INTERVIEW WITH … Alessandro Tullio

Researched by Roberta Pastore

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?

Photography for me is a complete expression, without obligations, impositions. Each of us can see and read different things in a photograph, that go beyond our personal story, our experience, expressing deep personal feelings. This is true above all for street photography, that’s why I do not think there is a “wrong” interpretation of a single photograph but I really love to share ideas with other person to understand what they see, independently from their technical competence. I am very much interested in knowing different points of view. This is why I love photography. Photography is a passion, but also a need. I always felt that street photography was my way to express my inner self, but only with study and application I succeeded in doing that.

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

More than specific artists, I was interested in specific photos. I studied it, understanding and appreciating the composition, more than being interested in the autors. One of my favorite “classic” is William Klein and among the more modern one. I think Aaron Berger is outstanding

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

Curiosity is what is typical of me. Continuous learning is the key to acquire new tools to express yourself.

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?

Care and respect of people is my mantra. People do set limits that must be considered. Being aware of that, I can relate with very different people, from suburb guys to businessmen. It happened to me to cancel a photo as I did not want to become a matter of concern for the person I was shooting as well as spending some time to explain street photography to people I did not know. As I am not shooting in the Gilden way, it helps.

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?

I think that street photography has a lot to do with personal interpretation. Nothing to do with perfect composition with perfect colors, which we are surrounded.

What makes it different from other genres?

Maybe I already answered to this question, anyway I want to add that street photography has the power to represent reality. This is the difference: an ordinary detail, a situation… that is real, true. Something that we rarely notice as we never stop.

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

What inspires me most in this period is to merge people and an angle (of a street, a building) trying to blend them together. That’s why I do not focus the body, because I want the different element of the photograph to have equal relevance. I also have other research area, as for example trying to put some order in the city chaos.

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

Respect and care, above all. I am not playing in a zoo. Then there are specific laws that a street photograph needs to be aware of, but having respect is the most important thing.

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?

Street is anarchy, you can find there anything and if you are a photographer you see more than the others. If a scene or a detail catch my attention and provides me vibes, I try to secure it in a photo. The photo is good when the same vibes arise when I watch it. I know that the photo is a success if the same vibes arise when other people watch it.

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

Definitively, yes. I think it is an alternative way to see the world. I realize it when I go around with friends who are not photographs. I am more receptive, I see in a different way event the more elementary detail, especially with people.

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

Shadows and lights are part of what surround you when we you are in the street, they could be absolute protagonist ore they could not even be there. I do not see them as a must in moy photographs If they were not part of the sensation that inspired my shooting.

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

When I work with photo weddings, I spend some time to postproduction. But when I do street photograph, I download immediately the material on my phone or Ipad and most of the time I did nothing on the original shoot. I choose a camera that is perfect for my needs.

Do you prefer shots in black and white or colour?

It is not easy to decide…. I prefer black and white as it is my way to see the drawings that the street offers me. Color is an input that could be interesting and I use it as well.

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?

I am a little bit disorganized…. I have half projects and many ideas in my mind…. And I feel a little bit fool not to close this projects…. But I swear that after this interview I will materialize some of them, and I will do it for myself!I have some Zine which I am closing right in this period.

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

A photograph that I always spend some time on is a shoot in the Milano Underground. A woman, looking down, all covered by a sanitary mask covering her face. I know it could be perceived as an ordinary shoot, now. But at that time, it was the first I saw as the pandemic was right at the beginning. None cares, bus she did. She has a fear in her eyes that we do not know yet. Maybe the day before she was in a different mood, with a brave look, maybe she could be laughing on the phone with a friend, I cannot know. But that was the time when everything changed in the strett, people were identical to each other.

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