Today we are in the company of the italian wedding photographer Giuliano Lo Re. Professional of the field that I have got to know and with which currently I collaborate to the north Italy and not only.
How did you approach photography? Did you do anything else before?
It’s prosaic to say, but I think I have always had the seed of photography inside me. I remember that when I was a child I looked at the slides of the photographs taken in Kenya by my father and I was curiously fascinated in his photographic bag. It was like a treasure hunt, among old analogs, filters, films, and other accessories that today I still can’t define how they were used.
In the meantime, therefore, I dreamed of owning a backpack full of those extraterrestrial objects and going around the world telling it through my eyes. Like Indiana Jones but 2.0. In the past ten years, however, I have worked mainly in the Advertising sector, as a Graphic Designer and as Art Director. But the seed was there and when the first flowers bloomed I could not say no to the world to which I felt I belonged from the bottom of the hearth. I started photographing weddings by chance, It wasn’t a second job. It was a hobby.
The Indiana Jones inside me, accustomed to associating wedding photos with posed shots, classic, built, printed and framed behind massive silver frames of the ’80s, had always relegated that type of photography to second-class photography. How wrong I was! In fact, I discovered that wedding photography is photography of people and places, of extraordinary moments and everyday life. It’s reportage.
Who inspired your photography? Who are your reference photographers?
I remember when many years ago and almost by chance, I discovered what is probably the bestknown cover of National Geographic: Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl”. From there I began to follow all his works spasmodically and, like domino, the works of all the greatest photojournalists of the century.
So, I would say that most of my time is spent looking at their works rather than those of Wedding Photographers. But it would be presumptuous and perhaps disrespectful to say that I’m inspired by Nachtwey or Salgado. However, I like to think that all the time spent admiring their photographs has influenced, at least a little, my way of photographing Weddings.
It certainly influenced my way of thinking and perhaps my way of living. Staying in the Wedding sphere, however, I would say that the morning when, after a coffee in the center, I found in the bookstore “Fotografie di Matrimoni” by Carlo Carletti, a photographer unknown to me at the time, was one of those moments that change your life. That was when I discovered the Wedding Reportage, a “new” way of telling a wedding that was based on the kind of photography that I had always loved and that moved away from classic, artificial and soulless poses. A way that, in my head, was based on that prototype of “Indiana Jones photographer” that I dreamed of as a child!
What would you recommend to those who have to choose a photographer for their wedding?
Therefore, documenting yourself and looking at portfolios to understand what kind of photographer you have in front of you can help to narrow the field and above all, not waste time. Then I would like to bring grist to my mill, but in general, to the “mill” of all photographers. We have 100 Megapixel smartphones, online courses, 300€ reflex cameras; the line that divides a professional photographer from an amateur photographer has become, in the eyes of many clients, very thin. But trust me, the line is still there.
Therefore the greatest advice I can give to a couple is just this: trust. Even if the photographer you choose does not fall with your budget. It will be trivial, but you only get married once (well, I want to be optimistic and I believe in eternal love!), and only one person will take care of capturing the memories of this day. Therefore, value these memories and rely on a photographer who can tell them the best, even if this will cost you more.
What is a wedding reportage and why do you prefer it to the classic posing photos?
I believe that Reportage is a term abused by many and consequently misinterpreted by that want to get married. Probably every photographer has his own idea of Wedding Reportage and for this reason, I think it is essential to speak with the client to show your own “vision” at best. Style borrowed from the Photojournalistic Reportage, The Wedding Reportage aims to tell the reality without interfering with it, just as the great photojournalists with whom I fell in love.
But it would be imprecise to say that the Wedding Reportage is only a type of photography in which reality is told without interacting and interfering with it. Personally, I like to think of Wedding Reportage NOT as a way of telling your wedding but as a way of telling the story of your wedding day. It is not isolated portraits, posing photos and pictures that, placed next to each other, could tell of any wedding.
It is telling an authentic and genuine story, capturing the atmosphere and places, photographing actions and reactions. In a Wedding Reportage, the subjects are placed within a context, and dialogue (metaphorically) with everything around them. A Wedding is not a single big story but it is made up of many, countless micro-stories. Each with its own protagonists.
There are the spouses and their looks, the children with their games and their yawns, there is that group of party-friends, there are the elderly who remember stories that happened decades ago, there are the parents and their tears, held back and not. And then there are the details, those for which the spouses have been busy in the previous months, the flowers, the candles… And the places, witnesses of these moments. My job is to capture all these moments that together make up the story of a wedding. Capturing expressions, gestures, and actions that last a millisecond but that remain a life within us.
The exciting thing is that most of the time these micro-stories happen at the exact same moment. It becomes a challenge, an adventure. And I feel a bit like Indiana Jones.
How do you get involved with the bride and groom?
As I said before, the advice I give to the spouses is to trust. Therefore, when the couple decides to rely on me to tell their wedding, the first thing I do is try to set up a meeting or, if physically too far away, at least one call on Skype. Not to discuss the details, that can also be done via email.
Mainly I do it to get to know each other and because rather than establishing a relationship between a photographer and its clients, I want to establish a relationship between people. What the spouses entrust to me is an extremely difficult task, a gesture of extreme trust. I must retain their memories so that they can pass them on to future generations. Looking at each other in the eye, knowing each other gives me the opportunity to have a more “intimate” and personal contact with my clients so that, on their wedding day, they will not find a “stranger”.
Do you recommend photos, videos or both?
During weddings, I deal exclusively with the photographic part. I recognize my limitations and I know that I could not (besides physically because I work alone) make a video that can do justice to such a particular moment.
In case someone is interested in seeing your work, where can they find it?
Info e contatti:
Giuliano Lo Re +39 3331401274
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your time Giuliano.
Thanks to you Francesco for this wonderful opportunity.