of the World
To take a good photograph, you must first understand the context, the people, and where you are working.
This photo was taken in Verona, June 2020. The lockdown had been eased due to a sharp decrease in COVID-19 cases and people had begun to leave their homes for local walks. It was a beautiful day, and I was in one of the city squares when I saw this couple meet. From observing the joy in how they met, I realised that they had not seen each other for some time, and so I continued to follow them with my eyes until they embraced. The woman then pulled down her mask to kiss the man, and he did something very unique and unexpected – he attached his mask to her ear. I instinctively moved towards them and took a series of three frames, of which this is the best. At the time, I was torn between the joy of taking a walk myself, and the desire to tell a story about this extraordinary moment! When it comes to street photography, a good photograph is the one that makes us look at reality in a completely unexpected way. It may change how we perceive a street corner, a shadow, the progress of a person, or the simple overlapping of contrasting elements. This is the extraordinary. And looking at the world with different eyes makes us grow.
The Fever of the World Deserves Witnesses
I was born in Cognac, France, in 1972, but have lived in Rome for over 20 years. When I was younger, I never thought of photography as a profession. In fact, I was not particularly interested in photography because I loved the world of illustration, but, to be honest…
I wasn’t that good at drawing! When I had the opportunity to see a photographer at work, I was fascinated by the whole process and especially by the photos this photographer took. At that moment, I realised that photography was a powerful tool, not only for documenting reality, but also for creating personal stories. I work in many different fields of photography; I mainly deal with portraits, but I also dedicate a lot of time to advertising photography, street photography and fine art.
The secret of excellence is obsessive repetition.
There are three main reasons I choose Leica. The first one is image quality: Leica’s lenses and sensors are state-of-the-art, and they deliver incredible quality, even in the most complex situations. The second reason is more about the feeling: Leica cameras feel natural, more like an extension of myself rather than a tool I’m using, and I would never be able to work with a camera that doesn’t feel right in my hands. The third reason is how immediate and easy to use they are: I want to have full control over the three elements I work with: ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Right now, I own a Leica SL2, a Leica SL2-S, a Leica Q2 and a Leica M10. The first Leica I owned was an M. Later on, I started using the Q series for my street photography and the SL series for my portrait and commercial assignments. There have been a couple of times when I have nearly missed a great shot because a stranger came up to me while I was framing, saying “That’s a Leica, right?”. These cameras have that effect; people notice Leica.