situations is the only way you can figure out who you are behind the camera and what is your style.”
Guido Gazzilli (born in 1983) is an Italian photographer currently based in Rome, Italy. In 2006 he graduated from “Istituto Europeo di Design” (IED). Later, he worked as an assistant for Paolo Pellegrin (Magnum Photos).Guido Gazzilli recently received the “Canon Young Photographer Award – Camera della Moda 2011”.
His interest as a photographer lies in covering independent music scene and portraying new urban cultures as well as in documentary work about social issues, such as in his series about the crisis in Greece (“The Greek Crisis”) and the plight of refugees coming to Europe on the Italian island Lampedusa (“The Gateway to Europe”).
Guido Gazzilli’s pictures have been published in international magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vice and Uomo Vogue.
Interview with Guido Gazzilli
Guido, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
Contax t2, my first publication was for VICE MAGAZINE.
Why did you become a photographer?
I’ve always been attracted by small details. I started to take photographs because I felt a calling to explore, transmit, reflect and trace. Secondly, I believe that it is important to look at the fears of man; trying to gather the signs and the meanings of it, and to have the opportunity to get know every person that I photograph, and in the same way it has been a way to understand myself better.
What does photography mean to you?
The intimacy between the photographer and the subject.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
Lorenzo Castore, a great man and a great friend.
What’s your favorite photography quote?
“A photo isn’t only what you see, but also what your imagination adds to it. My own imagination may add something else, a third person’s something else again. But does it matter? What matters is the contact between us, the fact that we talk about trees losing their leaves, about objects we crush underfoot without realizing it, about that house dying gently, abandoned by its owner, even though it’s the house where he was born, where he learnt to cry and to laugh.” Mario Giacomelli
“Photography is not difficult – as long as you have something to say.”
How would you describe your photographic style and way of working? How do you realize a shooting?
I don’t think too much about these questions. I just try to be myself and follow my instinct and taste.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
It’s a long process. I think you have to be very creative especially at the beginning and use different means. Questioning what you are doing in all situations is the only way you can figure out who you are behind the camera and what is your style.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
I believe that the most important thing is to create a relationship with my subjects. I love the spontaneity that some pictures have.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
I continually think about producing stories, and this makes me work not so much on the single image, but on a project and very often the photos I already have imagined in my mind before getting to a place for a shooting , it’s an unconscious mechanism for me that kicks in and takes over most of the time.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
Disconnecting the plug from the city, immerse myself in nature to rediscover myself as an individual integrated in nature. In these days, I take the strength to balance myself and my body, my mind and my spirit.
How do you keep up to date with new developments in photography, to keep on learning new things?
It’s important to go to exhibitions, read books, doing research on the web.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
Leica Mp, Contax t3 and Fuji x-pro 1.
What’s your favorite website on photography?
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
I think that a good method to learn “how to look” could be to work as an assistant. When I finished my school of photography, I realized that I needed to continue to learn visually, and I have had the fortune to start to work for a Magnum photographer where I learnt a lot of things. I believe that if you have the correct humility in this work, in the end this can give you some good results and you need to try to have faith in your own resources and talent, especially in the moments of discouragement.