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INTERVIEW WITH… Roberto Ramirez

Researched by Raffaele Montepaone e Fabrizio Pannone

ROBERTO RAMIREZ

I was born in Guayaquivil (Ecuador) in 1984 but I have been living in Italy for 10 years. I approached photography only a couple of years ago and I was almost immediately fascinated by this art. I’m keen on street photography and reportage photography. The main subject of my pictures is the city of Milan, whose identity usually borders on stereotypes as the capital of fashion and economy. On the contrary its urban pattern has deeply been changing and exploring its streets, a curious passer-by can discover a lively, multiethnic and cultural city. With my pictures taken crossing its neighborhoods, I have tried to capture people of Milan: their gestures, faces, diverse aspects and features, the ways they interact and use the public spaces. Every single situation is useful and important to me to fix ordinary life. I prefer black&white images since the observer can be guided to focus on what I want to express.

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When did you start a passion for the photography?

I seriously approached photography 3 years ago when my little daughter was born. It was a choice made by both curiosity and personal feelings.

What was your first camera?

My first camera was Canon 500d but soon after I bought Fujifilm x100, which has helped me to achieve and get better my personal style.

What is photography to you? And what should not be instead?

Photography is a tool to fix unique moments. Therefore, it should be a matter of freedom, instinct, intuition, sensitiveness and naturalness. The attempt to trap photography and establish strict rules breaks the possibility to catch the fluidity of life with its gestures, emotions and diversity.

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Which masters of photography inspires you?

I get constant inspiration from William Klein’s work as he is able to capture the dynamism of life, using an interesting and original perspective and filling up the frame with the presence of various characters. I also like Leonard Freed due to his attachment to reality and Alex Webb who manages to control an incredible set of elements in one picture.

What is the photo that struck you the most of a great photographer of the story?

I can’t choose only one photo. I admire William Klein’s portfolios about New York City and Rome.

What is your favorite technique?

I prefer to get into the situations, observe and be patient, so I adopt a close point of view.

Why do street photography?

Because my objective is to document everyday life and human nature. As Joel Meyerowit says “street photography was the only form of the medium that owed nothing to painting or the other plastic arts, it is purely photographic.”

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What is your best shot and what does it represent for you?

My best shot is something very personal that I have never showed to anyone. The image is hung on the wall. It regards my daughter.

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What is your relationship with the street and the people who are in your shots?

There’s no direct relationship between me and the street and its inhabitants, as I try to camouflage, to be invisible, to enter reality without corrupting the spontaneity of moments.

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