Interview: Photographer Pietro Menzione Giordano (Italy)
Can you tell us a little about you? I'm Pietro, an advertising photographer from the province of Naples, but I've lived in Milan for 5 years. I like watching films and series, I read and I like cooking, a dream of mine is to become a chef. I am often traveling in search of new inspirations and to learn about new cultures; the cities that particularly enriched me were London and Paris. I love art in all its forms. I work mainly in fashion, but I also devote myself to painting and interior design. My slogan is "limiting ourselves to the present".
How and when did you get into photography? Photography is a passion that has accompanied me since I was a child. In the family albums there are many photos that portray me while I try to capture everything with my camera. At the age of nineteen I started my first job as a photographer in tourist villages, I was mainly involved in photographing children. I photographed every emotion and expression of those children, so magically spontaneous (I spent hours waiting for them to smile). After a few years, feeling the need to improve myself and grow professionally, I decided to undertake studies in advertising photography. After completing my studies, I worked as a photographer assistant with various professionals from the fashion ceremony. Initially I worked in different sectors photographing "everything". Even today I find it hard to understand what and who makes me feel better while I'm shooting. I don't think I will ever find my way, I will continue to look for something in my "everything" that excites me.
What does photography mean to you? It means being yourself.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers. This is a question I often try to answer. I can't have a unique style in photography, I have often tried to orient myself on a specific "mood" to find my professional identity, as many photographers do, but I haven't succeeded yet. I have a constantly changing personality and my photography reflects this alternation of styles and thoughts. (I was born under the sign of Gemini, I think I said it all.) My approach to photography has sometimes been provocative and transgressive, at other times elegant and refined. I try, especially when I photograph women, to bring out their personality, their true being. I move in the scene trying to capture the details, I learned that people's skills often count more than technical skills. Most of all in my shots I want to express an intent, rather than a vision, leaving aside the worry of what people will think of my photographs. I stop thinking about "duty" to make and experiment ideas and techniques. A bit like in life, when you are looking for the ideal woman: “well! I never know whether to choose a devil or an angel, so I try both. "
Where do you get inspiration from? Surely my shots have been influenced by the great Masters of photography. Sometimes on free days I spend entire afternoons browsing through my books by: Helmut Newton, Peter Lindberg, Richard Avedon, Elliott Erwitt, Man Ray, Saul Leiter, Amedeo Modigliani, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol and many others that, not least , I do not quote. In the past I had so many archives of "ideas", I collected images and experimented.Today I believe that the inspirations reach me so suddenly. Often in explicating the usual daily activities, like simply shopping at the supermarket, I am inspired. I stop and write down the ideas to be realized on my agenda.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ? It depends on the type of photography, if it is a commercial job yes, I plan at 90% what I am going to do. If it is a personal project, instead, I leave a lot of space for improvisation and instinct.
Studio, on location or both? I grew up with flash and artificial lights, but in recent years, photography on location and on the street has fascinated me a lot.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional? I am a professional photographer, but I often prefer to feel like a hobbyist going around taking personal photos without particular commercial interests.
What has been your most memorable session and why? One afternoon a Russian model arrives in my house in Milan, I had to do some portraits, but I didn't have anything specific in mind. In the air, in addition to a loop song, there was a magic that even today I can hardly explain. A perfect balance between technique and feeling, emotion and framing, practice and vision. I won't add anything else.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens? The choice of equipment doesn't really matter to me. Personally I use a Nikon D800 and sometimes some 35mm analog camera. For the lens, however, it depends on how I feel emotionally, but I prefer the 35mm.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business? Never losing sight of your goal and always feeling free to do what you feel, to abandon the rules and conventions even if sometimes it may seem wrong. Choices form the language of a photographer, in photography there is no right or wrong thing.
What do you think of our new magazine? An interesting magazine that enhances and gives voice to talents. A beautiful showcase for new artists and creatives of various kinds.