If we were to look up the definition of the word “observation” in the dictionary, we would find the following: “The ability to perceive things, as well as the character of people, the reality of a situation, and generally, what is worthy of being noted in things, words, or a work.” A definition that also applies to the act of photography. After all, what is a photograph if not the ability to capture and forever imprint what is worthy of being noted? The connection between observation and photography is essential, imperative, and necessary, and Simone Bramante, known as Brahmino in the art world, understood this from the very beginning. He described the ability to observe as the fundamental ingredient for all of his work.
But let’s start from the beginning. Simone Bramante, known as the first Italian photographer on Instagram, never thought of studying photography; in fact, his journey began in communication agencies as a creative director. It’s this experience, lasting almost fifteen years, that led him to develop a healthy curiosity for new platforms, including Instagram. It was in 2011 when, while the rest of the world began sharing images of their daily lives without a real purpose, Simone started to realize that the platform could have potential if used with method and consistency.
His photographs, characterized by rich, saturated, and vibrant colors, immediately pierced the small screens of smartphones at the time. His subjects, everyday yet enveloped in a surreal atmosphere, offered a fresh perspective on reality. In a very short time, Simone Bramante, or rather Brahmino, a name inspired by Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, garnered acclaim, likes, followers, and his vision, his distinctive style, and his use of color became his signature.
Today, after over twelve years since that 2011, Brahmino has survived the arrival of other platforms, the period when doing sponsored content labeled you as a sellout, and the thousands of young photographers who (perhaps following him) turned their profiles into portfolios. He continues to be a point of reference both nationally and internationally.
The key to it all? Always observation
Simone Bramante has never limited himself to looking at what was in front of the lens but has always observed what was around, the direction in which the world was heading, and what people needed to see. To do this, Brahmino has ventured to any place in the world, from the desert surrounding Abu Dhabi to the cold Swedish forests, from the shores of Australia to the heart of Africa. However, with his latest project, “What Italy Is,” he has (demonstrated) that there is no need to go far to discover something new.
Indeed, as he shared on the Spigola podcast by Collater.al, “traveling for me has never meant having to go far; on the contrary, traveling starts from the moment you know how to observe something different outside your door or with different eyes.” What Italy Is is a journey through our country with the eyes of Simone Bramante, which have the ability not only to observe but also to capture the extraordinary hidden behind those cities, those streets, those monuments we know well or thought we knew. Brahmino’s photography serves as a warning, as if it were saying, “Pay attention, keep your eyes open always, because beauty hides in that daily commute you all make from home to work.” Are you able to observe it?