Interview with Enrico Labriola
by Ling GU
Q: Started from a quite early age 14, you have been taking photos. What was the first attraction ofphotography to you? And what was your first photo about? (Is it in Basilicata?)
A: The wonderful emotions Basilicata is able to offer to people who want to discover its nature (for manyaspects different and in those years still untouched) as well as the amazing Panorama the region is ableto offer where sensations I could not ignore. The first images I did capture of this wonderful nature wherefor many aspect simple but at the same time full of passion.
Q: So in the first period of creation, landscape was your orientation, the 'bucolic' approach to photography?
As introduced above, I simply could not ignore the sensations and the emotions the region was offering. Atthe same time I wanted to try to share (also with friends and family) the beauties of my country. I startedtraveling discovering the countryside around what I was considering my little village.
Q: You chose Milan for studies. Why Milan? And soon after you became assistant to great professionalphotographers, may I ask who the tutors were? And how they influenced your work, even style maybe?
A: I did always consider Milan as one of the most creative Cities in Italy, especially for art andphotography; a city which was (and for some aspects still is) capable of offering unique experiences interms of work and knowledge. If you are really willing to learn and discover some of the aspects ofphotography, Milan is currently still the home town of a great number of famous or using an expression Iprefer, well known photographers, which are always ready to open their studios as well as their knowledgeto new assistant. Influenced, off course (initially) I was influenced, everything was so new sodifferent so simply perfect and amazing but at the same time I was able to follow my feelings, and soonI found my own road.
Q: Afterwards, your main focus transferred on portraits, would you like to share with us yourunderstanding about portraits? How its special to you?
I am not ready to hide that I am mainly interested in the emotional, and especially in the human side ofpeople. Willing to try to provide a reply to your question, My understanding of a portrait, and how it isspecial to me is something which cannot be easily described using few words; somehow I am trying toallow my images (instead of my words) to perform this kind of description, by sharing with viewers theemotions which were captured, and the feelings I have been trying to Jail into single frame.
Dialogue, expressions as well as photography are all aspects of our culture that I personally treasure andconsider to be a unique form of art. Simple expressions like a smile, a surprised face are emotions which
are allowing people to communicate, just like somehow images do. Personally, I do consider dialogue tobe a form of art that is allowing people to indicate the importance of each value separately.
Q: Is there a person who is your muse? Maybe like Ada to Alex Katz.
A: I was often asked this question, and the answer is no there is not a muse. My work, the singleshootings, the locations and the people as well as the design and the creativity meetings are all importantingredients which are necessary to be able to deliver a good atmosphere.
Q: Do you often work in your studio for the portraits? Is there any special setting in this particular space foryou?
A: Working in the studio, or using a location, are both great opportunities, but I personally believe that youneed to have a clear idea of the image you are willing to create.
Q: Among the variety of photography youve been mastering, which is more preferred: Reportage, Glamour,Portraits, Fashion and Advertising?
A: I do not think that Reportage, Glamour, Portraits, Fashion and Advertising can simply be divided as ifthey were different activities. There is something special in each one of them, and all of them are able tomake you grow both professionally as well as emotionally.
Q: How you understand fashion photography? Whats fashion to you?
A: I think that trying to define the concept of fashion is not as simple as it might appear. Taste and Luxuryare according to my opinion expression, which are often used in association with the word and theconcepts of fashion.
Q: Any story can be shared for taking the photo of Signore Berlusconi family?
A: I am sure you will understand how much I treasure privacy and more important how much I respectpeople.
Q: Youve been working with quite a few celebrities, is there any principle to take along with them?
A: I do believe that allowing them to feel comfortable with themselves is for sure among the importantaspects, and at the same time, you need to make them feel that you are there to work together.
Q: And how you will do the homework before taking photos of the celebrity? Means get to know them.
I always study before a shooting. I do respect the history and the background, the single details, the humanaspects as well as the difficulties which maybe, in some cases might have generated problems of variousnatures are all aspects which need to be taken into consideration.
Q: Whom youve been co-operated more than once and enjoyed the most?
A: Quincy Jones.
Q: Which photo is your own favorite?
Each single image I had the opportunity to take tried to describe something special, most of them are oftenstill allowing me to experience one more time though my memory, some of the emotions I felt when thepicture was taken.
Q: Whom youd wish to take photo of, but not yet?
In alphabetic order: Barack Obama, Joseph Ratzinger, Vladimir Putin.
Q: I guess you must receive lot critics on your works. As Wilde said in the Preface of Picture of Dorian Gray,The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.Do you mind what critics say about your works?
Critics are always helpful, and it helping people to always improve their work, especially when it is made bypeople who are having a good education in image culture.
Q: During the more than 30 years of photography, were there moments you felt tiresome?
I guess I have always been lucky,
Q: Youve traveled a lot places, Im quite impressed by the reportage in Israel and Kenya. Would you like toshare with us some stories from these journeys?
A: I am sure you had the opportunity to review the images also the ones which are published onwww.enricolabriola.com. As a photographer, I have tried to collect and capture the emotions, the feelingsand the sensations I was living and feeling looking thought the photo camera; I would like to answerthis question, asking you if as a viewer you have been able feel some of the feelings I have been trying toshare with the public.
Q: Once you said youd like to express 'the contrast between truth and inner world', in search of abalanced but refined image capable of fusing reality with imagination. Would you like to tell me a bit moreabout your philosophy towards photography?
A: I am sure you can understand that trying to summarize a topic of such a complexity might offer toreaders a different and probably not proper approach to my real feelings towards photography; a wordbeside a work which I am sure you have understood is representing for me a way of describing emotionsand life even if today, photography is more and more used as a simple way to record events, describingframe by frame, a world which is fundamentally changing.
I have promised myself way to record events - describes a world fundamentally changed
Q: Is there any special techniques you apply on photography? E.g.: DIY some cameras to approachparticular effects.
A: Light is having a great influence in my technique. I do respect and treasure light, the shadows it is able tocreate, and the colors it is able to emphasize.
Q: You use more often film or digital? Why?
A. Film is and will always be a unique emotion that is having a great part in my life. Unfortunately nowadaysI too often asked to use mainly digital.
Q:14 A: Basilicata Panorama
Q: Ada Alex KatzA:
Q:A:Barack Obama, Joseph Ratzinger, Vladimir Putin
Q: 30 A:
2004 2005 Sforzesco 2007 2007 2010,6.25th -8.25th 2011,6.15th-28th
Ogilvy and mather,ItalyYoung and Rebican,ItalyRed Cell,ItalyPublicis, ItalyEuro Rscg BarcelonaLeo Burnett BeirutCollistarCosmoprofSir Safety SystemDomperignonRadio 105Play RadioRadio DeejayRadio MontecarioMTV Automobil Club ItalySap ItalyMediolanumFox TVSkyFestina GroupHotelplanGucciAngelo NardelliGrazia PiGrey MerGiorgio GratiLinea PelleBecome
Il Mondo Paris Match
2004 Music and Image Societ Umanitaria, Milano,Italy
2005 I Colori Del Rajastan,Castello Sforzesco, Milano,Italy
2007 Uffa!Stanchi Della Solita Vita, Milano,Italy
2007 Reportage Burkina Faso,Just Cavalli,Milano,Italy
2010,25th June-25th August Festival International De La Photographie De Mode, Cannes, France
2011,15th-28th June 9th Ediction Festival International De La Photographie De Mode &
Ogilvy and mather,Italy
Young and Rebican,Italy
Euro Rscg Barcelona
Leo Burnett Beirut
Finland Tourist Board
Sir Safety S