Italian photographer Giacomo Brunelli is interviewed by Bhumika Popli on his work and his project ‘The Animals’ which was showcased at the Delhi Photo Festival 2013.
Bhumika Popli: You have been creating ‘The Animals’ since eight years …what is their world like?
Giacomo Brunelli: I think “The Animals” world is a bit like mine. What I like about photography is its power to tell stories and through photography I like to tell my stories.
BP: Every photograph in this series is a narrative in itself. What makes your composition so engagingly powerful?
GB: I think that every frame is an idea. Sometimes I do not even frame my images because the idea I have in my mind doesn’t need any framing at all.
BP: The camera is positioned too close to the animals. Why is their reaction so important to you? What do you need to know? What do you want to find out? Is scaring them your intention?
GB: I like to be close partly because I want a response from my subject and partly because this is the way I work. I shoot with an old and noisy camera and the animals get very scary about it. But I don’t know if it is intentional or not; I have just been shooting to look for what I have inside in a way.
BP: What is the usual conversation like, between you and the amazing animals you photograph?
GB: The steps are the following: I see an animal that I like to photograph, I study it for a few seconds and then I just run after it.
BP: How often do you shoot? What made you embark on clicking ‘The Animals’?
GB: I shoot a lot, almost every day. I grew up in the countryside and was surrounded by animals so when I found my father’s camera in a drawer, I knew what I had to do.
BP: You style yourself as an animal-focused street photographer. What does the street invoke in you and to what lengths do you go for that perfect shot?
GB: It varies. Sometimes I drive the car through the countryside; at other times, I walk even for 10km looking for my subjects.
BP: You and the animals – there is an evident connection! What drives you to explore them in detail?
GB: When I was a kid, I used to play with animals a lot. I was fascinated by their world. Animals are enigmatic and through photography, I have been able to spend time with them.
BP: Looking through your viewfinder, can you tell us that what animal traits do humans possess and what human streaks do animals have?
GB: Animals are more photogenic!
BP: Any other interests apart from photography?
BP: After ‘Self Portraits’ and ‘The Animals’ what’s next?
GB: Two years ago I was commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery to do a series on London that will be shown there from the 27th February – 27th April 2014. A book on that show will be published by Dewi Lewis.
The ‘In Conversation’ feature is an attempt to know more about the motivations and thought processes of photographers featured on Aksgar as well as other photographers undertaking narrative photography projects.