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Interview: Photographer Ermes Contrasti (Italy)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I was born in 1961 in Rome, Italy, and have a classical education. I have a degree in literature and philosophy, but later I studied law and economics. my thesis is on the medieval symbolism of the Tarot game.

How and when did you get into photography?

I am self-taught, my father handed me a Voigtlander at the age of 14, which I destroyed, and for many years destroyed several Russian Zenith and Pentax. around 1985 I was finally able to afford a decent camera and in 1989 I bought the Canon eos 600 and eos 1.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography is a way of expressing myself, with so many mistakes, so much passion and torment.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I essentially photograph young women with an inclination to fetishism and bdsm ritualism.

Where do you get inspiration from?

My inspiration was consolidated in the 80s and 90s starting from Vargas pin-ups, Franco Saudelli's comic book icons, Francesca Woodman's tormented photography, Kern and Araki's harsh photography.

Studio, on location or both?

I often photograph in my apartment, or in the studio or on location in good weather.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

The most memorable is when I did an important photo shoot for an important international women's association and I didn't realize that the lens was broken and didn't focus well, they almost killed me!

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Borrowing a word from art, I consider myself rather a connoiseur, but photography for me is not a hobby, it is a quarter of my life. The other three quarters are my two sons and my dogs

Think you in advance what you want in the picture?


Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Absolutely 50 mm! I have been using Canon for thirty years, and I do not regret it. I considered the idea of switching to Nikon, Sony or other brands, and changing the reflex with a mirrorless, but for a number of reasons I prefer to stay in the tradition.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Before starting photography I would recommend studying the history of art and the history of photography and above all the works of light masters such as Caravaggio, William Turner or Franco Fontana.

What do you think of our new magazine?

I was very impressed when you contacted me, because when I saw the magazine I just thought it was una figata (fucking cool)! in addition to this, I find it really balanced and well reasoned, a mix of beauty and sin.


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