Be amazed by the astounding photographs of Emanuele Marzocca. This interview with this brilliant Italian photographer will take you to a fresh world full of inspiring images. His vision is truly encouraging and is uniquely creative. Read on and get to know more about Emanuele. Enjoy!
Hello Emanuele, how are you? Can you tell us a bit of yourself and what you do?
I’m fine, thank you. Answering this first question, I can tell you that presently I am a semi-retired man of almost 65 (I will be 65 in November 2015) and having a lot of free time in my hands I dedicate it mainly to photography, traveling and a bit towards graphic design which along with photography has always been one of my passions.
How would you define photography and how do you express yourself in photography?
Although photography in its infancy wasn’t really regarded as an art by itself, it’s clear that nowadays it is considered art in all respects. Photography though has many, many aspects and expresses itself in many diverse ways… would it be the documentation one, or the advertising one, or the creative aspect, photography is always at the center stage through many different uses that can be done of it. I put myself more on the creative side as I shoot my photos more through my mind’s eye than merely reproducing what I see in the viewfinder. I do prefer, when possible, to focus on a particular aspect of the subject that I’m shooting rather than at the bigger picture I have in front of myself.
What made you decide to go pro in photography? In other words, when did it become your major source of income?
Going pro in photography was a never well defined moment in my life. I happened to start shooting when I was still a kid and as my results were considered to be very good for a kid I was encouraged, especially from an uncle who was an excellent photographer, to do more and better. I therefore embraced photography as one of my major hobbies.
In my late twenties I happened to meet a person, who eventually became one of my closest friends, who was an art critic and also very much involved into the environmental protection. This person after having seen my photos asked me whether I would like to have an exhibition related to an environmental and educational program that the EU Commission was developing here in Italy. I accepted and probably that was the real moment when I became professional and started to dedicate most of my time and efforts to my photographic production. This went on for several years and I had over 40 exhibitions in several locations here in Italy, but in the end I started to grow tired of producing mainly the same themes and repeating myself time and again in my shots.
For a while I took a sort of “vacation” from photography as I found myself depleted of any inspiration and as I think of myself more of a creative person than for instance a reporter, I stayed away from my cameras for quite a time.
But of course a passion cannot be extinguished like a fire with some water, as it came back and since I wasn’t tied to a professional production anymore, I was able to express myself in total freedom. I therefore started again to shoot my photos the way I wanted and felt.
Who inspires you? Who are your favourite photographers?
There are many great professional photographers out there that could be inspirational for me but I tend to be myself and try to do what I feel more than look at their great art and achievements. I admire a great photo from a great artist but I would never try to do something similar. I think that each one of us has to follow his/her own instincts as for me shooting a photo means also to put into that shot my own feelings and emotions and these can’t be copied from anyone else.
I follow Behance regularly as I like to see what other photographers do and how they do it and for instance there I have a great inspirational friend who is Bettina Güber. Although she doesn’t describe herself as a professional but as an amateur photographer, because she doesn’t sell her work but she shoots photos for her own pleasure. However the quality, the editing and what she puts of herself into her images goes well beyond the amateur stage, she in the end is a real professional photographer.
This said, I have to add that although I admire her art (and also the art and inspiration of some other great names there like Mary Michelle Scott just to mention another one) I feel inspired more from her feelings than her way to photograph. I would never try to copy her or anyone else for that matter, I have my own way of shooting and editing my photos which for me is unique.
Maybe that in the end the results I get resemble someone else’s work but that for me is pure coincidence, it’s just a convergence of feelings more than techniques.
Almost all of your photographs are plants, animals or flowers. Can you tell us why you chose them as your main subject?
This question is rather hard to answer as I usually don’t have any specific preference about my subjects but being an admirer of nature I love to look around for instance when I take my daily walks and discover lovely flowers and plants or animals and find them interesting subjects for my photos.
In principle I love to shoot almost anything but I am very much attracted by the little everyday things that quite often people tend to overlook. Since I live in in a lovely area of mountains, hills and luxurious nature it comes out very easily for me to shoot this kind of subjects.
What have become your biggest marketing tools in the last three years?
As of now, living a comfortable semi-retired life, I am not really into the mainstream of moneymaking production though I love to share my work and knowledge with others as I think that the best way to relate myself to other photographers, being them professional or amateurs, is not to compete but collaborate, exchange ideas and knowledge of our skills both in shooting and editing pictures and share what we have learned in our “photographic life “ so far.
I find Behance a very good marketing tool as the level of its members is mostly quite high and most of them are rather innovative and creative and for me creativity is the most important thing in the art of photography.
Can you tell us about your most memorable shoot that you’ve done so far?
I never thought about a “most memorable shoot” within my production as for me each and every shot I have taken has had its own importance and represented and still represents a particular moment of my life, a distinct instant where I infused a very specific feeling that I had in that very moment.
Having thousands and thousand of photos in my collection it would be very difficult for me to look at all of them and define now what is my most memorable shoot I’ve done so far.
What’s the single most important piece of advice you have received as an emerging photographer?
As I have said before, when I was still a kid and I started shooting photos I luckily had an uncle who was a great photographer and he of course gave me the basic hints on how to shoot a good photo, the right lighting, the subject, the framing. Do not forget that many years ago we didn’t have computers and we couldn’t count on the precious help of great software like Photoshop and the editing was very, very limited. However he also gave me what I deem to be the most important advice in order to get a good photo.
He said to me “look carefully into the viewfinder, compose your image as if it were a painting… don’t just quickly shoot but reflect on what you see and what you want to see in your final image as that will be a real photo… YOUR PHOTO”
And that is all I do every time I take a picture.
What’s one photography goal that you have for 2015?
One on my main photography goals for 2015 is to go back to Sardinia, where I spent a couple of weeks last October, and take some professional photos of that enchanting island. Unfortunately when I was there last year I had some big problems with my right arm and I limited myself to shoot the usual “holiday photos”. I never used my beloved macro lens for instance, as every time it was a real burden even to lift the camera and shoot a normal picture. This year I would like to go back and, right arm allowing, dedicate myself to shoot so many interesting things I saw in my past trip like flowers, minerals, birds and rather unusual plants.
More about Emanuele Marzocca
Emanuele Marzocca has a deep knowledge of Adobe CC suites on both graphic design, web and multimedia applications, Corel Wordperfect Office and Microsoft Office suites. From 1990, he created several websites for private and public institutions. From 1998 to 2007 I taught I.T. courses of various levels both for the CTP (Centri Territoriali per l’educazione Permanente) and E.C.D.L. (European Computer Driving Licence) students. You can find more of his works on his Behance profile or website.