Featured Photographer #49: Mario Bertieri
What did you want to become in your childhood and are you that person today? I wanted to be a taxi driver. And a bartender. And a mechanic. Pretty much your standard 80′s kid growing up with mom playing Springsteen all day long.
Where did you meet photography or where did photography meet you? 3 words: uncle, Nikon, film. I still have the camera should he ask.
What do you do when you don’t have a camera in your hand? I manage the darkroom at Cre8 Studio in East London with Camera Work London and teach photography in Vienna. When idle I tend to eat hommos, fail at personal relationships and read books. I recently picked up drawing but I suck at it.
Your personal story with photography in 12 words: I always wanted to drive nails in the maelstrom of time.
What do you want to achieve? Superpowers: I like people and know the medium. Super-weaknesses: I like people and know the medium.
What attracts you to the work you shoot? The stillness, the unsaid words and the inbetween between said and unsaid.
Where do you think the wisdom and instinct for a good photograph comes from? It comes from doing your homework: study technique, study the work of other photographers, study yourself, learn to shut up and listen.
The craziest thing you ever did as a photographer? Have you ever got yourself in trouble? Crazy is really subjective. And I am boring. In trouble? Yes. I spent a whole day at the police station because I had some exposed rolls of 35mm and ended in a drug razzia and didn’t want the police to open them.
In your opinion, where is the social barrier between the photographer and the subject? Barrier has a very negative connotation. Photography is the documentation of my interaction with the subject. The barrier is flexible, and most of the times very very durchlässig.
What annoys you the most in this profession? The usual: lack of budget, tight schedules, and hipsteria.
What’s in your camera bag? Light meter. Films. Cigarettes. Money for coffee. And other things which I cannot write because my parents will read this interview.
How it affects your process, how often do you / don’t you shoot? Working mostly with analog material / large format. I tend to be quite slow and methodical.
If you could carry only 4 pieces of equipment to a parallel universe (no photo equipment on the other side) for a year, what would you choose? My Mamiya RZ. A shitload of films. A light meter. A clamp.
When do you rely on your instruments and when on your feelings? Set up. Check everything. Be sure the tech stuff won’t bother you. Then do the feelings part.
Pearls of wisdom for fellow photographers to be? Stop wanking about technique. Go to an exhibition together.
Ansel Adams or Annie Lebowitz or Martin Parr or Alec Soth? Ansel bores me, Annie sold her soul, Martin is too british-humored and Alec I don’t like. What about mr. Bailey or mr. Avedon?