Stuck in the Picture #9 Gabriele Lopez

Let’s start with a small presentation who is Gabriele?

A man born in 1974 that is searching and questioning.

When did you start taking pictures? Do you remember what it felt like?

If we exclude a Polaroid I had as a gift it was with a simple 35mm point and shoot when i was young like 13 or 14 and I started to take moments with my friends about living in the periphery of Milan. I always had diaries, it was a pursuance of that. A memory.

Which authors have influenced you? If there are any. They don’t have to be photographers, they can be directors, writers, comic book authors, musicians…

Haruki Murakami, Raymond Carver, Bukowski, Dan Fante, Chuck Palahniuk. In photography I have names too: Giacomelli, Machiel Botman being the most inspirational more than influencers…the difference is tiny but important. But is more from writing than photography in any case.

You know when you dream, you wake up, but you can’t remember the details of what you dreamed, just a persistent feeling. Do you happen to see your pictures again and feel the same elusiveness? 

It’s a sort of feeling I try to reach. I strongly believe photography alone is not appropriate to explain anything of what I really feel but sometime some coincidences work things out. It’s all about fragments of fiction and reality together. Has to be so instinctive for me.

What don’t you like about photography?

the noise.

Are you an empathetic person? 

I guess I am but I am even so selective and like to join only few people deeply that is probably seen as arrogant or unfriendly but I am a solitary person that likes few real friends with a deep knowledge.

A photo you’re particularly fond of? Show it to us.

Talking to a friend the other night, the inevitability of being a photographer came up. (let’s exclude the technical meaning and stop on the etymology of the word) On the fact that we are born photographers, all of us. Because human beings have always tried to stop time, even if only to not go mad, in an attempt to give meaning to their existence. Maybe the photographer of the century has never taken a picture in his life, never held a camera. Do you agree? Are we all born photographers?

That can be reversed that we are all painters, writers, movie makers, philosophers or historic I just guess memory is what we are made of and what makes up have some sort of balance and sense of belonging.

We are bombarded by contests, it seems that the only purpose is to appear, almost more than to produce good photography. We live in a world in which intermediaries not only convey, but create sometimes questionable standards, don’t you think that competition is at the antipodes of the concept of photography?

mixed feeling on this. Almost No one wants to be forgotten or ignored totally. The fact that I’m answering these is a proof. I never made contests of any kind cause it bores me to death, but I did many demo or sessions of different kind. Not only in photography I mean, it’s been so all my life like skateboarding or swimming or really many other things. Share is good, and until you’re talking about ambassadors, brands (there are exceptions) or influencers where the thing is really easily corruptible there’s nothing bad. But the urge to appear in a world that’s not paying attention is loaded gun for sure. It can be hard. I’ve sent submissions of things that I considered good to publishers that I respected without an answer and no attention at all. Probably the work wasn’t good enough to their standard but after all is hard even for me to look at work of people I never met or talked at. I wish that in photography a world of respectful collaboration can be reached, sometime it happens. For me giving small bach self-published stuffs to people I respect and discussing them together is enough, after all there’s nothing to win or gain, I never jump of joy for getting published. If I will ever reach a small audience where friendship, respect and a publication of an ongoing project I have from years will be ever made will be enough. For a while I’ve been close to this but it faded away, and I miss it. I am introvert I don’t like compliments or birthday wishes, pedestals, medals or these kind of insignificant things. Less is more, always.

ell me an anecdote, something curious that happened while you were shooting. 

People I’ve met, connections and answers about what was happening that became clear by seeing the contact sheets but I can’t point to a single moment but more to the wider view of it.

One or more obsessions. If you have any. 

Time, definitely is the most present. Having to do useless stuffs to survive that take away time from what’s important to me.

Thanks for the talk!

Thanks to you who have read this far! 

If you want know some more about my photography and my books you can find me here:

Stuck in the Picture #8 Lujza Fekete

Let’s start with a small presentation who is Lujza Fekete?

A curious kid. Let my photos and poems speak for me.

When did you start taking pictures? Do you remember what it felt like?

If you would go through our old family albums you would either see me holding camera or my dad’s beer. Guess some things never change haha. My dad always borrowed me his cameras since I was little and let me capture my point of view. He even gave me my first analogue, which  I   use until this day. But the main point was when I met my professor Matúš Zajac, who introduced me to the colorful palette of black and white photography and showed me power in eyes, intimacy and visual image composition. He taught me to always be a step forward and be predatory about getting that one shot. That was definitely a breaking point when I fell in love with photography. 

Which authors have influenced you? If there are any. They don’t have to be photographers, they can be directors, writers, comic book authors, musicians..

Osho has definitely gave me the knowledge of concentration and fully perceive the moment. Cobain gave me the rave and the unstoppable fire in me. Like I say : vivir rapido respirar lento.

If you could photograph out of context, where would you like to do it? 

