Photo © Emanuele Cassina
Free-lance photographer, Emanuele Cassina loves the in-between state of dreaming and waking life. Black and white or colour, he manages to create a beautifully obscure, hauntingly surreal and downright bewitching mood.
"I conceive my nude and glamour photography as intimate photography" he says. "Bedrooms and homes in general evoke a familiar environment. In addition, they are obviously the only suitable environments where to shoot pictures of a woman naked or in her underwear. I use practically only natural light, using a single light source, inspired by the works of Caravaggio. I don’t like to shoot half-naked women on a canopy bed, wearing 6-inches heels. It looks fake. I much prefer spontaneity, the naturalness of gestures and gazes. The first I tell my models is not to look like they are posing. I need to establish a trust with the model since the beginning, enabling her to freely express herself, which would create images with higher emotional impact, bringing photography to a higher level."
"I don’t like to insist on themes that are already well established and consolidated in my work. I prefer to reinvent themes to make them more contemporary. For example, nude photography, which I do often, often looks stuck with standards that are old outdated. However, a single small detail can make a photograph novel and fresh. I’m experimenting on several projects right now.
First of all, I would like to improve in taking portraits, a vast as well as difficult field, in spite of its seeming simplicity. I’m also working on photographing flowers, which I love. I connect them to the feminine body, where they can become symbols, and live in symbiosis with the feminine body, provided that the picture is well crafted. For this reason, I am experimenting on the use of glasses that provide interesting effects. Using this technique is my personal battle against Photoshop."
"I like books a lot. I love the smell of freshly printed paper, when I enter a bookstore. In addition to enriching our vision, books by the masters of photography constantly provide new challenges and are sort of photography workshops. I have several books by Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon and David Hamilton, who are also some of the photographers I most admire and follow.
Among them, Peter Lindbergh is perhaps the one that is having the deepest influence on me, as Oliviero Toscani did when I attended his workshop. He taught me to go back to the core of photography – photography without post production, in which models can have expression wrinkles and imperfections and nobody cares, because real beauty is hidden but at the same time it is evident above everything. This attitude of accepting imperfections should be welcomed in our society in which bodily perfection is increasingly sought after, although obviously perfection does not exist."
"When I decide for a shooting with a model, there are several aspects that make her interesting. Social networks are very useful with this. I use them to browse profile pictures, in order to have a general idea of how a person portrays herself. I never look at the pictures taken by other professional photographers. It’s not a matter of arrogance. Rather, it’s because I think the infamous selfies are indicative of someone’s personality, and they tell me if the person is photographically suitable to my goals. Other than this, I believe that personality is more important than physical aspect in determining my choice of a model. The better the personality is defined, the more interesting the image will be.
The third thing, engagement, is the most fundamental. The will to participate and create something together with me, without wasting time or just because of interest in obtaining a profile picture that will look good on Facebook, acknowledging the efforts and sacrifices made by the photographer."