I had the pleasure to photograph this lovely couple at the beginning of the month. They were going to get married in a few days, and liked the idea to get some pre-wedding photos in Oxford, a city they were looking to explore during a romantic day trip. I could not ask for more, being both a photographer, a guide, and chatting with such great people all in the same morning! I really wish them all the best in life!
The past never stops to grow up inside, to scream, to put its echoes in people’s minds. It is heavy; it stays attached to the hair, pulling it badly. Searching for another life, the cut is often a necessity.
“Era la mia città, la città vuota/all’alba, piena di un mio desiderio./Ma il mio canto d’amore, il mio più vero/era per gli altri una canzone ignota.” Sandro Penna
“Città vuota”, or “Empty city” in English, is a small series I shoot last October in London at the Barbican centre, following the suggestions of Hannah Zainuddin (that I thank for being again a wonderful model), as I was looking for an urban space with a minimal, modern and at the same time potentially desolated look where to work. The Barbican has all of it and still more. Sadly that day – mainly because of my train delay – I could not explore the area as much as I would have liked, but I will be there again soon to capture what the Italian poem above (that speaks about desolation, solitude, and love) is whispering to my mind.
I met Thu-Linh and Guillaume for the first time here in Oxford two years ago (writing it down, it sounds really a long time!), a few months after moving to England, and I often worked with them on separated projects (we also shared yummy meals from time to time!). So, I was pretty excited when they asked me to take photos to both of them in the city centre of Oxford. They wanted a last memory of the city to treasure once in the capital, and I could not agree more with their idea. Here is the result of our photo shoot done last July in a very cold morning. Just another little note: Thu-Linh sewed the dress she wore that day, and I think she did a great job! Don’t you?
I took these photos some weeks ago. Anna, the model, was leaving England and I thought it would have been great to have a photo-shoot at her home. The wind was blowing and the sun close to set. I found the garden smelling of a perfect nostalgic atmosphere. I simply followed the inspiration of the moment, thinking about my life and the houses I used to live in. I always had a garden, a wild field, or a park where to hide, read, think, and enjoy the sound of the hours. I am thinking about it now – as writing this post is waking my memories up – that it’s a long time I don’t hear cicadas singing all day long. My old room, in Sicily, must resound of their songs right now.
When I was a child I spent hours playing and reading next to an old tree of my parents’ garden. That place had something magic for me; the shadow cast by the leaves in those summery afternoons felt me protected. It was like being embraced by a grandfather, and I did not know any of my grandfathers. That’s why trees are an essential presence in my photographs. Here again I want to celebrate their strong and protecting beauty.
Here a few kind words written by Indroneel on the work done together: “It was one of those phases when all I wanted to do was to lie in bed with a tub of icecream. Shooting with Flavia was perhaps more relaxing than that. Flavia made me feel comfortable enough to be myself that day – bare and exposed, a bit retrospective and a bit melancholy.”
Soft skin, natural light, subtle colors, and silent emotions. Thanks to Andra for being such a lovely model and thanks to the improvised location too, as I discovered new ways to use the light and to talk with it.