Begin with Paolo Testa

How did your journey begin?

When I was a kid I always wanted to be a movie director, but I was born in Bergamo and as you guys can image, in Bergamo there was not a big movie scene... Still I wanted to create images, stories, so I slowly approach photography, first it was landscape, later it became sport photography. My friends and I were freestyle skiers and so the camera was the perfect medium to have something cool to post on My Space. After that my photography interest  kept growing, during the university it was the perfect way to make extra money, during the weekend the best way to get into a club for free... So at some point at the age of 25 I understood that this was something that I really wanted to be serious about. After one year I left Italy and I came to New York starting as an assitant... and this is when my real journey began.  

How would you describe your aesthetic ? 

I believe that I'm street photographer, I'm constantly inspired by the big names of street photography and documentary, so what I'm trying to do is to melt these realities with fashion.

 

How did you move specifically towards fashion photography?

I'm not really sure how did it happened, I always wanted to be a documentarist, but after few failed experiences in Africa and Poland I started approaching  portrait photography, after few month of shooting portraits I got a chance to shoot some test shoots for models, after those I wanted to try to shoot and editorial and after that I guess I was becoming a fashion photographer.

What inspires you?

Eeverything, I mean I'm constantly trying to gain new informations, trough music, news, movies, friends, by walking in my neighborhood... it's hard to pick one.

What's the message you want to communicate through your photos? 

I want my photos to be genuine first, butI also grown up listening to punk, post punk and indie rock, so I think my vision is truly influenced by that. I always focus on my subjects, I want them to have some fun and more then everything to really express themself . I'm always happy to see when a model feels the outfit because I know that she will give me a real attitude.

 

What's the responsibility of a photographer nowadays?

Our responsibility is to have an opinion, to show ideas and point of views. 

What's the best advice you have received that you would happily share with others?

Be humble.  that's all about it, but be really humble, not with hashtags and nice insta stories, but when you walk on set say hi to everyone, say thanks to everyone, be grateful to have this job which is an amazing job.  ps: stop complaining about free gigs!

What is an issue you have with the state of the fashion photo industry today?

I feel it's changing and the old generation is trying to hold to something that is gone... but maybe i'm wrong i'm way to young and unexperienced to have a meaningful judgment.

 

What is an issue you have with the state of the fashion photo industry today? 

I feel it's changing and the old generation is trying to hold to something that is gone... but maybe i'm wrong i'm way to young and unexperienced to have a meaningful judgment.

What are your currently working on, and what do you have planned next?

Beside the commercial jobs, i'm tryng to shoot a new editorial so i'm pitching the idea to diffrent magazine trying to see if someone is gonna help me out a bit. Whenever I can I'm joining the protestors on the streets of nyc documenting what's happening, and i'm always shooting for my personal project called My America.

www.paolo-testa.com

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