A family photo

mom-sitting-at-couch-black-and-white

My mother was the author of most of our family photos. She used to have an old Zeiss Ikon from the 50′ that my grandfather gave her as a present and that she then passed to me.I still have it , and even when mom believed  it  had stopped  working I never gave up on it. I had it cleaned  here in hong Kong and was determined to give it a second life. And I succeeded. To this day that camera is the most precious one I have, far more than my newest Nikon. She loved that camera, I bet it was at the time the only one she was familiar with. I love that camera too and if I close my eyes I can still see my mother on the beach taking photos of us , holding a camera that even in the south of Italy of the eighties looked a bit extravagant. But she was proud of it claiming it took the best photos, and I always liked the way she cherished it , how carefully she moved the dials for the settings , how attached she was to it in spite of hoards of easy compact cameras flooding the market. Yet at some point my mom stopped taking our photos. I really only have a handful of photographs of my teenage years and there have been times I was aching for them. I wanted to see myself,when I was nowhere to be seen.

Photography, visual arts in general have always been fascinating for me , but the thought of one day stepping into a career as a photographer has always looked so far fetched.I used to sit in art galleries and inhale the smell until my nostrils burned.  Photos have always been an essential part of my life, something that has always been somewhat precious. Although always interested in photography and film making and always daydreaming to pursue it one day, reality kicked in and I made different choices, choices I do not regret because they brought me on different ,exciting adventures, and eventually where I am now.In March 1999 , as a fresh Mandarin student  at University,I went for a semester at the Beijing Film Academy  and while I enjoyed immensely being immersed in Chinese culture and study the language it was the environment of the school the most fascinating thing to me.
I would spend hours flipping through my friends portfolios enchanted but what they were able to create. I was seeing them filming movies as homework, we would binge watch movies in each others’ rooms and I even took part in some of their assignments.To this day those months hold a special place in my heart and had a big impact on me.

I was given my first dslr in 2008 by my brother as a present for my wedding to fulfill a long time desire to pursue photography. I played with it for two years before taking my first foundation class in 2010.After that I never looked back, and although I didn’t proceed always fast and steady, my love for photography is still more than alive after almost ten years. I always thought that if I ever had to start a business I would have done it based on a meaningful purpose and today that something is creating images. I create for self expression, sometimes for visual pleasure or simply for self affirmation. I create because it’s a form of meditation and of enhancement of my everyday. I photograph for the connection I create with my children and I create to document, just like my mum did long time ago.I am sure she didn’t have any artistic velleity but still it felt important to her,just like it feels important to me. And now that through her I am learning how fragile memory is, it has  become my purpose. The other day as I was looking through some old photos of her, one image stuck with me. A group of people looking at the camera. A family photo. A year later that photo was taken, my mom would lose her mother and to this day that photo is probably the only one where  her family is posing for the camera altogether. There is great power in family photos,they tell stories otherwise untold they frame moments otherwise gone and although these days we are simply inundated by meaningless pictures it’s even more important to cherish the meaningful one. So this is the job I undertake, to frame those moments , to document your family alongside mine, to create art with our children portraits hoping that one day that photograph will make the pain of a good bye or of a moment passed in time far too quickly a little bit sweeter.If you wish to know how together we can try to stop the time, head over here. And thanks so much for reading. It feels good to be back.

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