Winking, provocative and sensual. These are the first adjectives that come to mind when looking at Emanuele Ferrari‘s photographs.
Born in 1975, Emanuele Ferrari began his career in the world of photography almost by chance and self-taught, taking inspiration from names such as Harri Peccinotti and Terry Richardson. After a career spanning more than 10 years, Emanuele is now the best-known Italian photographer on the international scene, and has for years been included in the worldwide ranking of the English portal xxlpix.net, based on the Web Popularity Index, which tracks factors such as visibility and interaction.
His international style has immediately attracted the interest of many clients and brands, leading him to collaborate with names such as Moschino, Nike, Coca-Cola, Fendi and to be published in the most renowned magazines.
Next month Emanuele Ferrari will be one of the photographers on show at ImageNation Milan, which will take place from 24 to 30 September at the Fondazione Luciana Matalon in Milan. While waiting for the opening, we had a chat with the photographer, who told us how his passion was born, what are the important aspects while shooting and much more. Don’t miss the interview below.
You are a self-taught photographer, how did you get into photography and when did you realise it could become your job?
In the beginning, my approach to photography was almost a game, a pastime. When I was a kid, I used to handle cameras, I liked taking pictures, but it was just for fun. Then I did something else, I put this interest aside, but it remained there, those fixed ideas that come up every now and then. I studied and did other things in life, also professionally, then that idea came back. I came to photography relatively late, when I was 30: but by then I was ready to make it a job. I rented a studio, shot as soon as I could and the first jobs came. The adrenaline, the desire to do, the happiness I felt on set made me realise that this was my path.
What do you think is the most important thing to consider when taking portraits?
The story you have in mind. Photographs talk, they always want to express something. You have to know what you want your shots to say: then you can also let your instincts guide you, unleash your creativity, seize the moment. For me, the shot is never something constructed, but more something thought out.
As you specialise in fashion photography you often work on sets and with models, how important is it to create a bond with the person you are shooting and how do you manage to do this?
Fundamental. It’s something I’ve always said: creating the right feeling with the subjects to be photographed is an essential job. On the set there has to be harmony, harmony, we all have to look in the same direction: if I point to the moon, no one has to look at the finger, so to speak. And it doesn’t mean that we have to be pals, but the attitude must be one of maximum sharing and availability, so that those in front of the camera (but also those behind it, obviously) can work in serenity and give the best of themselves.
Is there a shot to which you are most attached? Can you tell us about it?
When people ask me this question, I always answer: what I still have to do. Because I believe that my work is a job in constant evolution, that you never stop learning, and that therefore the shot you still have to take brings with it a wealth of experience. But there are photos that identify me a bit, that you say is an Emanuele Ferrari and to which I am particularly attached: the girl licking her shoulder, many of those I took in Los Angeles, when I had decided to embark on this career and had identified the mark of my style.
Are there any artists you follow or are inspired by?
Since I didn’t go to a photography school, I made up for it by studying many great photographers of the more or less recent past: I have taken inspiration for something from all of them: from some, irreverence, from others, rigour, from others, the ability to be transversal, they are an inexhaustible source of inspiration. The great work a photographer has to do is to treasure these cues and build his own style on them. If I really had to name a couple of names, I would mention PECCINOTTI and RICHARDSON.
What will those who visit the ImageNation Milan exhibition in September see?
Those who visit the exhibition will see a shot of mine from a few years ago, which has never been shared on social networks or published, which makes it an unprecedented one. So I say come and discover it.