Interview: Photographer Matteo Sgaravato (Italy)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am 57 years old and I live in Verona (Italy). I started with photography when I still was rather young, following in the footsteps of my parents who were both industrial photographers; in 1985, when I was twenty, I opened my first company dealing with photography and corporate identity. Thereafter, I continued to be involved in the world of photography while also expanding my business into the communication and marketing world. Today, I am mainly involved with marketing, neuroscience and communication with several companies active in these fields, supported by a team of people. Photography is the common denominator of all my activities, although today I have delegated it to some of my staff.
Nevertheless, over all these years, I have never ceased researching and experimenting, dedicating resources and time to create photographic projects that narrate my vision of the female universe.
How and when did you get into photography?
I took up photography when I was 14 to help my parents in their business and I never let it go. I grew up in this field and took photographs of everything, including reportage, industrial, architecture and advertising photography; I have held exhibitions and published books, and my photos have been published in dozens of international and Italian magazines.
What does photography mean to you?
It is the tool I use to crystallize an emotion, a moment. It is technique combined with instinct and this allows me to narrate and share details that otherwise would often not be captured.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
My style focuses on what is essential - a routine subject set in a context as aseptic as possible. For this reason, I prefer black backgrounds, very angled direct light and very little post-production because I have learnt that photos first are taken and not processed later.
There is space to tell the story of emotions, space for the most intimate part of everyone who decides to stand in front of my camera and immerse themselves in my way of taking photographs.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from my experience, from the people I meet, the stimuli I collect every day, and the desire to discover, through the camera, the most hidden part of every subject I encounter.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
I do make plans, yet I also let the instinct of the moment guide me - because this is the only way I have the freedom to grasp what the people in front of the camera are able to convey and want to share.
Studio, on location or both?
As I said, I study and think about what I want to achieve but the fundamental part is knowing how to grasp what comes to you suddenly - a particular light, a smile, a color, a gesture...
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Photography is currently not my main activity but is unquestionably a great source of creativity. My shots have no commercial objective and hence the sole purpose of creating and arousing emotions... I don't know if this makes me a professional.
What was your most memorable session and why?
Actually it was not so much a session but meeting a person whose amazing sensitivity managed to grasp what I had inside me, absorbed it and then gave it back to me with the emotions in the photos I took of him.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I started with Nikon. Today, I only use Canon and my favorite lenses are an 85mm / 1.4 and a 100 mm macro.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Times have undoubtedly changed a great deal today compared to when I started taking photographs myself - but I think that dedication, imagination, curiosity and the right passion are still vital aspects if we are to create images that have both commercial value and the right creative content.
What do you think of our new magazine?
It is very interesting, very dynamic and without doubt a great vehicle for bringing experiences such as mine to a broader audience.