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Lucia Giacani interview

Posted on Sep 6 2012

What triggered your interest in photography in the first place?
Well my father was an amateur photographer, and every so often the wash room would get changed into a temporary dark room. Later on as a teenager this curiosity was fueled by artists such as Mario Giacomelli, who lived locally, and Francesca Woodman's work. Me and my friends would jump in a car, dress up, and take photos in abandoned local locations.

Your pictures capture a romantic, yet very strong and dynamic, essence of the women you photograph.
Is that a quality you aim for, does it have to do with your idea about femininity, or is it a trait of those women themselves, maybe?

There is a combination of answers. I represent myself, what I feel to be and aspire to be, and my idea of femininity which is expressed in all my works. Whilst on another more primal level as a woman myself I have something in common with the women I shoot. Normally models are strong and dynamic people, traveling the world at a young age. Before and during the shoot, I explain to them how they should be and act but obviously the individual nature of the women that appear in front of my lens shines through.

When starting out to plan a new project, what are the first things you plan and the first questions you ask yourself?
Well the idea is the starting point of everything, something that I myself I have to find visually interesting, and would enjoy developing. Then I work through the different scenes and sketch down ideas. All my editorials are themed so most of the time I am looking for a specific type of woman to interpret a certain role. Then I try to get an idea on how to shoot the different scenes, from the type of lighting and colours involved to sourcing and creating the scenery, location and props. The theme would dictate the choice of clothes the stylist selects. Additionally, if I have to use post-production techniques to realize certain shots I usually have to work these out quite early on.

Does the mood you are influence the result of a project? If so, in what way?
Not in the slightest, since the projects are planned sometimes months beforehand. I normally assign a project a certain mood. Whilst I might be tired, or happy during the day of the shoot, it doesn't really matter. What people might not realise is that there is a lot of work to be done before and after the day of shooting so generally mood swings tend to get ironed out by the production and creative process. What comes through is more to do with personality rather than mood.

What do you enjoy most in your work?
Opening the magazine to see the finished article or getting the print back for my book.

In your opinion, is a photographer always in search of the perfect angle, the perfect perspective?
No, well I'm not. I am very static in my anglelations. When I have a scene in my head it is usually from a point of view of a theatre-goer, very rectangular, straight on. It is unconscious and has developed into a style. That said I do work with angles a lot, I change angles to make the pictorial balance work in every photo. How the objects become aligned with the model, her pose and how the angles of light fall on every element in the scene.

Fashion magazines, in their fashion editiorials, have been producing and presenting pictures of outworldly, almost beauty that have very little to do with reality. It seems that the photographs themselves take precedence over the clothes. Do you feel that this only natural? How do picture the evolution of fashion photography? Do you think that we will eventually see it only online?
I think that there is an appetite from the editors and the readers for interesting imagery and there always will be. What is interesting is finding new ways to arrest the viewer, to make them stop, if only for a few seconds, to read the image. Obviously this is entering also into the field of advertising. If you want reality then there are magazines that have this as their fundamental stylistic, there are also trend spotters and wardrobe remixers 24/7 around the globe. If you want to see the clothes better you can go to the labels website, see the catwalk, look at the catalogue and then buy the product. This is the future of fashion photography in it's commercial sense to act as an initial interlocutor. Whilst to fulfil this role it has to be interesting, stylish, well produced and creative... there is and always will be an art to it.

Do you think that there is any chance that fashion videos will eventually take the place of fashion photography?
Probably. I have seen a lot of photographers moving into the field of fashion videos. But most of them are quite mundane and without much creativity, alot of playing around. Most of them seem to be doing it for the sake of doing it. Most people think that is a new field. What I like about fashion photography is the creation of an illusion, working with video can shatter this illusion and things tend to seem cheaper, but having a big budget and production team will help.
Then there are the arguments of 3D, digital retouching, shooting editorials on video... the list goes on, photography is a technical discipline that is changing all the time, but then again it always has been.

How important are clothes and fashion in your life?
Clothes are important to me but a lot of things come beforehand.

Has your work affected the way you dress? Do you enjoy experimenting with your personal style?
Yes I live in Milan, in city of style, where in a fashion sense you can't let your hair down. Yet there are plenty of opportunities to dress up. Working is always hard to judge, to look stylish yet comfortable usually involves trousers and flat shoes.


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