Corey Notaristefano is a 26-year-old photographer and poet from Melbourne, Australia. He lives with his wife in an old weatherboard home only a few blocks from the bay. If he is not at work he is normally drinking wine or whisky with friends or he’s off on his next adventure.
How did you started with photography and at what point did you develop such an unique style?
I got started in photography thanks to a Christmas present from my parents when I was 6. Even from that age I tried to tell stories through images and, while the photos were not technically very good it is still a really interesting perspective of the world. Photography made way for sports in my early teens and I had a promising sports career ahead of me but ultimately my creative passions came back to the forefront and I began to pursue photography again at age 17. While I do not believe my style is unique in terms of look or feel, life experiences ultimately inform my process and reasoning behind each image. I endeavour to be sensitive to my surroundings and the vulnerabilities of the people in my images. I am always waiting to capture the moments where the essence of a person is at the forefront if only for a second.
What’s the main inspiration for your work?
The main inspiration for this work is androgyny and non-conformity. I’m interested in the ideas surrounding gender norms in different societies and how our ideological beliefs of acceptability change over time. This is a new area in photography that I am yet to fully explore and I am so grateful for the models in this shoot for believing in my creative vision. Most of my work though focuses on isolation, gender, vulnerability and, mental health. I am inspired by a lot of creative’s in a number of fields. Visually by people like Ryan Plett, Kate Sweeney, Heather Hazzan, Ryan McGinley, Tamara Dean, Berber Theunissen, AdeY, Matt Fry and Hollie Fernando who are all photographers. Painters Mark Rothko, Anselm Kiefer, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Jackson Pollock. Audibly by creative’s John Coltrane the saxophonist, Edward Elgar the composer, Anis Mojgani and Kate Tempest the poets.
Are women important in your work?
I have had the great fortune to work with very talented creative women who have been instrumental in how I view the world and how I shoot both male and female subjects. I have found through collaborating and enjoying life with strong powerful driven women that I cannot help but be drawn to portray those qualities in my images of them. Likewise it is the softer more vulnerable emotion and intimacy that I endeavour to capture with the men that I collaborate with. I believe that photographing these often overlooked characteristics of genders that I can help to create a more empathetic and loving society.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Life doesn’t get easier as an adult though you wasted days daydreaming of being one. You will learn to roll with the punches and one day you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. When you marry tell your wife you love her daily, sometimes hourly, you will know when that is necessary. Never give up and continue to reach for the stars. Always love and be quick to forgive. Never stop learning!