The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti

The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti

Giulia Guido · 5 months ago · Photography

The protagonist of this The Guestbook is Valeria Dellisanti, a young photographer who, with delicacy and mastery, manages to capture small moments of intimacy. Among her projects stands out certainly “In The Rooms“, a series of shots that capture young girls inside their bedrooms, a safe place where growing up and questioning, but what captures our attention is her project “Distancing Diary” born during the quarantine, a sort of personal diary made up of small thoughts and beautiful photographs.

Curious by her style and her works, we asked Valeria a few questions and she told us how her passion was born, her projects, and much more.

Tell us how you approached the photograph. Is there a particular moment that you remember?

I would like to take advantage of this question that I often find in interviews and that is often asked to me, to make a reflection.
So I turn and rephrase the question to you and the readers of Collater.al: Who has not approached photography in the social and cultural context in which we live?
It is almost impossible in my opinion not to confront this medium in 2020. When photography became part of people’s habits, the idea of being able to take pieces of reality and of the world to be able to preserve, archive and review them whenever you want has given rise to a new mass phenomenon that has been accentuated by new technologies and social media. 
Today we all produce images spontaneously, as a natural form of relationship with others and with the world.  In this regard, I like to recall the words of Susan Sontag who wrote: “collecting photographs is collecting the world”.

As far as my personal experience is concerned, since I had the first mobile phone in my hand I started taking pictures, as I think everyone does. Slowly, thanks to my studies, to the stimuli of people in my life, so external and internal influences, I started to do it more and more consciously.  
I don’t remember a particular moment, it was more a path. 
Photography helps me to ask myself questions, to better understand who I am and who I want to be. It helps me to reflect and focus my gaze on what is happening and surrounds me, so for me it is an instrument of self-analysis.

One of your latest works is “In The Rooms“, a series of shots of girls in their bedrooms. Tell us how this idea came about and what aspects you wanted to bring out in the shots. 

I’m very attached to this photo series and I’m a bit tender to look at it today. 
Actually it’s a feeling that I feel a little bit for all my past works.
I started this project spontaneously, almost unconsciously. 
After graduating from art high school, in 2015 I moved to Bologna to continue my studies. This change led me to relate not only to a new city but also with a totally different and autonomous lifestyle. As soon as you change the city, the first step is to find an apartment or a room to live in. So in this context your room, especially if you live in a shared house, becomes an intimate space “a glass bell”.
Beware, bell jar not understood in the meaning of Sylvia Plath “I couldn’t hear anything- sitting on the deck of a ship or in a café in Paris or Bangkok- I would be under the same bell jar, suffocating in my own sour air”. But as a space in which to feel safe and comfortable, to discover and build your own identity.

I was very fascinated by the process of personalisation of the rooms, and above all to take pictures and relate to a subject in such an intimate environment in which every day one reworks one’s identity.
Thanks to this project I found myself photographing friends, but also girls I didn’t know at all. 
The series “In the Rooms” was important for me because it helped me to develop a photographic language and personality, it also allowed me to put myself on the line, to face my fears, my shyness and to confront the lives of other girls my age. 

Your latest project, however, is called “Distancing Diary” and was born during and because of quarantine. What it was like to tell yourself first-hand. 

It wasn’t easy to do it, especially in this context. 
Photography, or creating in general, is therapeutic: the are is an instrument of self-analysis.
In this situation, creating has helped me to confront myself, it has kept me busy and productive, it has helped me to confront myself with others. 
The creation of the diary has made me become aware of how changes coming from the outside pour into us.
After the publication of the project, some people contacted me and told me that they saw each other again in the pages of my diary and that in a way they felt less lonely. 
I think that sharing this time in my life has helped me and others to exorcise negative feelings.
On a structural level, for the first time, I have added a textual and figurative narrative path to the images, I really enjoyed experimenting in this sense.

From a creative and working point of view, how did you experience this lockdown period? 

I lived this period in alternating phases. Weeks in which I was anxious and confused, others in which I felt productive and positive. It was, and still is, a strange time. 
As a photographer friend of mine told me when we met after lockdown… 
“It felt like a bad dream.” What’s worrying is that, metaphorically, we haven’t come out of it yet and we haven’t recovered from this nightmare. 
Hopefully I’ll be back soon to shoot and recover from the canceled shots.

What advice, both technical and practical, would you give to a young person who wants to approach photography for the first time?

I’m not good at giving hahaha advice.
But I would say… read, study and understand the work of other photographers and always question themselves.

The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti
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The sensual and analogue photography of Chantal Convertini

The sensual and analogue photography of Chantal Convertini

Giulia Guido · 2 days ago · Photography

We were immediately captivated by the beauty of Chantal Convertini‘s shots. 

Sensual, delicate and intimate. 

Chantal Convertini is a 28-year-old girl who approached photography almost by chance and only later decided to turn this great passion into a job. Like many other photographers, the first approach she had with photography was through digital. Then, later, four years ago, she also approached the world of analog. This led Chantal Convertini to know how to juggle the two techniques very well, preferring analog for her personal projects. 

The protagonists of her shots are two, the light and the bodies of young women. 

The light is almost always natural, which lightens the interiors of houses and bedrooms slightly. Sometimes her photographs are illuminated by just a few rays of sunshine that penetrates between the slits of closed shutters and blinds. These rays rest on the naked bodies and faces of her subjects, often female, as in the series A feminine view on femininity, in which Chantal Convertini gives her personal vision of the female universe. 

