Emiliano Vittoriosi was born in 1990 in a small town near Naples. He is an emerging photographer who currently lives in Berlin. Italian who grew up in a hamlet of Naples, has allowed him to give vent to photographic research and more. He studied artistic techniques from a very young age, with photography he manages to carve out a collection of elements and experiences. He studied self-taught photography, experimenting and working as a photographer in various fields. In 2011 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples in the course of New Art Technologies. In 2015/16 he acquired experience and technique in editing attending the Master Shooting From Inside with Lina Pallotta. Already passionate about binding and creation of art objects, he participated in the workshop with Michela Palermo, Openspine in Rome for the event of the Festival Funzilla. His work is based on research and reuse of the same images, in order to analyze multiple solutions and facets of personal life and beyond. In 2016 he moved to Berlin, where he acquired an avalanche of experiences from linguistic ones to those related to the use of iconography. In 2018 he attended the University of Parma in the course of Contemporary Communication and Media for the creative industries, but he left his studies after the death of his mother in July 2019. In 2020 he returned to live in Berlin. Currently he works on various photographic books and his work is channeled on the editorial realization of various photographic projects.
What are the rules of your photographic work?
Rules is a very big word as far as I’m concerned. More than rules, I rely on instincts, on sensations. For me, photography is simply a tool that helps me to partially realize what I perceive from reality, it helps me to stop in a certain sense, but it also pushes me to speed up. Photography really has a lot to say. Let’s say that if I had to analyze a rule, it would be to have no rules, but to let yourself go with the flow, to be inspired without judgment. Don’t expect anything, at most create the situation.
Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes a difference?
Surely there are thousands of techniques and tools that make a difference. It depends of course on the project, the situation and the possibilities. For example, I like to use psychological techniques during my street walks, and then combine them with the camera, which by having it in my hand and down low most of the time, allows me to take pictures from perspectives that I generally can’t look at with my own eyes, and leaves me free to capture my surroundings without affecting the scene.
Tell us about an experience that definitely twisted the way you work and made you grow.
There are many experiences that have changed the way I work, I am definitely a person without genres, or rather say that I am constantly swimming in the world, it is difficult for me to say what I like. But sometimes maybe a little easier to say what I don’t like. For example, when I started to take portraits, it helped me a lot to talk to all the people I was portraying, I would stay whole days with perfect strangers, we shared many thoughts, and we shared the materiality of being. All the conversations, the photographs taken made me grow, helped me open up more and more.
Was there ever a difficult situation? How did you react? Tell us.
One difficult situation was during the Master’s program with Lina Pallotta at Officine Fotografiche, every week we had to show the photos we produced for our project. The first months were very difficult, because I had no idea of a project, after many weeks of demoralization and loss of confidence in myself. I realized that I was the project, and that all this searching for the idea was not really a photographic act, but just an influence. In fact, since I realized that photography is nothing more than an extension of me, I started to shoot everything that really interested me without having to think much about how or when. It’s made me realize that working on an idea is certainly important, but even more important is realizing that I can never do something long-term when it’s not part of my life. It’s like if I wake up tomorrow morning and want to be a doctor, without ever having studied anything, it’s just possible after years of practice and study.
How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you portray?
It depends on the environment I’m in. But usually all environments always have something interesting for me, depending on how long I’m there. The subjects I portray are generally not aware of what I’m doing, as I said before I don’t like to influence the environment or the subjects, so it’s me who adapts and evolves according to what I have ahead of me. But if I have to work with a particular subject, as I said before, I always try to get to know the person with curiosity and without judgment. Talking always helps in any situation, as does respecting a common silence. Communication helps us in any case.
Also, I ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.
One thing I love to do for fun is this, recommended when there are two people: Take your camera, with a wide angle lens, put it low under your chest, and set the autofocus, like in the direction of many people, and then set it to continuous shooting. As soon as you have it all set up, give an inhuman scream, and shoot without fear, you’ll get some great photos of surprise, terror, smiles, and more in one move.
Tell us about your gear, what kind of cameras do you shoot with?
I shoot with pretty much whatever I have in my hands, little does it matter to me. My current camera is an Olympus OMD-EM10 MarkII, I’ve been shooting for 10 years with a Nikon D90, but I always love to change a lot of compact format analog cameras, or mirrorless.
Are there any books you would recommend?
All the books you can read are a source of inspiration and knowledge. But never take anything for granted when reading books on photography, it’s important to learn but also to forget, to evolve and never have stakes in your thinking.
- David Campany – On Photography
- Marc Asnin – Uncle Charlie
- Gigliola Foschi – The Photographs of Silence. Restless forms of seeing
- John Berger – Ways of Seeing
- Pino Cacucci – Tina
What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?
Practically everything. I’ve always been attracted to everything around me, I can’t generally be influenced, so I can draw my personal tastes from almost everything around me. I love movies, music, cartoons, video games, social media, psychology and sociology, and so much more. Let’s say that I think an effective source of inspiration is to eat everything, but above all also to take a nice walk, miles long to digest everything and store only what we need at the appropriate time.