Interview: Photographer Franz Messina (Italy)
Tell us something about yourself.
Hello everybody, my name is Francesco Buonsante, but when I am an artist, I am Franz Messina.
The reason for my pen name? To represent my dichotomy, as a professor in a school in my real life and as a passionate about photography in my parallel reality.
I am 36 and I live in Bergamo, a small town near Milan.
How and when did you get into photography?
I approached photography indirectly when I was busy in musical entertainments and events, on radio and television together with two dear friends of mine. Due to this job, I often had to pay the photographer's expenses, but frankly speaking, I didn't understand the reasons for all that money! As I do not like spending without understanding the real value of what is done, even without having taken pictures before, I decided to try.
What does photography mean to you?
For me photography is a stimulus for improvement. For me photography is creation. It is the way to communicate what I see beautiful in the world. For me photography is a cure and illness. "Photography causes addiction and I suffer from it"'
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I'm a portraitist. I have a minimalist photo style. I prefer black and white, but I also realize color portraits. I find the black and white representative of what I feel in my heart.
The face is always predominant in my photos, both when I use the natural light, and the flash light.
I love experimenting and trying to communicate the empathy that comes with the portrayed model.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I get It from paintings and fashion, looking at pictures in the art galleries and giving a look at the photographs published by the magazines. I do not look at social networks as a source of inspiration, unless it is something about accomplished photographers. I love observing the works of the great past and present, from Avedon and Mapplethorpe to Testino and Luigi and Iango.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture? I try to keep everything under control, studying my set in advance, but also leaving the heart to intervene. I know what kind of photos I want with my head, but I get them with my heart.
Studio, on location or both?
At the beginning of my photographic path, I preferred to take photos outside. Now I take photo in studio and in my small home studio that I call "Roombox". The next step will be to return to outdoor locations.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional? I consider myself a hobbyist, but with a professional approach to photography. If somebody asks me if I'm a photographer, I just say "No, I'm not a photographer, I just take photos".
What has been your most memorable session and why?
The most memorable session for me was that with Valeria Edith Maselli, because she was able to convey peace, calm, and awareness of my means. Thanks to her, I know I can do what I have in my heart.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
My dissatisfaction and self-criticism are my greatest source of inspiration. For me, every success is a step of a longer way.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I use Nikon and I alternate lenses: the 85mm lens with the 50mm lens. Sometimes I love experiencing portraits with unusual focal lengths.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business? My advice is not to be in a hurry, not just to think about the celebration of their own achievements, not to base their growth only on what the others think of him.
What do you think of our new magazine? I think your magazine is really great. You managed to put together something serious, complete, with excellent articles. It's interesting, useful, of high level!