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Interview: Photographer Silvio D'Acunto (Italy)

Can you tell us something about yourself?

Hi, my name is Silvio and in life I deal with worker assistance. My work activity leads me to travel often and compare myself with many people. This profession helps me to have a quick and sincere approach to people which makes it very easy for me when I take photographic portraits.

How and when did you approach photography?

I approached photography in the early 90's when I bought my first camera to be able to make photographic enlargements of the stamps in my collection. I have always been a great lover of philately and at that time I collaborated with a specialized magazine in the sector. The enlarged photographs of those small pieces of paper allowed me to better understand the technical notions of their realization, that is; deepen the knowledge of printing systems, paper, watermarks and everything that revolved around them. At that time I also started taking the first photographs of my friends. I still remember the contentment and emotion in their faces when I then showed them their portraits. So the interest in this new passion intensified more and more to induce me to buy the first photography manuals. In this respect I consider myself self-taught because I have never attended any course but I have read a lot especially the works of great photographers.

What does photography mean to you?

For me, photography is synonymous with freedom, escape, observation. I say this because we often live our lives according to pre-established patterns. This is why my way of seeing photography represents the opposite of what we try to be. In photography there are well detailed rules but it is also true that their knowledge allows us to "break the mold" to obtain surprising results. I try to be clearer with this concept, one of the basic rules of portrait photography is that the subject must have the front light source in order to be adequately illuminated. It is also true, however, that placing the light source behind it generates in many cases a pleasant backlight effect thus making the shot special. This is the reason why I speak of evasion with the consequent freedom of expression and observation.

Briefly describe your photographic style for our readers.

I often shoot in black and white. For me it represents a dogma, a style that gives elegance to both the composition and the entire image shot. 90% of my shots are portraits, often in the studio and with only one light source. I prefer to focus on the gaze, the expressions and for this reason I also tend to capture very narrow shots, even details of the body and face.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration often comes to me at the moment by observing how the subject in front of me "moves". In front of the camera people in most cases tend to stiffen for this reason I spend a lot of time talking with them because a photographic portrait must not only portray the person as he or she appears but the success of it must also clearly convey his personality.

Do you think in advance what you want in the photo?

I say this with a lot of irony, every time I plan a shooting style then it turns out that during the shooting I do something completely different because of what I said before. This is because I tend to adapt to the subject in front of me and try to bring out the best of myself.

Study, on site or both?

Photographer both in the studio where I can have full control of the lighting and outdoors.

Do you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I consider myself a photographic lover because photography is not my source of livelihood and I believe that this characteristic is the reason why I am able to live my passion with greater ease.

What was your most memorable session and why?

Honestly, I don't have a more memorable session than the other, each of it is simple for me.

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