Describe yourself in 5 words:
passionate, imaginative, reserved, loyal and determined.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is my way of expressing what I fear, what I crave for, what I respect and what I dream of. My work always originates from a concept that I feel very ‘mine’, so these emotions are always involuntarily conveyed. Although not necessarily visible to others. I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. It makes me feel very close to every project I work on. It’s draining and so fulfilling at the very same time. And it’s such a good therapy!
Do you think there is a difference between female and male photographers?
I don’t think there’s a difference between female and male photographers. I see astonishingly beautiful images equally projected out of men’s and women’s minds. Tim Walker and Annie Leibovitz. Paolo Roversi and the younger Emma Tempest.
But I do think there is a difference between the kind of art that different personalities can produce, whether male or female. Photography can be so personal in every single step, from the initial concept to the creation, the choice of the final shots and the post processing. I think that at a close look a portfolio is just a big mirror pointing right back at ourselves. It reflects who we are in a (frighteningly) very truthful way.
What is one of the most important things you are teaching your fashion photography classes?
Through my fashion photography workshops I meet a lot of photographers that ask for ‘the rule’: that one thing that they can learn by heart and repeat until success comes. The truth is the work of a photographer is much less technical than people probably imagine. There is no real rule in creating a fashion story, no rule in composition, no rule in post processing and even very little rule in camera settings. Having the knowledge is very important, but it’s as indispensable as experimenting with it. Every photographer should have his own personal way of developing a story, of creating an image. It’s about observing and daring. And it’s always so personal and intimate.
70% of my work consists of imagining, creating and playing. You start from a technicality and you turn it around and you twist it and deform it, even, until you make it something unique. Until you make it yours.
Nothing inspires me more than?
Details. The little things are the best ones. The little flaws, the things we do or say or think unconsciously. The combination of two colours, a still in a movie, a paragraph in a book. When you’re in a creative state of mind, everything can turn into a muse.
In 10 years I see myself?
travelling around the world shooting fashion editorials and campaigns. Making music again and volunteering for animals in my spare time.
5 things you can´t live without:
family, sunshine, music, camera, and well.. chocolate.
all images © Rossella Vanon
Interview by Christine Guggenberger