Interview with … Luca Gennatiempo



I am an Italian street photographer, born in Salerno in 1986. I started photographing in 2015 as a self-taught. First real approach to street photography took place in 2017 in Milan where I lived and deepened the topic. I’ve always considered myself a loner, a misanthrope. Street photography was the key to getting closer to people and feed my social and anthropological interests.

How important is photography to you? Would you have ever imagined, a few years ago, this passion would have played such an important role in your life?

One day a person dear to me looked at a photo I had taken with my smartphone and told me it was good, he told me I should investigate. Since that day I have never stopped being interested in photography. Photography today is my medicine for the mind and for the body.

Who are the Masters of Photography who inspired you most in your photographic works?

Many people associate my photographs with those of Alex Webb. For sure Webb has predominantly influenced my photographic culture. Among the great masters, however, I cannot fail to mention William Klein. I love his photographs.

Are you interested in deepening your passion with readings and studies on culture and photographic language?

As Ansel Adams said: “You put in photography all the images you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have listened and the people you have loved”. In my opinion, you cannot produce a good photograph without having a solid cultural base.

Taking a shot in the street could be difficult at times; dealing with people’s reactions or making sure it is not invasive in the various situations that could arise, is not always easy. What is your approach in these circumstances?

I always try to be “invisible”. Sometimes I get away with a smile. It has happened very few times that you have had problems with people

In recent years, Street Photography has caught on, and many photographers have become keen on it. What do you think is the reason why many of them prefer to shoot on the street?

My opinion is that people think street photography is easy. social networks are flooded with junk images. There are very few who stand out for their skill. There are few who have an important visual culture behind them.

What makes it different from other genres?

Compared to other genres you need to have worn out shoe soles (smile)

What subjects inspire you and push you to look for the shot in the city where you live or in the places you frequent?

More than a subject I am looking for a particular situation. I love to tell stories in my photos.

What is the line you don’t cross in a street photo. Are there ethical rules or is it allowed to shoot everything?

Oh yes, there are ethical rules! I can’t stand those who photograph people in difficulty, homeless people etc …

What makes a street photo expressive? Can you recognize, when you’re on the street, all details that can make a simple photo shoot a good photograph?

The success of a good street photo depends on many factors. I often realize that I have taken a good photo only when I get home and see it on my pc. When I’m on the street I’m too focused on grasping what the street has to offer me.

Street Photography as a genre, has developed in you the ability to interpret everyday situations with an original vision and your own style?

Street photography has certainly made me more attentive to the things around me. I happen to “photograph” even when I leave the house without a camera. I look at a scene, wait for everything to fit perfectly and take a picture with my mind.

In a street photo, do you think that light contrasts are important to tell a story or are they just an aesthetic aspect?

Everything that is imprinted on the sensor is useful in telling a story. What I don’t like is excessive post-production. Often we try to improve a mediocre photograph with postproduction techniques.

After shooting, what actions do you take in terms of processing and editing?

I try to get the most natural result possible. I am often satisfied with the JPGs that come out of the camera .

Do you prefer shots in black and white or colour?

This is an age-old question in my photographic journey. I am a changeable person and with me the way I photograph also changes so much that I am unable to create my own personal style . Even if people say they recognize my photos at first sight. In the latter period I have been using color.

We often hear about “photographic projects” in Street Photography too. Have you ever documented a situation from which, subsequently, a story or the idea of a project was born?

Never happened. At the moment each photograph is a story in itself.

We often look at the photos we’ve taken over the years. Is there one you’re particularly keen on and why?

Yes, there is a photo in particular. I took it in Pavia at the dawn of my photographic experience. From that day on I realized that street photography was what I wanted

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