Stefano Sgambati is an Italian photographer who has worked as a producer, writer and a director for theatrical plays and short films for the past decade. He is been a photographer since 2006 and he aims to capture his visions and experiences in more complex projects, which will draw from old ideas for plays and screenplays.
How would you define beauty?
I don’t really have a canon for beauty, especially regarding women. Build, eye colour, hair colour, tattoos etc. don’t stop me from choosing a girl for my projects. It’s usually quite instant: I see a girl and I know I want to photograph her. It works well most of the time.
What do you love about photography?
I guess it’s the best way how I can express myself, and to share things I want to take out out of me. Fifteen years ago I thought I wanted to be a writer/director for films and theatre; two years ago I gave up for various reasons, personal, economic etc. I’ve been a photographer for ten years now and I know it’s the best language out there for me, for the things I want to say.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
What I love about research is that is basically never ending. When I began to portray women I tended to frame closeups: I was interested in their face mostly. Now I’m broadening my horizon, so to speak. Working with details, the bodies, the shapes, the lights, the framing … Everything moves me forward and the strength comes along.
What inspires you?
Many things. When I began I wanted to be a storyteller, and I want to go towards that direction in the future. My inspiration in girls varies from person to person: sometimes it’s their eyes, sometimes it a specific feature, sometimes it’s a simple expression. Sometimes it’s a glance on the street. A certain situation. A conversation. A beam of light. It really can be anything.
Film or Digital?
For my personal work I always shoot on film. It’s not just a matter of aesthetics, it’s also a matter of language: it brings that sort of vibration that I want to see in a picture. I don’t despise digital at all – I work with it as well, but not for my personal portfolio. I also contain myself – you cannot shoot 200 pictures per set, so you truly try to pull the best out of each picture.
What makes you happy?
Shooting with people I love, with girls I love, with people I respect and care about. When I look in the viewfinder a whole new world opens up for me, and I feel light. I feel I’m doing what I love. And life finally makes sense.
What’s next for you?
I have 15-20 photoshoots in the next month, so many more pictures. I have many other projects, some of them are already on my website. I haven’t thrown away the scripts and plays I had worked on in the past, and some of them will be a matter of research and new works in the future. I have many many things I want to do in the future.
photography: stefano sgambati