Researched by Roberta Pastore
Marco was born in Florence on Feb. 7, 1965, the second of two children. He was always attracted by the visual arts and he was involved in photography since childhood on and off, since 1999 more systematically. Over the years he participated in various collective exhibitions. With “Itinere” he exhibited in Rome at the Hawk’s Nest, with the exhibition called “In strada Fabula”, the publication of a catalog will follow. His photos are published in newspapers, calendars and book covers. He deals with social photography and portraits, he creates reports and currently he is working on a project on multicultural society called “Welcome, storie d’integrazione”
When did your passion for the photography start?
I have always had it. As a child I was the one who took all the photos in the family, the result ? Poor family albums and I ended up completely lacking in them. Then came adolescence and photography was not the first love of my life anymore . A passion that become more conscious in 2009 when I am overwhelmed by the disappointment finding out the bad result of my photos.
What was your first camera?
A Polaroid zip and then a Richo compact . Of the Polaroid (which I still have today). I distinctly remember the smell of the chemicals and the intensity of the moments that preceded the appearance of the picture. The Richo taught me to be more patient and thoughtful.
What is photography to you? And what should not be instead?
For me it is easier to say what should not be: rhetoric, rhetoric is the greatest danger to which it is subjected a photographer , in particular a street and reportage photographer. I do not know what should photography be but I know what I wish my photography was: the mirror of my soul, the materialization of my thoughts. Do not I look for aesthetics, when you want to tell something truth you have to compromise with reality. What I mean is that a picture does not have to be beautiful, it must make a contribution, it should excite, it must make a mark if albeit small.
Which masters of photography inspires you?
The classical authors have shaped my approach to this discipline, from HCB Robert Doisneau to Capa and Diane Arbus. Among the contemporaries I like the Japanese school (although my photography appears to be light years away from it), I admire the work of Berengo Gardin, Elliott Erwitt, Josef Koudelka . I could name dozens.
What is the photo that struck you the most of a great historical photographer ?
It is a photo from Josef Koudelka, it comes from his series about the gypsies, it moves me every time that I observe it. There is everything in that picture, the desire to document, the piety, an approach free from preconceptions and prejudice. Now I think about it and I want to take my camera and get out.
What is your favorite technique?
When I do street photos I use the Hyperfocal technique, my favorite lens is the classic 50mm optics, sometimes I feel the need to come closer to the subjects then I mount the 28 mm lens. I use only fixed lenses. When I do portraits I have a more technical approach, a more reflexive one, often I pretend to tinker with the camera to chat with my subject, to try to tear down the veils that separate us , in fact I know that aperture I will use and what I would like to get the problem is that I do not always succeed.
Why do street photography?
Actually I do not know if my photography can be considered street, street photography today moves on paths I do not like, I will not dwell on the definition because there are dozens of ongoing discussions on the matter. I prefer to call my photography “Life” or “Social Photography” , a bit pretentious, but this is the definition that I feel is the correct one. I make social photography because I love to investigate the human soul, within the limits imposed by my cultural background, by my prejudices and many other limitations.
What is your best shot and what does it represent for you?
I do not know.I do not really know, one of the more difficult things for me to judge my photos . I am very fond of a few pictures of my daughter, but that is a different matter.
What is your relationship with the street and the people who are in your shots?
It happens, sometimes, that I have to explain to people what I’m doing. I always do it with a smile even when I get a stronger reactions. The street photographer should care a lot about his approach, first he needs to be sure, to have the deep conviction, that he is doing nothing wrong, if you can get this mental approach problems will (almost) disappear. I never hide when I am shooting, at times I even interact with what is happening around me catching the attention of the subject, in many cases I try to get the subject to gaze into the camera , as in my series “Looks”. There is a sentence by HCB, I think, that I feel very close to my ideas : “When I take a photo, I am living an ideal condition that might seem contradictory, but it is not at all, a perfect balance between the need for solitude and the need not to isolate myself”. I always shoot alone, I do not like collective photos shootouts, when I’m with friends I prefer to leave the camera at home.
PERSONAL WEBSITE http://marcorilli.com/