Often, however, she puts herself in front of the lens, creating fantastic selfportraits, intimate and personal. 

Below you can find a selection of her shots, to find out more go to her website, her Instagram profile and her Patreon profile, where you can also support her financially.  

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The sensual and analogue photography of Chantal Convertini
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Contemporary photography comes to Bologna with PhMuseum Days

Contemporary photography comes to Bologna with PhMuseum Days

Giulia Guido · 1 day ago · Photography

PhMuseum was founded in 2012 as the first online museum dedicated to contemporary photography with the aim of offering a space accessible to everyone from everywhere that would promote visual culture. Over the years PhMuseum has organised various activities and initiatives, from photography courses to training programmes and high-level masterclasses. This year it wanted to go even bigger, abandoning its digital form for a while and becoming a physical event.

From 23 to 26 September, in fact, the Binario Centrale of Bologna’s DumBo will host the first edition of the international photography festival PhMuseum Days.

The theme chosen for this first edition is A New Beginning and it perfectly fits both the historical moment we are living and the new decade that has just begun and because the event represents a new adventure for PhMuseum.

The 4-day programme includes individual exhibitions, a collective installation, workshops, portfolio reviews, screenings, performances and a space dedicated to independent publishing.

Guests include Argentinean photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg, whose Natur-e reflects on the relationship between man, nature and technology, and Brazilian photographer Angelica Dass, who will be exhibiting Humanae, a project that seeks to demonstrate that what defines the human being is his inescapable uniqueness.

There will also be the Encounter project by Italian photographer Silvia Rosi, who starts from her family album to tell stories of migration and diaspora through self-portraits and performances, and Afterlife by French photographer Vasantha Yogananthan, who tells the eternal challenge between good and evil by reinterpreting a passage from the Indian epic poem Ramayana.

In addition, three works chosen from over 700 projects submitted through the festival’s open call will be on display: Human by Ecuadorian photographer Fabiola Cedillo, focusing on the human need to reproduce, naturally and through technology; Fading Senses by Polish photographer Ligia Poplawska, on the implications of the loss of ecosystems on our mental and emotional health; and finally, C-R92/BY by British photographer Samuel Fordham, a project focusing on thousands of British families separated as a result of Home Office policies.

Visit the PhMuseum website and follow the Instagram profile to keep up with all the updates.

Fading Senses, Ligia Popławska
C-R92_BY, Samuel Fordham
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Luisa Mazzanti, between portraits and artistic nude

Luisa Mazzanti, between portraits and artistic nude

Giulia Guido · 1 day ago · Photography

Photography is much more than an image. It is an experience that starts from the photographer, passes through the subject and reaches the viewer. It is sharing emotions, moods, values and feelings.
If you’re not sure this is the case, Luisa Mazzanti‘s shots will certainly change your mind. 

Born in Lucca and moved to Milan, Luisa Mazzanti is a fine-art photographer of only 23 years old who, despite her young age, already has clear ideas on what messages and what stories to tell with her photos.

There are two genres in which Luisa has specialized, the portrait and the artistic nude.
Through the portraits she manages to capture the attention and curiosity of the viewer: the gazes of the models that point straight at us wrap us and do not let us go.
Instead, through the photographic nude she fights the aesthetic canons imposed by society and shows bodies free to show their forms in all their unique beauty. 

Sometimes it also happens that she becomes the subject of the shots, engaging in self-portraits of impact in which photography becomes the means by which to enhance their bodies and the body, with its natural beauty elevates photography to art. 

Read also: The intimate and analog self-portraits by Celeste Ortiz

Check out below some shots of Luisa Mazzanti and do not miss her future works follow her on Instagram and visit her website

Luisa Mazzanti
Luisa Mazzanti
Luisa Mazzanti, between portraits and artistic nude
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Luisa Mazzanti, between portraits and artistic nude
Luisa Mazzanti, between portraits and artistic nude
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The taste of summer in Julien Pounchou’s photos

The taste of summer in Julien Pounchou’s photos

Giulia Guido · 1 day ago · Photography

A summer is always exceptional, whether it is hot or cold, dry or wet.” wrote Gustave Flaubert. That summer is always exceptional is an indisputable truth, it is that time of year when everything seems possible, when everything is waiting for a new beginning, when our days are freed from the daily routine, our mind is freed from duties and work to do, our body is freed from all its beauty. Summer is waiting, happiness and nostalgia at the same time. Capturing the essence of summer is almost impossible and when someone succeeds in this task it is always a pleasant rediscovery. One of these is Julien Pounchou, a French photographer who lives and works in Barcelona. 

Julien specializes in portraits and fashion photography, but among his work, there is always a constant that can be found in all his shots: the summer atmosphere

The subjects he photographs, from the colorful costumes, to the faces without make-up, to the tanned skin, are illuminated by the warm light typical of the summer months, the sun’s rays embrace everything and looking at the images we can almost feel its warmth. Julien Pounchou’s photographs are extremely natural and the choice of analog makes them even more particular, immediately giving them a style that recalls that of the 60s and 70s. And perhaps it’s their spontaneity that makes them as exceptional as Flaubert’s summer. 

Below you can find a selection of shots by Julien Pounchou, but to find out more go to his website and follow him on Instagram!

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