Photocrowd member spotlight: Interview with Alessandro Passerini

Alessandro Passerini

“I have a healthy and inexhaustible curiosity, like the one I had as a child. ”

The images of Italian photographer Alessandro Passerini are among the most loved by Photocrowd experts and voters. We spoke to Alessandro to find out more about him and his photography.

What got you into Photography?

I’ve been studying photography and graphic design since I was sixteen, first at school and then for work, and I'm still passionate about it. I chose the visual arts naturally, because they allow me to show anyone how I see the world, and I love expressing myself in this way.

© Alessandro Passerini

Some of the natural locations in your photos are breathtaking. What are your favourite spots to photograph?

There is a plateau in the centre of Italy called Campo Imperatore. The photographer, writer and explorer Fosco Maraini described it as Tibet on a small scale, coining the term 'Little Tibet', which is still used. In this land there are herds of wild horses, cows, wolf packs, and shepherds that still practice transhumance. In the last ten years hermits returned there - they live in-between these mountains without any modern comforts.

© Alessandro Passerini

You photograph horses a lot. What makes them photogenic for you?

I love ‘Little Tibet’ and the wild horses that inhabit it - their volume is impressive. What attracts me to them is their united force, as well as their incredible courtesy when they themselves approach me and begin to play. I spend whole days among the herds, playing with them, and at the end I always bring home an incredible quantity of photographs of these horses. I love to adapt myself to their pace - that natural slowness they have.

Runaway by © Alessandro Passerini

I’m really fascinated by your photo ‘Runaway’. What was the idea behind it? Was it staged?

The project was created for the graphics of the latest album of musician Gianni De Chellis named ‘Bondage’. It was inspired by different sexual practices and their social impact. For the project I called two friends, a performer and a model, and the result is a series of shots that are not vulgar or superficial, but that address sexuality and freedom from female point of view. The shot in question is one of them, and it all started in the most natural and instinctive way without any forced emotion or drama. The house that appears in the photographs is that of the performer, and is presented exactly as it is.

© Alessandro Passerini

Is there part of your photo equipment that you consider essential?

Undoubtedly the camera, whatever it is. The brand and the model are not important - just have one. Moreover, I need a healthy and inexhaustible curiosity, quite similar to the one I had as a child. Without this I would not have a way of seeing anything interesting around me, and the days would be boring and colourless.

© Alessandro Passerini

Are there any particular photographers or visual artists that you take inspiration from?

I studied art in high school, and my first loves in visual art were painters Toulouse-Lautrec, Friedrich and all the Symbolists of 1900s. I also loved futurism, impressionism and expressionism.

The photographers that I admire are many and different. As a boy I loved Anton Corbijn, and he still remains a strong inspiration. Over time I also discovered Vittorio Sella, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Fritz Henle, Edward Weston, Ed Clark, Sebastião Salgado, Fosco Maraini, Heinrich Harrer, Kevin Meredith, Terry Richardson and many, many others.

© Alessandro Passerini

Some of your images have a cinematic quality to them. Do you feel like movies inspire your work in any way?

I think so. I love the films of Charlie Chaplin and the big screen in general. Lately I've been worshiping the work of Robert Yeoman, cinematographer for the films of Wes Anderson. But I also love the photographs of Wim Wenders and Anton Corbijn, who are not only filmmakers, but also quality photographers. I find their films extremely fascinating, and their photographs even more so.

© Alessandro Passerini

What role does Photocrowd play in your photographic practice?

Photocrowd is extremely challenging. It’s great to have opinion of experts, professionals of photography, and at the same time also of the public. It offers a different perspective that helps to grow and understand in which direction you can move in photography. It’s a great inspiration and incentive to do better.

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