Apr 7, 2016

Behind The Lens: Giorgia Fagà

Madrid-based Giorgia Fagà finds happiness in travelling the world and capturing her two favourite subjects: people and plants. Driven by turning her fantasies into realities, she has developed a portfolio full of dreamy, down-to-earth photographs which highlight the beauty in everything that breathes. Read Giorgia’s story below and follow our Instagram page to see her takeover and share her favourite shots with you.

You describe yourself as a “gypsy photographer”, can you explain what this means?
By describing myself as a “gypsy” I emphasize my way of life. I am a nomad, I cannot stop travelling, exploring and moving around constantly. My photography is greatly influenced by my lifestyle. Since I was a little girl, probably because of my long hair and my dark complexion, my friends and family would make fun of me by calling me a “gypsy” and, from that moment on, that is how I learned to see myself.

What is life like living and working in Madrid?
Madrid is an amazing city, full of life and extremely creative people. Since I arrived I immediately felt at home, so it hasn’t been difficult to adapt to the Madrilenian way of life. It’s a place that I love dearly and it is no doubt helping me to develop my photographic identity. I am constantly subject to creative stimuli from the people that surround me and this is probably the most important thing for an artist.

How did your photography journey start?
This is probably the toughest question for me to answer, because I have given different versions of my beginnings in the past. My parents always told me that as a child I liked to play with cameras and camcorders, but I have never been able to figure out if this relates to my passion for photography or if this can be attributed to common childhood curiosity.

To be honest I realized quite late that I wanted to explore photography. I was 18 years old when one day, for no apparent reason, I got up in the morning and asked my parents for a camera. I think I have always had a deeply rooted love of photography, it just took me time to realize it.

Giorgia Fagà

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What inspires you to take photos?
Literature and cinema are my two greatest inspirations without which I would be unable to make my own images. In them I find the stories that stimulate me.

What makes a good photograph to you?
I consider a photo “good” when I can clearly read, as if written in text, what the author wanted to convey. Sometimes it is nothing more than a feeling, or a particular mood, especially in fashion. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy this genre of photography the most.

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How do you bring your ideas to life?
My ideas come from dreams and fantasies that I want to experience in real life. One day I felt like traveling on foot because I wanted to know what it felt like to look at a map and think “I’m going from this point to that point”. I walked like this for more than 10 days.

You shoot people and plants, what draws you to capture these two living things?
I believe people and plants are the most beautiful things that exist on earth, and they are, in my opinion, also very similar. They are elegant and fragile, sensual and made of sinuous forms. They make perfect subjects for photography.

Plants give me a sense of timelessness in their calm and tranquility. They are limited to standing still in space, growing slowly and undergoing seasonal changes. I like the idea that a plant “grows” instead of “aging”. People should learn from their example.

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Has Instagram helped your career? What are your opinions on the platform from a photographer’s standpoint?
Instagram is the social network that has helped me the most in my career. It is the quickest and most immediate way to present your work. Sometimes a well-curated Instagram account is better than a classic portfolio. Many editors and modeling agencies do their scouting on Instagram so I would suggest to anyone who works in this industry to make the most of this extraordinary platform.

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment?
I don’t think I have a single piece of equipment that I prefer. For a while I only used a 50mm lens to take my pictures, then, for a whole year I cast aside my digital camera to devote myself to the immediacy of analog toy cameras. Nowadays, I tend to shoot with a 18mm lens, which causes plenty of distortion. I general I don’t have a lens or camera that I use exclusively; I like to experiment and change the tools that I use.

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What are your goals for the future?
Now comes the fun question! The truth is, I feel like doing so many different things that it will probably be difficult to get to all of them. I have a dream of crossing Europe on foot, from south to north, which I don’t plan on giving up. It’s a bizarre idea, but the thing that satisfies me the most is travel photography. I like keeping a travelogue along with my photos when I visit new places. If I could live by doing only this I’d be the happiest woman in the world, but it’s a difficult thing to achieve.

Of course, I would like to achieve good results in fashion photography as well. Despite it being a tough field to get ahead in, it’s taught me a lot, especially to be tough and determined. It’s a good training ground for life.

Did you receive any advice in your life that has made an impact on who you are?
I’ve received plenty of advice throughout my life. Perhaps my greatest fortune is to have a father who constantly told me that I could do anything I wanted in life. When I was a child I told my father I wanted to be a shoemaker, and he told me calmly that I would be the best shoemaker in the world, without a doubt in his mind. He has always pushed me to dream wildly and without limits, and to never give up.

When something brings me down I always think of the time when my father told me: “victories teach us how weak we are, but defeat teaches us how strong we can be”. This sound like something a Greek oracle might say, but sometimes in like we need oracles of our own. He taught me perseverance, discipline, confidence and tenacity. Today, I’m a very stubborn person, all because of him!

Written by: Amie Galbraith