Few photographers possess the magic to be instantly recognized by their work, and yet are able to articulate different styles; Corrado Dalcò is one of them. The Italian born photographer explores natural beauty with beautiful lighting control, from an angle that makes the viewers travel with their imagination in search of the rest of the story. His work has been published in some of the best independent magazines, followed by advertising campaigns for Levi’s, Sisley and Coca-Cola among quite a few. Today he takes a break from his busy schedule to let us know a bit more about his work.
You were born in Parma, Italy, but you have also lived and worked in Berlin and Barcelona, and now you are based in London. How do you think all these cities and experiences influence your photography?
My photography has always been based on my life experiences, the people I know and especially the places where I live. I think that every place is always a unique experience that you cannot live anywhere else.
Both graphic design and photography are creative fields, but what is it in photography that lead you to leave graphic design on the side?
I don't know if I quite agree on this. I think that, being two creative fields, one reinforces the other, creating a unique and more comprehensible language. Each of these can stand alone, but when you put them together, you create something brilliant.
Some people talk about the difference between an artist practicing photography and a photographer. Would you call yourself an artist or a photographer?
Defining myself is always difficult, especially in this case. I consider myself a photographer who works and makes his living from this. That being said, some people might define the photos I’ve created for some projects as art, because the artistic purpose is to express a concept, sometimes in a quite abstract way.
I have read that you love to work on interesting projects with low budget. Over-produced stuff sometimes can be very unreal, and your work feels so natural and spontaneous. How do you plan your photo shoots?
When and where did you read this? (Laughs). However, I usually love to do low budget projects, just for the fact that I can do whatever I want. Usually I start the story I want to tell by writing it down. Everything else comes afterwards: the make-up, the style, location. Kind of like a Christmas tree.
What makes a good photograph?
It is a weird thing. I kind of feel a strange ringing in my head and voices telling me that this is a good photograph.
There is a lot of film and Polaroid in your work, but you also use digital cameras. How do you decide to use one over the others in each project?
Good question. There are so many ways to tell a story, and those are my ways. Sometimes I shoot both digital and analogue and then decide later which one strikes my heart.
Do you think that film has something that digital will never achieve?
I think so. But, as always, one person that I know very well says: nothing is forever and the show must go on.
Your editorials called “West Coast”, “Asleep” and “New York I love You” are so beautiful. The light, the colours, the angles, the faded feeling make them so perfect. What kind of feeling or reaction do you try to provoke in the viewer?
Thank you for highlighting some of my favourite editorials. All of them were taken with Polaroid film and at a particular time of my life. The reaction that I seek is to get spectator involvement. I always hope that whoever sees my images and my stories wants, somehow, to get in or to be a part of it. For this reason the use of Polaroid helps a lot, because with it I can translate into images the sensations of naturalness and ‘normality’ that I want to convey.
You have also produced some videos. What is your approach to moving images, and what other media is still unexplored in your work –and you might consider in the future?
I wanted to explore this visual media in order to look for new possibilities. I have always been attracted to music videos and TV commercials, but the former is able to produce more interesting things, like the Benny Benassi Satisfaction video with which I received a Golden Award. On the other hand, I haven't competed much. Then I realized that I still have more to say with photography and went back to it. Now I am producing some teasers because it is very entertaining, but I don't know for how long I’ll be working on them.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to help you creatively?
Always listen to your heart.