Let me first introduce myself: my name is Sandro, born in 1976, but everyone commonly calls me Bear (or boss), I live in Sabaudia and I have Sicilian origins. Photographer for 20 years and more, ranging from portraiture to nude, I do not disdain minimalist and landscape photography if the place really deserves it.
Tell us about the development process that culminated in the artist you are today.
I started as a self-taught, more than 20 years ago, following a lot of photographers of the moment and trying to somehow grasp their techniques and then try to reproduce and re-propose them in my shots, but not always with success. This, however, instead of discouraging me, pushed me to grow both technically and artistically, always being in constant search of my artistic and professional identity in the sector. Realizing that it was not possible to continue without an expert guide, I started my training path in a more serious way, deepening the various techniques, both practical in the field and post-production, attending courses, participating in master classes, taking private lessons from some of the current photography gurus.
How did you discover your passion for photography?
It is an almost ancestral memory, when as a child for the summer holidays, with my family, we moved to my grandparents and, near them, there was the laboratory of an old photographer, who still did everything by hand, from shots to development into photographic printing, strictly in the dark room and in black and white. I spent hours there enraptured by the magic of development, which, from an apparently empty sheet, made images of faces and things appear. I would have done it too, one day… and here I am!
How would you describe yourself at work in so many years of career?
At work I am smiling, focused and with almost always clear ideas on what to do. I say "almost always" because sometimes the project takes shape during construction and, working mainly in external contexts, a shadow, a light, a detail of the environment or the climate itself at that given moment, can trigger the idea, and everything comes to life.
What do you think is the hardest thing in your life you've ever had to overcome?
Obstacles, like all of them I have met in my life, but I don't have a real episode to tell, also because I always tend to overcome them without giving too much weight to what has happened. But I always treasure these experiences.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
“Stop! Don't do it!”, of course I'm kidding! I would tell myself to give up trying to "imitate" the great and immediately devote myself to the serious study of all photographic techniques.
How has the covid-19 pandemic affected your art and business this year? How do you feel about the current situation?
No, the pandemic has absolutely not affected my art, it has given me extra time to expand my knowledge and business, apart from the periods of total lockdown have been affected little since I do not take care of ceremonies (like weddings, baptisms, etc.). And then let's face it: the models must be shot, even from a certain distance and they certainly must not be touched, so the problem of "social distancing" has never occurred on my sets!
What do you think the biggest misconception about you is?
Honestly, there are no facts so relevant that they could have been interpreted as misunderstandings: I am like an open book, I always speak clearly and I always try to make sure that what I say is understood well and here is perhaps the biggest misunderstanding: I repeat I often do things because I want to be sure that I have expressed myself well, not because I think my interlocutor is stupid. The Latins used to say “Repetita iuvant”, but sometimes I wonder if that's true!
What are your future plans/goals for the next couple of years?
Planning the next two years is utopia, I will certainly continue my training path (I am never satisfied with it), I also have some long-term projects in the pipeline, but for good luck better not to talk about them!