Milanese artist and photographer born in 1999, Simone Biavati attended art school at the Brera Academy, where he is finishing his studies.
Since 2017 he has portrayed some of the most relevant faces of the Italian music scene, starting with Willie Peyote up to Marracash, passing through Coma Cose and Sfera Ebbasta.
He has documented performances and backstages, making editorial and commercial shoots with an eye always focused on the news that surrounds him and to his personal projects.
At the moment, he collaborates with realities such as Thaurus, Bomba Dischi, and Universal, as well as having made shooting for various brands, such as C.P Company / Puma / 3WAYZ and many others.
What are the rules of your photographic work?
I don’t really have rules. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a matter of fact that study is important as much as practice, and the knowledge of the rules is at the bottom of the more experimental works. I don’t like to force myself into rules but at the same time, I love them. Instead of rules, I’d like to think that my photos follow a creative journey that is boundary-free. In this era, they always ask us for the photo that someone needs immediately, without ever thinking about the long term.
I want to take photos that remain over time.
Tell us about an experience that definitely changed the way you work and made you grow.
There are a lot of situations that changed the way I work and made me grow, and they are almost all bad experiences, however, you learn above all with mistakes. I am grateful for the mistakes I have made and will do (even if not at the moment) because they will allow me to work better and better in the future. Speaking of beautiful situations, I recently shot for an Italian Brand “3WAYZ” (@3wayzcollection). The guys gave me total freedom and gave me time to think about the artistic direction and the shots, this allowed me to understand one thing, which might seem obvious, namely that having the possibility to be completely free and to have time to think brings you (almost) always to have interesting and beautiful shots.
When you photograph with your camera do you notice the same things you notice with your eyes or do your eyes capture what the camera doesn’t allow you to look at?
During the photography course at the Brera Academy (where I’m still studying) they taught me to look for and see photos even without a camera, thinking about what kind of lighting to give, the possible sensitivity of the film, what lens to use … This gave me the opportunity to better visualize the photos that I can have around me at any time and to mentally train with technical factors
If you were to create an open call, a contest, what kind of theme would you give? What would you like to look at and why?
Interesting question … I still don’t feel ready to create an open call or a contest, I still have to study many and participate in even more. At this point I would like to make an open call on open calls, leave total freedom and creativity to those who participate and see what comes out!
Tell us about your equipment, what kind of cameras do you shoot with what tools do you use and prefer?
I shot with different cameras, digital and analog. From the most standard ones (Medium format, Full Frame, APSC) to the most “crazy” ones (Nishika n8000, some minox). Right now I mainly shoot with my digital camera Canon 77D (which is not even a full-frame) and a Canon FTB with a 35mm on top. With this one, I almost always shoot the photos I prefer, especially if in black and white (which I then develop at home). I feel a different connection than all the other cameras with her, the camera does not have to be more important than the photographer, if so, and therefore your “style” is simply based on the camera you shoot with, it means that as a photographer you are not worth that much.
What do you think is highly conflicting with the concept of photography?
I do not find that there is any concept that is conflicting with the concept of photography, everything can photograph and be photographed.
I don’t believe only in the common means of photographing but rather, unconventional methods are welcome.
Are there any books you would recommend?
I’ve been buying a lot of books lately. I have a few technical ones, mostly I look at images. By the way, there are some books I always like to browse and read liken Jazz Life and Contact High, the Jazz and Hip Hop imagery, I found them really inspiring. I am also obsessed with magazines, Volume 5 of Sixteen Journal surprised me positively, it has very strong photographers from Bruce Gilden to Jack Davison, until Elizaveta Porodina. I’m waiting for the Office number with photos of Joe Cruz (which I find brilliant) and I’m trying to save money for some classic Taschen.
Tell us about your creative process and if there are any particular techniques you use during your work.
When I work with musical artists I always like to get to know them first. It helps a lot both in the pre-production phase (moodboard) and during the shots. Usually, after talking with the client a research phase begins, both mental and on the books/films that I have seen or that I know have that kind of imagery that is required. I have no particular techniques during the shots, I concentrate on doing as few shots as possible, in order to be very focused on making them all beautiful. Lately, I’m shooting from the camera towards the screen, nothing new but it is something that inspires me a lot, the retina of the screen taken from so close almost becomes a rough canvas where I can create surreal and non-surreal images.
What do you do with the discarded photos?
I look at them sometimes thinking about whether I was right to discard them or not, I almost always think I made the right choice but there is always the exception.
Do you follow a particular photographer or magazine?
I have many photographers, photos, imaginaries that inspire me. From the most classic Arnold Newman, Irving Penn, to the most recent Jack Davison, Joe Cruz, to many of my friends and colleagues such as Andrea Barchi and Ilaria Magliocchetti Lombi. I’m crazy for webzines and magazines, I would buy them all but I would have no more money to do anything, I am a super fan of the sixteen journal (and I do not hide that I would like to end up on them one day), of T mag, of Wu Magazine, clearly also your work, I find it really inspiring and refined. In short, I appreciate everyone who promotes young artists and photographers.
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