TPL: Is there an artist that has influenced your work? If so, who were they and what was the influence?
FT: A photographer I enormously admire is Joel Meyerowitz, as an artist and as a man. His approach to photography, a continuous research that changes over time, is something that fascinates me. Beyond the images of him, his words are of great inspiration. In moments of artistic confusion, I listen to some of his podcast interviews that I saved on my phone, he always manages to bring me back to the surface. I love his photographs but also his words. In general I like photographers with a profound and prophetic vision of reality, who tell stories delicately: Raymond Depardon, Mary Ellen Mark, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, Alec Soth, Jesse Marlow, Luigi Ghirri and Gianni Berengo Gardin… I could go on and on.
Documentary photography tells so many stories that as photographers, stay with us. They may even change the way we see or the way we tell stories. A cause with a direct effect. Is there a special photographic moment you can recall that will always remain with you, that changed your view of the world in which you shoot in?
I like to photograph people on the street, when I feel a particular energy I approach them and ask if I can take a picture. The subjects shot are always involved with me, they are people to whom I explain the use I will make of the images and with whom I will remain in contact with later. Partly because of my personal journey and partly because of the level of openness that I give and that I ask for in the moment of photography, often people I engage even for a few minutes of a street portrait, they share experiences very painful and personal with me. I remember the first two portraits I took with a 35mm lens, which forced me to be in a certain proximity. They were both women and both told me about episodes of their life so distressing and intimate that in the end they cried in front of me and I behind the camera. I was absolutely not prepared for such an opening of heart. Later I started interacting in a slightly different way with the subjects in order to give space to their story without letting themselves be overwhelmed by emotion like a flooding river. It must be a moment of intense but harmonious exchange.