I would teleport myself into the interwar period of America. I’m fascinated by the fashion, cars, jazz bars, women and their magnificence in that period of time. But just for a few days haha.

Is photography some kind of receptive propeller for you? When you have the camera with you do you feel “different”? If yes, how.

Untouchable. For me, camera is my kind of weapon. Bullets are my thoughts and pictures are my victims. What a beautiful world would we live in if everyone would picture the meaning of bullets like me.

Tell me the last time you got scared.

Probably the last time I saw the news. We live in a cold world.  World where people create flying cars and still don’t understand the power of love and beauty of all cultures. World where are robots instead of people but man kissing a man is scary. People should dance and plant more. Realize that tolerance is sexy. I see photographers as revolutionaries who materialize the history. So that’s why it’s very important to mention the truth. I just want to leave a better world for my niece.

A photo you’re particularly fond of? Show it to us.

There’s you, there’s people around you, and then there’s the urges.  Your pictures look like they’re moved by them. In a way, taking pictures, you channel all the impulses in one direction, do you think so? 

Yes. 110%. All the impulses are going into that one shot. In that moment, whole world freezes and time is very relative. Nothing exists for me just my object through the view-finder. But paradoxically, when I see the final pictures afterwards I can go back to that moment - smell,hear and feel the surroundings of the particular picture I shot. 

Tell me an anecdote, something curious that happened while you were shooting. 

Some days ago I was shooting campagne for jewelry , especially pearls. The photoshoot took place in a very showy marble bathroom. Model was naked in this white satin rope hung by white pearls. The only thing you could hear were drops of rain fell on the windows. I was so carried away by the moment, feeling like I was on some kind of a palace in completely different time zone. Then I came out of the bathroom, shocked that there’s TV and coffeemaker haha. The power of photography and imagination is unspeakable.

One or more obsessions. If you have any.

listening to music on the highest volume, exploring new places, smoking in rain, silently enjoying sunsets, drinking black coffee with ice even if it’s snowing outside and the biggest one - the excitement of seeing freshly developed film.

Thanks for the talk!

Thanks to you who have read this far! 

If you want know some more about my photography and my books you can find me here:

Stuck in the Picture #7 Lorenzo Castore

Let’s start with a small presentation who is Lorenzo Castore?

I was born in Florence on 22 June 1973. I had an intense childhood which means surreally strange and kind of tough therefore magic and beautiful. It was a time full of rich inner dialogues and strong visions. I moved a lot with my mother: we changed many apartments, a few places and various contexts. I was a grown up kid, then I tried to make up for that early maturity by stretching adolescence as long as I could until somehow I became a man who tries to keep alive and powerful his child soul. I guess that for my unpredictable childhood and for a natural inclination my sense of identity is flexible, fluidly rooted; I’ve always had trouble understanding where I end and the beyond begins. 

When did you start taking pictures? Do you remember what it felt like? How much has that feeling changed since today?

I have been taking pictures since I was 19. I was in New York looking for temporary jobs, just after high school. I felt lonely and amazed by the beauty and the energy of the city. I followed people in the streets trying to photograph them by stealing snapshots. I was shy but so magnetically attracted by that restless crowd where it felt so good to get lost. It was 1992. I hope I grew up and improved in the meantime. I still love taking pictures - otherwise why should I continue doing it? - but my approach is more conscious, open and free - I’d say less ego concerned.     

When you tell a story, I take as an example Ewa & Piotr,  that impressed me a lot, in a certain way do you build your imaginary from the story itself? Is it a wrong assumption to say that this process goes beyond reportage, and comes closer to literature or cinema for the kind of dynamic?

I live the experience, I do not calculate. I follow an inner voice and I try to read the signs I receive from the outside. I don’t give myself a deadline and I try to minimise my expectations. I just go on and on until it happens that I look at the work and it feels it is almost there. I don’t know about reportage, I don’t care about genres and even less about style. Talking about style actually embarrasses me. Literature, cinema, music and generally art are an important part of my sentimental education: they are sources of inspiration and they contribute to define my taste and my work. I tend to favor a holistic approach and I have sympathy for the hybrid nature. I basically try to do what I have to do, the how is each time a revelation. Photography is just a tool. I care about what pushes me and about the energy I transfer in what I do.       

Which authors have influenced you? If there are any, and most importantly, did you ever notice, perhaps at first, that you were unconsciously influenced by the work of others?

