Eolo Perfido is a 44 years old Italian Street photographer and Leica Ambassador. He is owner of portrait studio in Rome and when he is not shooting there you can probably find his, looking for some good spots in Rome.
I try to shoot street photos everyday. Another opportunity is when I'm on an assignment abroad and I can find the time to shoot in other cities. I'm also an instructor for the leica akademie and I run street photography workshop in italy and abroad.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I always wanted to be an illustrator or comic artist but I wasn't that good at drawing. I really wanted to work with a strong visual and narrative medium so photography arrived in my life as an opportunity.
I was 28 and after few months I understood that I wanted to do that for all my life, so I left my job and started a little photostudio. Nearly 20 years later my studio i now one of the biggest in Italy and I can say that It was a good choice.
What inspires your photography?
I'm inspired by stories even if they are made by just one frame. In my street and creative studio works I always try to create images that aim to be the beginning of a story that will end in the viewer mind. It's an attempt to connect to others through photography.
What does it mean to you?
Sometimes the street photographer draws from reality to create something new that is abstracted from the original context.
Often there is confusion between documentary photography and street photography. I think that reportage photography uses pictures to tell stories that remain relevant to what we call reality, while street photography is very close to fine art. It uses reality to build something new. Reality is for reportage the goal to be reached, while for the street photographer is just a tool.
Street resemble me narrative forms like poetry, especially Haiku. Just like these Japanese poems are composed by very few words. Also, street photography is often most effective when it builds on a few graphic elements or contexts.
How did the project start?
Usually I not am going to do street photography with no plan in mind. I try to be attentive and sensitive to what is happening around me , looking for moments of beauty in everyday life .
What cameras did you shoot with and why?
I'm a Leica Ambassador and I shoot my street photography with two cameras. A Leica Q with its 28mm lens and a Leica MP Typ 240 with the 21mm and 35mm lenses. In this period i really like to get really near to my subjects so I'm experiment with the 21mm a lot. A also wrote a little article for my blog that you can find here: www.walkingphotographer.net/blog/21mm-street-photography
Any anecdotes you can share?
Well normally I don't have big problems while shooting people all around the world. One day I was with my students during a street photography workshop in Florence and i wanted to show them how easy is to approach people with the right attitude and a big smile.
I saw one guy and told him “hey man, you hat is really cool ! I'm going to take your portrait :)” and this guy just looked at me and said “fuck you man !” and spitted to me. I was able to avoid the bullet and took a picture that i'd love to share with you 🙂 As you can imagine everybody was shocked and It took a while to assure them that this is a fairly rare event 🙂
What are you looking for in street photography?
Street Photography makes me happy. It may seem simple but this reward really gives me the energy to go out every day looking for special moments in the everyday life of a city like Rome. It makes me feel to be part of the city life.
When I was young I spent many years of my life in an office, and to be able now to spend time around trying to capture moments of beauty or rage or any other human emotion became an important moment of my existence.
Any closing comments?
I'm working on an exhibition about my Street Photography in Tokyo, so i'll be there few times between now and the end of the year. I love the Japanese street scene, so if somebody over there wants to have a beer and talk about photography (and mangas) just write me 🙂
[userpro template=card user=eoloperfido]