I love discovering young and creative talents - this endeavour seems to be becoming the main theme of my blog and I couldn't be more satisfied that blogging has (quite unconsciously) put me on this path. So here I am, happy to present you the fascinating photography of a 19-year-old Elena Pezzetta. She's a freelance photographer from Bari (south of Italy) whose work is absolutely inspiring, a bit dreamy and realistic at the same time, and just enough melancholic for those with a more gloomy taste. Elena's passion lies in creating new worlds through photography. Her vision extends beyond the realm of the camera, creating images that can be quite surreal. Each image is a story for itself. Girl's got an appetite for adventures, new experiences, and she says that testing her own strength gives her the shivers. She's deeply connected with nature and that's why she's gonna fly over the Amazonian rain forest when she's all grown-up and rich. There's nothing Elena enjoys more than listening to the eternal sound of waves crashing, because it reminds her of her (eternal) struggle between creation and destruction. Does she imagine her life without art? Nope, can't do. She claims, totally unpretentiously, that she doesn't know if she's an artist, but she sure knows that her life would be a misery without art. She's currently studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and at the same time practicing photography and perfecting her writing skills. I see a bright future for this young lady, she sure is the living definition of creativity! Check for yourself.
First of all, the most standard question in my interview book: how did you get into photography?
Hi! So, I got into photography almost just for fun, to discover a new way to spend my time. When I took my first photo I was about 10 years old and I saw a lot of magic in it. When the photographer had to print the photos and saw the ones I took he said something like: "What's this shit?!". Since then it's been like a challenge to me, to improve myself 'til I get near to where I want to be and understand that it's not all about technique.
What sorts of themes do you try to explore through your photography? Are there any in particular that you try to capture more often?
I really like to express a somewhat strong melancholy through my photos. Lonely people that don't belong to places, wild hearts that are racing into the wild, and also the pure side of life, immense landscapes or seascapes that are inviting you to get lost. I crave for depth, while lightness and simple surface of things gives me nausea.
What is currently the focus of your work?
I guess the main thread of my photography lays in the self-portraits which mostly represent me as a ghost, a tormented soul. This is the center; straying a little, I'd say I'm focusing on realizing photos whose subjects are lost creatures wandering the Earth, with no roots and a bit desperate. I'm currently also obsessed with the sea, the waves and the water, and I have some new projects I can't wait to realize!
Do all your photographs go through some kind of post-processing treatment? If so, what kind of effects do you try to produce with Photoshop or other similar tools?
Yes, I post-process my photos using Photoscape or Gimp. Concerning the scenery I try to give my photos a soft tune or a feel of evanescence. One of the few things I can do and like a lot is to rotate colors; I've obtained such nice series by making the grass and the leaves red!
It's only natural that style changes over time in every field of art. How has your style evolved from your early shots?
When I made my first step I was very cautious and ignored what was really important: experimenting and having your own style. My first photos were very clear and simple, because I was not very close to my inner artistic world and to what I wanted to express. Then I grew up, gained some new experiences, acquired a certain consciousness of myself and my own vision of the world and I realized I wanted chaos, confusion, magic, blurred images, the moment slipping away. I try to stay away from the over-crystallized images and the surface of things as they appear.
Do you always have a preconceived concept of what you want to shoot?
No, absolutely not. Actually, when I have to shoot other people, I have to choose the location, make-up, and styling, and make an idea about the poses. However, I totally love when things come out by themselves when I'm somewhere and I feel the urgency to just take my camera and improvise everything. That's also why I love the street photography; there's nothing pre-constructed.
Who and/or what inspires you and why? I don't necessarily mean in the field of photography, just life in general.
That's a very, very good question! Well, I'd say nature has an essential role in my life. I grew up in a little town and always spent a lot of time in my garden, parks and countryside. I also live close to the seaside. So, my inspiration mostly comes from nature, since it's got the power to make me feel reborn, to make me move to another dimension; I could never imagine living in a metropolis. Also, I've always read a lot since I was a child and I guess that has a big influence on my imagination. Oh, and travelling! I starve for adventures! I cannot stay in one place for too long, I don't even wanna have a home to come back sometimes.
If you could take a snap of any person (past or present), who would you choose and why?
Well, maybe I'd have to say I'd choose someone very important to me, but I'm a little afraid of doing such a portrait because it could diminish the strength of her/his image in my memory. It's a paradox, but sometimes I think that trying to capture something or someone is the best way to lose them. The most important places and faces I've dealt with until now are just fixed points which emerge, from time to time, from the flux of life and memory and then go with the flow.
If every photograph should contain one crucial element, what would it be in your opinion?
I believe that must be the truth. One must express what he is, not what he wants others to see. I think this is the key to turn photography into art. The truth of a moment, a feeling, a mood, released by superstructures. To not look for spectacularity.
What's the weirdest thing that has happened to you during a photo shoot?
I was shooting with a girl on a hill and I made her lay down on the ground with high grass and everything. We knew there were probably animals down there, but when we heard some strange noises and something like a squeak, which was getting louder and closer, the model started screaming and got really scared. Of course, I had to beg her to stay there and let me keep on shooting. I had lots of fun; I love not to be the model sometimes!
What's currently on your playlist?
The Cure, The National, James Blake, and Kashiwa Daisuke forever.
I would imagine many young photography talents are asking you for advice. What do you say to them?
My advice is just to start doing something, experimenting, taking photos as much as you can, because learning while practicing is the best. It's also important to understand that if you wanna do something great you have to take risks, you have to fail sometimes, you have to get involved. Do not conform at all, do not do something just for the good aesthetics or because it can please the taste of a large band of people. Know yourself, trust yourself, express yourself.