INTERVIEW WITH … Fabio Renzi

Researched by Roberta Pastore

How important is photography to you? Would you have imagined, a few years ago  that this passion would play an important role in your life?
When I started photography, I was immediately fascinated by the expressive possibilities of photography, then with time my passion began to grow and I realised that it would play an important role in my life.


Today, photography is my favourite medium for getting in touch with people and places and trying to convey my impressions.



Which masters of photography have inspired you in your photographic work?
It is difficult to answer, the first photographers that come to mind are those I discovered at the beginning of my career: William Klein, Josef Koudelka, Larry Towell, Paolo Pellegrin and Marco Pesaresi.



Are you interested in deepening your passion with readings and studies on photographic culture and language?
This is something that interests me a lot and I believe it is fundamental for my personal and professional growth. I started photography as a self-taught photographer and later attended training courses to deepen my knowledge of technique and language.

As soon as I can, I buy photography books and try to see as many exhibitions as possible. Comparing myself with other people’s work is always an opportunity for inspiration and growth.



Taking a street shot can sometimes be difficult; dealing with people’s reactions or making sure you are not invasive in the various situations that arise is not always easy. What is your approach in these circumstances?
I generally prefer to photograph spontaneous situations and I adopt all concealment techniques to avoid subjects recognising themselves as the protagonists of my photos. I like to stay inside situations and sometimes it happens that people stop me to ask for explanations, with experience I have learnt that in dialogue sincerity, clarity and above all respect are fundamental. I avoid photographing subjects that I think are not well-disposed and people in difficult conditions unless they are aware and willing to be photographed.   



In recent years Street Photography has taken off, many photographers have dedicated themselves to this genre. What do you think is the reason why many prefer to shoot in the street?
It is a genre that offers the opportunity to get to know and relate to the people and places we experience every day and allows everyone to express themselves freely in any medium.

What is the element that differentiates it from other genres?
The freedom of expression and access it offers, the road is always there, you just have to want to travel it. I think in other genres of photography, the constraints are stronger and more binding.



What subjects inspire you and urge you to look for the shot in the city where you live or the places you frequent?
I always try to go with my instinct, I rarely go out with the idea of looking for something specific. I alternate between static moments where I choose an interesting space and light and wait for something to happen within the frame, and more dynamic situations where I approach the subjects that interest me directly. I like to photograph in crowded and dynamic places because of the multitude of situations and people one can encounter.



What is the limit that should not be crossed in a street photo. Are there ethical rules or is it permissible to shoot everything?
I think it depends a lot on the context and what you are doing. It is a question that would deserve a lot of research, but in general the rule I always follow is not to harm anyone’s image or dignity.



What makes an effective street photo? Can you recognise, when you are on the street, the details that can make a simple shot a good photograph?
A good street photo is no different from other photos, it should have elements that can arouse something in the viewer and make the viewer stop and think. I believe that the effectiveness of a photo is also very much related to the visual culture and personal experience of the photographer and the viewer.



Has Street Photography as a genre developed in you an aptitude for interpreting everyday life situations with an original vision and your own style?
I cannot give a definition to my photographic style. I like to think of style as something at the service of the photographer and the subject shot and as part of a process of continuous evolution and contamination.



In a street photo, do you think light contrasts are important to tell a story or are they just an aesthetic fact?
I think form and content are both very important, but they don’t always have to be in balance within a good image.

 After the shoot what do you do in terms of processing and editing?
I generally take care of it myself, applying the minimum of corrections to enhance the photo, but for printing I prefer to go to professionals. Editing interests me a lot, I like to try to build photo sequences and compare myself with other photographers.



Do you prefer black and white shots or colour?
I am interested in both approaches to the same extent, I started out doing mostly black and white and later moved towards colour, it was a natural process, perhaps only conditioned by the works of past authors I approached at the beginning.



You often hear about ‘photographic projects’ in Street Photography. Have you ever documented a situation from which a story or the idea for a project was subsequently born?
It is a relatively short time since I have started working in street and I believe that working on a story is useful for me to go beyond the ‘playful’ moment. On the street, there is no shortage of opportunities to find the idea for a project, but you have to choose what you want to work on.



Many times we look back at the photos we have taken over the years. Is there one you are particularly attached to and why?
There is not one photo in particular that I am most attached to, but rather to a series of photos that are part of a project that I have been working on for a long time and that has allowed me to grow on a personal and photographic level.


PERSONAL WEBSITE:

https://www.facebook.com/Libroengarde?refid=17

https://www.instagram.com/eyes_look_rome/