Many, from different disciplines. If you want to know specifically about photography I can say that I decided to try to be a photographer after finding myself by chance at the Koudelka exhibition Exils. It was an epiphany. Just after that the work of Robert Frank, Diane Arbus and August Sander helped me to clarify my ideas and direction. A few years after I met Michael Ackerman and through him Christian Caujolle who immediately took me at VU’ which was the best agency and gallery around. I was 28 or 29 so the youngest of the members and being part of that group of exceptional human beings and photographers changed my perspective: till that moment I was living in my bubble knowing the work of the photographers I love through their books but from then on I met many of them in person and I became a good friend with some. The atmosphere at VU’ was unique, it was a weird family of strong individualities. The mutual influences were evident as the respect for each other. Everyone took something from the others while always keeping his own distinct way. In those days I have learned that it is important not to feel superior or inferior to anyone and that the qualities of who you admire always enrich you if you are able to make them yours in a true way.             

I’m going to ask you a question that’s been going around in my head for some time; What do you think about workshops? Do you think it’s too overused? In some cases it seems to become a passepartout that opens otherwise closed doors, directly adjacent to the doors of publishing houses. What do you think about it?

I think a workshop could be a fantastic opportunity, both for the teacher and the participants. I often met amazing people sharing intense emotions. I can say that many real solid human relations were born during my workshops. I don’t think it can be overused; if the workshop is well organised and the people enjoy being together is a great thing to do. About the practical aspect of it I have no idea. I have no particular talent in understanding the smart moves to be made to get in touch with publishing houses, editors, etc. 

What do you hate about photography?

Bad photography.  

What are the subjects you love to photograph? Are there situations that constantly return to your work?

I’m attracted to tension. I get excited when opposites somehow coexist. To tell you more specifically about subjects: to enter in relationship with the other I need to fall in love. Falling in love is always different, it can last a lifetime or burn in one hour. It cannot be separated from a carnal attraction and contact as from an emotional ‘brotherhood’. Then, I don’t know why but wherever I go I always meet and photograph someone with eyes that look in opposite directions. I like to think of a sorcerer who is after me. It makes me feel strangely protected… I make up many things :-)

A photo you’re particularly fond of? Show it to us.

How much courage does it take to be a good photographer? 

You need courage in life, period. You need it to try to be yourself and live your life for real. To be a miner you certainly need more courage and balls than to be a photographer. Taking pictures is a privilege so you have to deserve it. You need to know (or at least strongly sense) the why, you don’t want to be just a vain parasite. It is a warning and it is better to keep it in mind. I do.

In a hypothetical podium, where would you put honesty? And what would be the other two values that you consider indispensable in a photographic work?

Obviously honesty is a great thing. As generosity, independence, loyalty and many other qualities. In general I don’t like to use too big words, it makes me uncomfortable as lectures and a paternalistic attitude. I prefer to try to be honest than talking about honesty. I feel I’m never enough and I try to have high standards. What I do should speak for me, not what I say. When you are a teenager you have a big mouth, now I try to be closer to a man type. It is a challenge of course. And another one is not to be tepid.

One or more obsessions. If you have any.

I have obsessions of different kinds. Here I go for a light random list… I can’t stand white sneakers, the hair on the plate, having modern cars in my pictures, milk; I’m crazy for old maps, anonymous vintage pictures, the island of Andros, anchovies, Fiorentina… 

Tell me an anecdote, something curious that happened while you were shooting. 

Once in Bilbao I thought I was about to be killed. I walked in a beautiful bar, it was sunset and the room was illuminated by this beautiful orange light. I saw a chubby girl sitting alone at a table in front of the window. She was very well dressed - old style elegant - and she had the make-up rubbed all around her eyes. She was quiet, a bit spaced out, surrounded by a cloud of smoke which looked great because against that magic light that was all over the place. It was so beautiful. I couldn’t resist and I walked to her. I started to talk to her gently asking if she would have liked to be photographed. She was pleased but a bit anxious. I realised in that precise moment that there was another glass on the table. I turned around and I saw a little scary gypsy with long oily hair full of prison’s tattoos and scarves coming in my direction. It was no good. I tried to explain to him my innocent motivation but I immediately understood that I was just making it worse and worse. He said I had to leave right away. They were so beautiful, even more together. I tried to say that. He showed me his knife. I went to the counter and ordered a small beer. It felt like we were in a splatter western movie just a few moments before the big mess. I thought that if I would have left immediately he would have followed me in the dark street and stubbed me. The barman told me that if something had happened he would have pretended he hadn’t seen anything. The gypsy was staring at me constantly. I drank my beer in two shots and then walked out with some other people, made a left and finally mixed in the crowd.   

Thanks for the talk!

Thank you, my pleasure… 

If you want to know more about my work: (even if it is a while I don’t update it…)

If you want to buy my books:

For Nero (2004), Paradiso (2005), Ewa & Piotr - Si vis pacem para bellum (2018) go to your favourite photo-bookshop (SUPPORT PHOTOBOOKSHOP IF YOU CAN, IT IS IMPORTANT!) or if you don’t have any photobookshop around you check on Amazon.

For ULTIMO DOMICILIO (2015) and 1994-2001 | A BEGINNING (2019) go to

For LAND (2019) go to

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