Stuck in the picture #1 Federico Arcangeli

Let’s start with a small presentation, who is Federico Arcangeli?

I`m Federico Arcangeli, I was born in 1983 and i Live in Italy in a little city on the east coast. Rimini. I’m a nurse and I work in Intensive Care Unit. Photography is one of my passions. If you want to know some more, keep reading! 

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

My interest in photography borns recently, about 5 years ago, when I discovered and old Pentax camera of my father’s. I remember how heavy it was, the feel of the metal, the sound of the shutter, the joy to load the film and the mix of anxiety and desire to see the pictures. I can say that ,before I fell in love with photography I think I fell in love with the tool. After that I ever bring a camera with me.

The very fast, almost real-time way an image is consumed today, has an impact on your work? 

Today we are constantly bombarded by images, from tv, smartphones etc. This influences me, but I shoot on film, and it’s slow process. Before there is the shoot, then “the mix of anxiety and desire”, the develop, the negative, the print. This has change the way I look at pictures. I use socials, they offer a big audience, but I prefer to put my photos on paper, in a book. I desire that people look at my work in that way. In their own hands.

Which authors have influenced you? If there are any.

There is many. Just some names: Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen, Martin Bognen, Ken Schles, Michael Ackerman, Tomasz Lazar, Igor Posner.

As in all the arts, there is a cyclical trend in styles, themes and even tools used. This produces waves of very similar works, often without soul. Do you think this is inevitable or would you need more awareness? 

I`m agree, there are too similar images, without soul and feelings. I think that the final image is a process inside us. When I’m in the street I don’t think to much. I follow my instinct. I notice something and I release the shutter. It`s to take something from the world , filtered it , and give back to the world something different. We are the filter, but first we need something to say. About cyclical trend I want to answer with some famous quotes about fashion.

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” —Gianni Versace

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” —Yves Saint Laurent

“Fashion is like eating, you shouldn’t stick to the same menu.” —Kenzo Takada

What kind of approach do you take when you photograph? Do you tend to establish a relationship with your subjects, or do you capture the image as if you were an invisible witness?

Like a I said, I don’t think to much in street, I’m instinctive. I never ask for a photo or I don’t talk to my subject, sometimes when they notice me, I smile. Sometimes I can be a little harsh. In the past I used often the flash and It’s not the most friendly way to take a picture. A big smile can help you.

Your images evoke, they are never sharp, you seem to like to tell it in fragments, so that the viewer can conclude with his imagination the final image. Is it just my impression or is that what you want in a certain way?

I love photos that raise questions. Sometimes the details tells more, a hand can say more than a look. Mystery is the magic of photography.

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

People, I love people. People are unpredictable, and it is exiting. People in strange situation, in love rituals, people all alone. Sometimes I`m attracted to people that are thinking to something, I’m curious about it. What are he/she thinking?.  I need to go deeper.

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

This is a photo from my last book “Pleasure Island”. This is the photo that inspire me the title of the project.

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

I think that to be a good photographer you need a good amount of curiosity. It’s all you need to push yourself to the limit, overcome your fears. Curiosity about the world and about you. The other thing you need is something you want to say. Photography is just a language for comunicate and sure it not the most direct one.

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?

If you are a photojournalist probably the honesty should be at the first place. I think honesty is an important value i in every field, not only in photography. But in a photographic work is more fundamental for me to see feelings. I want to see the photographer behind the camera, it’s what I looking for in a project. Are you dishonest? Great! Show me!

One or more obsessions. If you have any.

I think I haven’t obsessions. Maybe have a camera always with me is my obsession. I’m afraid to see something and not be able to make it mine ! Yes I have an obsession! Another think I can call obsession is the night. It’s my favorite moment. Like a bat I love to come out in the nighttime.

Tell me an anecdote, something curious that happened while you were shooting Pleasure Island? Your last book.

There is a picture, that isn’t in the book but I published on socials, that shows an embrace between a couple. This one.

One day the girl wrote to me. I thought, here we are, a complaint will come… Instead She wanted to know where I took the picture. 

She wasn’t able to remember who was the man!

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:

Instagram : @Vicodin

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