Interview: Photographer Claudia Lo Stimolo (Italy)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am Claudia, a 31 years old photography teacher. I live at the foot of Val di Susa, a well-known mountain valley located between Turin and France. I teaching photography in an high school. I am the mother of a lovely and curious two-year-old girl, she loves to come with me to walk the streets of the world and loves, while playing, to take pictures or to observe the result of my shots. My days are spend between my job, which I care a lot about, my family, which supports me in all my various projects, and my passion for photography, to which I try to devote myself as much as possible in order to learn and grow artistically.
How and when did you get into photography? In my life I have always felt the need to express myself through the Art: dance, writing, drawing and finally photography. In recent years I have rediscovered a love for the mountains and nature, and from this renewed passion is emerged in me the need to reproduce the charm of what surrounds me: mountain, sea, people, places abandoned by time. I have thus discovered a deep love for this form of expression that gives me great satisfaction. I managed to combine photography with my job and day after day I try to convey all my passion to students by teaching them to communicate through what they see through the lens: an instrument of the soul that allows you to capture their inner and outer reality as they perceive it.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is an art that helps me to express my concept of beauty and my inner moods, through the use of a personal language that I try to build shot after shot. It is an expression of myself, an escape from everyday life and the search for personal gratification. The term photography comes from the conjunction of two Greek ancient words: light (φῶς | phôs) and graph (γραφή | graphè), so Photography means "writing of light”. I think that light has infinite modulations that vary from brightness to shadows, and photography allows you to stop forever that particular moment imprinting with emotions and infinite values of light and dark that I love to capture.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
In my photographs I take great care of every detail, every element in the composition must convey delicacy and purity. This style, or rather this language, I have developed in the last year, during which I think I have made a stylistic evolution, trying to bring out more emotions.
Where do you get inspiration from? Inspiration comes from everything around me, from music, from the sounds of nature, from dance which is always a dance of the world, from art and certainly from observing the work of other photographers. It is the whole cultural and intimate background of a photographer that, in my opinion, creates the photo.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
I always try to imagine the photograph first in my mind. I think about the outfit, hypothetical shots, props that can enhance the scenery, when I'm sure I organize the shooting. The result sometimes reflects the initial project, other times the winning idea comes at the moment, thanks to the interaction between me and the person photographed.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I definitely consider photography Art, because for me it has to be a pleasure and not a duty. When I am inspired I first design an idea and then I try to take some shots. I think that if I had to do it for work I wouldn't shoot with the same intensity. But, fortunately, my work is the same in the field of photography, as a teacher of the subject, I try to transmit this passion of mine to my students. And it is thanks to this intensity that I put into my photographs that I am able to involve so many of my students and get them hooked in turn.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I started with a Canon 1300D and just purchased another one, the 5D mark IV. As a lens, I'm using the 24-105mm and 85mm a lot these days.
Studio, on location or both?
Especially in urbex nude photographs, the location plays a fundamental role, it is part of the composition itself. I always try to integrate the subject in such way that it completes the scenography.
In portraits, in the same way, I like to study different environments that can blend well with the person to be photographed.
In my opinion, each personality is different and adapts to different contexts.
I created the project urbex nuditas, together with an art critic who follows me in many of my works. This project was born from the inspiration that these abandoned places transmit, and that when contrasted with the female body they bring out its soft and sinuous curves. This collection of photographs will be presented through an art catalog and the intention will be to exhibit the artworks abroad. I would like to summarize my vision with the words written by the critic Paola Simona Tesio that accompany this project: ''In this feeling the model DeliCate is embodied in the Angelus Novus, she becomes the muse, who whispers, indicates, turns her gaze towards the ruins and at the same time recalls the echo of Nature. Nudĭtas of body that becomes spiritual, ascetic, in a more abstract sense, becomes the intimate essence of absence, of the laying bare of these forgotten spaces that reveal themselves to the eye in their decadent beauty." I would like to thank her for the beautiful written texts published in the catalog and I would also like to thank the model DeliCate
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I think every session is unique. When I go to some new urbex location it's always a new adventure, from trying to get inside to exploring the interiors. It's nice to try to integrate the model within these abandoned places.
But even in so many portrait sessions, set outdoors, there are many memorable moments.
Let's just say the laughs are never lacking.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
The advice I give is to always follow your passions, make sacrifices and set goals. It's important to never give up because if a person is sure of what he wants and is committed with constancy sooner or later the results will come. In addition, I think it is essential to take care of communication to make yourself known and create new contacts.
Personally, I have always fought for what I wanted and the results have always given me great satisfaction. Be ambitious in life!
What do you think of our new magazine?
I discovered this magazine after reading an interview with a photographer I follow on social media.
I think it's a great opportunity for any artist to be known and show their work, it is also very useful to have the opportunity to meet new artists and who knows maybe new collaborations can be born!