Milan based photojournalist Vittore Buzzi is one of those rare talents who has it all - he has a doctorate in Business Administration, he studied photography and worked as a journalist. His photography is fuelled by the search to understand and accept reality - which translates into an exceptional eye for capturing moments and stories.
At the 2013, 56th World Press Photo competition his image ‘Thut Ti Gym’ was one of the few selected from 103,481 photos made by 5,666 photographers from 124 different countries. He also accepts commission work for weddings.
With this interview, we feature documentary images from his series 'Every Picture of Africana is a metaphor...', taken between December 2015 and April 2016 in Benin, Togo and Central African Republic.
Artist's statement: This series is about a continent looking for identity and dignity, a continent raped by everybody.
1. What do making images mean to you?
I am a storyteller, I like to use reality to tell stories that I have in my mind. I travel a lot and I meet a lot of interesting, intriguing and very different people and they give me a little piece of their lives… I am everyday richer, not in money of course, but in positive energy and experience. Taking pictures gives me the opportunity to live an intense life and to collect some moments and looking at my pictures I can think about them…
2. What is life to you? What it should be?
Life is one way ticket and I try to live a happy and full of love life. I am lucky I can choose. I have one very big client that trusts me and makes me work as photojournalist and on the other side I shoot weddings that are a very beautiful stories to be told.
3. There are a lot of professions out there - why be a photographer?
I am a doctor in business administration and I studied photography and I worked as a journalist… I found out that taking pictures and telling stories that I love makes me happy. I hope that my work will be a trigger for someone else to try to understand, to become a better person… A photographer is someone who searches… searches to accept, searches to understand…
4. How much is your family an influence on the way you view life, see things?
I need to be quiet. I really need the people that I love to be fine. When I travel, sometimes, I stay out of Italy for 50 or 60 days so I need that my daughter, my fiancée and my ex wife can understand what I am doing. Sometimes my daughter misses me so I always cut out 2 weeks every year to stay with her.
5. Are you creativity satisfied at the moment?
I am the kind of guy who is never satisfied while I am working. Satisfaction comes when I am editing and I start to think ofs all the amazing moment that I have crossed in my life.
6. What are you reading now?
“Where I'm Calling From: New & Selected Stories” by Raymond Carver, I love his suspended stories they are like pictures, a beginning of something…
7. Have you had any mentors along the way?
I have friends not mentors, people that shared with me a piece of my path and that helped me to be a better person not only a photographer.
8. Is/Are there any project(s) you wish you could do - or might do?
Well I would like to have enough time and a sponsor to prepare some books about my long term projects.
9. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?
10. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?
No. I have a very long path and it has helped me to build my unique way of thinking and seeing…
Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?
Yes of course. Equipment for me is just tools that I use to shape my vision. I am not a gear addicted. I used for a long time an M43 with primes. Right now I am using a full frame Sony with three lenses: 28 mm, 35 mm and 55 mm. I shoot mainly digital, sometimes film, the only thing that I did not change during the digital age is Lightroom, my DAM and editing tools. I started with analog photography and I obviously like this kind of taste. I have modified some VSCO presets and I use them, sometimes I add a little bit of “Exposure”.