INTERVIEW

September 4, 2020

VISUAL COMMUNICATION

IN CONVERSATION WITH FABIO BARZAGHI

Photography by Fabio Barzaghi
Interview by Melanie Meggs

Photographer Fabio Barzaghi is based in Milan, Italy and initially learned photography autodidactically, a journey that started out when he was a teenager, when he was gifted a camera that pushed him to explore the world of visual communication. Along with his interest for improving photography skills grew a desire to learn how to create a narrative with his images, so he decided to attend workshops with the likes of Nikos Economopoulos, Ernesto Bazan, George Georgiou, Joakim Eskildsen and Jacob Aue Sobol among others. Those experiences were mind blowing to him, not only because he was able to learn from some masters, but most of all because they all, and in totally different ways, pushed him incredibly hard to step outside his photographic comfort zone. This training almost hurt him physically in the beginning, but in the end was incredibly rewarding and meaningful and shaped his photography as it is today: centered and focused on telling people’s stories, capturing moments in their time.

"Try to transcend the image, break the rules, respect the rules."

TPL: Fabio, when did you start getting interested in photography?

FB: I have always been interested in photography, when I was a teenager I was gifted a camera that I took everywhere I could and during any occasion - I really have used it to its full potential! Classic story, you know. I have attended several workshops trying to push up my photography.

TPL: Where do you find your inspiration?

FB: Everywhere is a good photo occasion. I can feel where it could happen and I play with the situation. Sometimes I start talk to people trying to go deeper with the situation.

TPL: What do you want to express through your photography? What are some of the elements you always try to include in your photographs?

FB: I always try to remove elements from my pictures. I want to focus on the subject.

TPL: Who are your favourite artists/photographers?

FB: Daido Moriyama, Nikos Economopoulos, Alec Soth, Arnold Newman, Marco Pesaresi and many others...

TPL: Do you have a favourite place to photograph?

FB: I always look for places where things can happen.

TPL: Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?

FB: Definitely, now I know what I want when I’m taking pictures. It was only when my girlfriend started gifting me photography books (about 10 years ago) that something clicked in me and I began taking photographs with a different, more focused and more mature approach. In particular street photography is the genre I fell in love with, and it still keeps me motivated to grab my camera, exploring places through people and tell stories with photos.

TPL: How does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length?

FB: I'm using only the Fuji X100s that I bought years ago. I chose that camera because it has a fixed lens at 35mm, a very good quality. It is a really small and low weight camera, and I can bring it with me every day. It also has an optical viewfinder, which is a plus.

I shoot always and only on 35mm. When shooting I have the final frame in my mind.

TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?

FB: I have several projects almost completed. I would like to find someone interested in them.

TPL: What are some of your goals as an artist? Where do you see yourself or hope to see yourself in five years?

FB: I want to keep photography as my personal escape from reality. Business with it could infect its pureness.

TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?

FB: I play drums, a little bit the guitar. But I’m an electronic engineer, arts are helping me to have a side look to problems.

TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…”

FB: Run, play music, listen to the music, travel, cook and spend lazy days on my sofa."