Gabriele Galimberti is a traveler photographer who tells stories in his pictures: stories about "normal people", children, social and cultural realities, moving pictures in their apparent calm. The "Toy Stories" project with children and their toys around the world is simply wonderful. Gabriele talks about his beginnings, his projects and the present and future of his photography.
How did you get started?
I felt in love with photography when I was 15. My father had a little dark room at home and i loved to look at him printing his photos. Then, when I was 21, I decided to go at the photography school. I went at the Fondazione Marangoni in Firenze.
In your opinion, what is "take a photo" and which is their use in our society?
I like to tell stories with my photos… I always photograph people with a nice story to tell and I try to put in my portraits some elements about the story of the subject.
When you started with documentary / travel photos and why?
I started with documentary photography in 2008, after some years in fashion photography. I decided to change because i love to travel and to discover stories and even because i was bored with the fashion industry.
Which is your favourite project and why?
My couchsurfing project, because it’s now just a photographic project, it’s a life project! I think that if everybody in this world was a couchsurfer, the world would be a better place to live in.
Your photos are very creative, what do you want people to feel when they see your photos?
I love to photograph normal people with a good story to tell. I like to discover speciality in normality. So, I would like that the people who look at my portrait can understand something about the story of the subject without reading it!
What do you think about photography as a job? Do you think is harder nowadays?
Yes, I think it’s a little harder nowadays. First because there is a lot more competition, there are a lot more photographers now, second because to be a documentary photographer you need to have a lot of different knowledges, not just photography!
When did you start your project "Toy Stories" and which is your intention or objective?
I started this project almost by chance! The first photo that I took of this series was in Tuscany, the girl with the cows in the background. She's that child of one of my best friend. My friend asked me to photograph her child. So I went to their house and she was playing with the cows. I thought that situation was really nice and I decided to take the photo of her there, with the cows and together with her toys. Then I really loved the result of that photo and some months later, when I had the possibility to start my trip around the world I decided to take the same kind of photo in every country that I was going to visit.
Which is your conclusion? Do you think we need to travel at our childhood?
I think I’m now ready to have a child! Hahaha. And of course it’s great if we could travel at our childhood!
What do you think about uncertain job situations for photographers in many countries?
Everybody is a "photographer" now, you just need an iPhone to make a good photo, so, it’s impossible to find a job just knowing how to use a camera. It’a just a matter of good ideas and making good projects.
Nowadays, we live in a new world with Internet. How important do you think being in this world is for a photographer?
I don’t have a general answer. In my case internet is really important, all my project were born round my Couchsurfing experience! Couchsurfing is a social network, in internet, so, I have to say thanks to this new invention!
How do you feel about people who are not a photographer and take off you work as real photographers?
I don’t think this is happening! People who are not a photographer don’t take off you work at good photographers.
Do you think a photographer can make aware about social problems?
No, I don’t think so!
What is your opinion about photoshop or other software? Do you think that a touched up photograph lose its power?
I think photoshop is a great tool! Then, it depends how you use it. I don’t like to see photos over photoshopped, especially in documentary photography. I use it more or less at the same way i used my tools in the dark room. I control lights, contrast, colors and not much more.
Which is the future of photography?
I don’t know, but I hope it’s going to be long!
What project are you working now at? What do you have beyond it?
I’m working on another global project, this time is a project about happiness. I’m again traveling around the world, looking for happy people and happy stories!